Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Djibouti

December 28, 2016

Food Security Situation  

Map of Djibouti
CIA World Factbook

The October to February Xays/Daada coastal rains started early and have been above average in most areas of Djibouti, improving pasture conditions and increasing milk production and small livestock sales. However, pastoral zones of the southeast and north of Obock City have not recovered as fully as expected. Poor households in these areas will likely stay in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity through May 2017. The majority of poor households in Djibouti will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity.

Despite predictions for improved food security, the malnutrition situation in Djibouti remains concerning. UNICEF estimates that the prevalence of severe acute malnutrition for children under five is at 5.7 percent, nearly double the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of three percent.

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. With the exception of sugar, currently staple food prices remain stable, supporting household purchasing power and allowing better access to food.

Djibouti continues to deal with a protracted refugee crisis. Since the outbreak of the Yemen crisis in March 2015, 36,000 refugees have entered Djibouti, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  While the majority have either transited to other countries, or settled with family or other contacts in Djibouti, over 3,800 refugees remain as of October, including approximately 1,400 in the Markazi Camp in Obock Region. Djibouti also hosts approximately 15,500 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.  The majority are long-term refugees who have resided in Ali Addeh and Holl Holl camps in Ali Sabieh region for up to 20 years. However, Djibouti has seen an influx of nearly 5,000 Ethiopians between September and December 2016 due to escalating tensions, particularly in Amhara and Oromiya regions. 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 UNICEF to treat severe acutely malnourished children under five.

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 WFP, FEWS NET and UNICEF as of December 2016

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.

Last updated: January 04, 2017

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