Djibouti: Hunger Crisis - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation no. MDRDJ005



A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

IPC projections for July to December 2022 indicate an increase in the number of acutely food insecure people, likely reaching 192,168 people, representing 16% of analysed population (1.2 million people, which is about the entire country). The number of people in emergency (IPC 4) will likely increase 12,390 people, a 250% rise from the current numbers, while the 179,778 people could be in crisis (IPC 3).

Current IPC analysis for the period of March to June 2022, highlight that approximately 132,000 people, representing 11% of the analysed population (of nearly 1.2 million people), are estimated to be acutely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 and 4). More precisely, an estimated 5,000 people (less than one percent of the population analysed) are estimated to already be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and approximately 127,000 people (11% of the population analysed) are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Recurrent and severe droughts in Djibouti over the past two decades have led to a significant deterioration in food security.

Out of the six provinces in Djibouti, four provinces are projected to have at least 20% of their overall population in Crisis (IPC 3) or emergency phase (IPC 4) between July and December 2022 including Ali Sabieh (33%), Arta (32%), Obock (21%) and Tadjourah (20%) as seen in the table.

IPC’s analysis is supported by FEWS NET’s Global Weather Hazards Summary which indicates that the Greater Horn of Africa experienced a very poor March/May rainy season. Rainfall accumulation accounted for only 25 – 50 percent of the average over most areas and localized areas registered even less than 25 percent of their average rainfall. Overall, the rainy season was delayed by more than twenty days in many areas and distribution was also limited although favorable rainfall was reported over some areas in May, the timing was too late, and amounts were not sufficient to fully relieve dryness. Moreover, in its first issue on Drought Impacts in Djibouti, published on 3rd March 2022, WFP highlights that vegetation and groundwater are significantly below average in most parts of the country, affecting Argo-pastoralist livelihoods which depend mainly on meat and milk for nutrition and income in rural areas.

On 9 May 2022, the President of Djibouti, in an address to the 15th Summit of Heads of State and Government of Member States of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, called for greater international solidarity in the face of the drastic consequences of global warming and the reduction of arable land in several regions of the world, especially in Djibouti, which is known for its semi-arid and arid climate. Earlier, on 13 February 2021, the Government of Djibouti issued a drought alert in the country, citing critically low groundwater levels and deteriorated vegetation and pasture following a lack of rains over the last three years extending to February 2022 and high record temperatures since 1981.

Drawing from the above and in line with IFRC's pan-African Zero Hunger Initiative, Djibouti Red Crescent Society (DRCS), is seeking support to provide immediate assistance to communities in crisis and emergencies. To enable this, there is a need for the National Society to engage with communities, through in-depth multi-sectoral assessments, to understand their needs and how best to support them, as well as engage with authorities and partners to ensure complementarity of actions with the wider hunger response coordination, in their role as auxiliary to the authorities. The result of these consultations and assessments will inform the operational strategy of the DRCS and the next steps for the National Society.