GIEWS Country Brief: Djibouti 12-February-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Poor “heys/dada” rains affect rangeland conditions and water availability in south-eastern areas and the Obock region
- Food prices are stable and below average, but food security remains critical for pastoralists and poor urban households
Alarming levels of food insecurity for pastoral communities and poor urban households
Well below average “heys/dada” rains (October-February) in south-eastern border areas and the Obock region in the north-east have affected rangeland conditions and water availability. However, the positive impact of the relatively abundant “karan/karma” rains received between July and October 2012 in most north-western inland areas is still evident in terms of access to pasture and water as well as livestock body conditions.
Wholesale prices of wheat flour, which had been stable at low levels since the beginning of 2012, increased from November to December 2012 by 17 percent. However, at DJF 5 400 per sac of 50 kg, prices are still about 25 percent below the high levels recorded in 2011. Prices of rice (Belem), mainly consumed in urban areas, were stable during second semester of 2012 and, last December, rice was traded in Djibouti market at DJF 5 200, about 17 percent less than one year earlier.
The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is estimated at about 70 000 people, nearly 8 percent of the population. These vulnerable people are mainly concentrated in rural areas of Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Obock and Tadjourah districts that have been affected by several consecutive failed rainy seasons, with significant reduction in herds size and limited availability of milk. Food aid is the main source of nutrition in these areas, covering between 50 and 70 percent of local needs. Food security conditions are also precarious for poor urban dwellers in and around Djibouti Ville, where unemployment rate is estimated at about 46 percent. In addition, about 26 000 people, mainly from Somalia, are hosted in refugee camps and are highly food insecure.