Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Djibouti

March 17, 2017

Food Security Situation  

Map of Djibouti
CIA World Factbook

Despite being below average, the October-to-February coastal rains have improved overall food security and livestock ownership across most of Djibouti.  The majority of poor households are expected to remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level acute food insecurity through May.  Poor pasture conditions in Southeast pastoral-border livelihood zone and limited market access in northern Obock—two of the most food insecure areas—will keep poor households in these areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during the same time period.  The forecast for near average March-to-May coastal rains and stable food prices will likely keep most households across Djibouti in Stressed food security outcomes through September.  However, during the May-to-September lean season—when income opportunities are at the lowest—the overall number of households in Crisis is expected to increase from present values. 

On February 17, the UN released the 2017 Djibouti Humanitarian Response Plan, requesting $43 million for life-saving activities targeting approximately 289,340 people in the country, including $9.4 million for food assistance targeting approximately 150,000 people.  According to the HRP, while global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels have decreased compared to recent years, continuous surveillance is needed in Obock and Dikhil. Given that Djibouti’s climate is unsuitable for crop production, and only 4 percent of all the land is arable, its population is almost entirely dependent on imported food, leaving them vulnerable to high food prices.  Main staple cereal prices have remained stable over the past few months, supporting household purchasing power and allowing better access to food.

Djibouti hosts approximately 24,200 refugees from neighboring countries, including approximately 3,800 refugees from Yemen and 6,600 Ethiopian asylum seekers who have arrived since September due to escalating tensions, particularly in Amhara and Oromiya regions.  The majority of the total are long-term refugees who have resided in Ali Addeh and Holl Holl camps in Ali Sabieh region for up to 20 years. Refugee camps in Djibouti are located in very isolated areas and refugees are prohibited from working, leaving them almost entirely dependent on assistance and vulnerable to food insecurity.  

Food Assistance Programs

The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) to provide food assistance to 75,600 of the most vulnerable and severely food insecure in Djibouti, focusing on refugees and rural food insecure households. FFP programs use targeted relief and recovery interventions to reduce short-term hunger among rural communities that are affected by recurrent drought emergencies and increasing food prices while also aiming to support asset creation activities that build resilience to shocks. FFP provides food assistance to refugees in camps.  FFP also provides funding and in-kind Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) to U.N Children's Fund (UNICEF) to treat severe acutely malnourished children younger than five years of age.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2017 $3.5 million 2,960 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $3.8 million 3,880 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $2.8 million 2,800 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $3.4 million 3,650 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $3.6 million 3,530 MT

Fiscal Year 2017 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $3.5 million 2,960 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Food Security Situation information is provided by FEWS NET, UN as of February 2017. 

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity.  The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal—IPC I—to Famine—IPC 5.

Related Resources

Horn of Africa Complex Emergency Fact Sheet

Last updated: April 21, 2017

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