GIEWS Country Briefs: Djibouti 25-July-2012
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Consecutive poor rainy seasons have severely affected rangeland conditions and water availability
- Food prices ease, 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 “diraa/sougoum” rains (March to May) followed unfavourable “heys/dada” rains (October-February), with severe depletion of rangeland conditions and water availability in most pastoral areas. Increases in salinity levels of several water points are reported, especially in Ali Sabieh district. Animal body conditions are generally poor and milk production is very low. The “karan/karma” rains (July to October) have not yet started in inland areas and it is likely that the hunger season, that normally goes from June to August, will be prolonged.
Wholesale prices of wheat flour have stabilized since the beginning of the year at about DJF 4 800 per sac of 50 kg and are between 25 and 30 percent below the high levels registered during 2011. Prices of rice (Belem), mainly consumed in urban areas, have steadily declined since August 2011 and, in June 2012, rice was traded in Djibouti city at DJF 5 400, about 13 percent less than one year earlier.
The total estimated population in need of humanitarian assistance is set at 206 000 people, about 22 percent of the population. They are essentially small-scale farmers and herders living in rural areas of Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Obock and Tadjourah districts that have been affected by several consecutive failed rainy seasons and poor urban dwellers that are concentrated in and around Djibouti Ville. In addition, about 21 000 people, mainly from Somalia and Yemen, are hosted in refugee camps and are highly food insecure.