As anticipated in November at the launch of this Consolidated Appeal, the Heys/Dara rains (October 2011 - February 2012), the most important rains in Djibouti’s coastal areas, were poor, and have led to further deterioration in the food security situation in the coastal areas. In addition, forecasts predict prolonged rainfall deficits throughout the June-August 2012 period, suggesting a continuation of the prevailing drought.
The drought-related humanitarian context in Djibouti is mainly characterized by worsening food insecurity, primarily for rural populations, but with an increasing number of urban poor. The Integrated Phase Classification analysis of December 2011 confirmed deterioration in the food security situation following the failed Heys/Dara rains, and classified approximately half of the rural areas of Djibouti as “stressed” and the other half as “crisis”. According to a report released by the Ministry of Agriculture in March 2012, a prolonged dry season and the failure of the Heys/Dara coastal rains has further depleted natural resources (pasture and water). Surface water retention facilities have practically dried up. The scarcity of food and water has weakened the physical condition of livestock making them vulnerable to disease and increasing the mortality rates (through either starvation or disease). The risk of disease also threatens the livestock export potential as importing countries may ban livestock from Djibouti.
The Ministry of Agriculture report further noted the presence of between 20,000 to 30,000 displaced people in the north and south of the country, but no further assessment has yet been undertaken to check whether these people were nomads, or whether they were sedentary populations forced into displacement due to the drought. According to the same report, the number of households that will face food insecurity and will need emergency humanitarian aid will increase from the levels established in the 2012 Consolidated Appeal. According to the Integrated Phase Classification those areas most at risk are Obock, North West and South East Regions.
Added to the burden imposed by the ongoing drought, Djibouti is also host to a significant refugee population, mostly from Somalia, as well as large numbers of migrants. These vulnerable populations are located in camps, but also in urban areas.
For the next six months, the Ministry of Agriculture predicts lower-than-normal rains because of the prevailing La Niña conditions and lower sea-surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean. This means there will be little to no chance of significant and sustainable improvement in the condition of the affected people. After reviewing the situation and given available capacity and resources to respond to the current situation, the Djibouti country team has maintained the its humanitarian strategy of responding to immediate humanitarian needs, in particular in the food security sector, while aiming to strengthen Government and local response capacity. The financial requirements have changed only slightly to $79,071,305 to assist an overall target population of 206,000 people. Partners have indicated funding received amounting to $32,257,365 with unmet requirements of $47,053,191 and the appeal 41% funded.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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