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Djibouti: Food Assistance Fact Sheet - August 15, 2018

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  • Djibouti is an arid, desert-like country, characterized by low rainfall, extremely limited agricultural production and a heavy reliance on food imports. More than 40 percent of the population lives in poverty, the majority of whom live in rural areas.
  • After consecutive seasons of drought in 2016-2017, adequate rainfall over the past two seasons has improved vegetation conditions and water availability throughout Djibouti, resulting in normal livestock productivity. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) estimates that approximately 50,000 people will experience Crisis (IPC 3) acute food insecurity or worse through September—a typical number in need during Djibouti’s lean season, the period when hunger is at its peak. From October to December, the population in need will decrease to 30,000 people, as pastoralists will have increased access to milk and livestock births will facilitate additional sales and increased income. The majority of the severely food-insecure population are refugees who rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs, as well as poor pastoralists in southeastern Djibouti, who have below-average livestock herd sizes due to losses in previous years.
  • Djibouti is a small nation of less than 1 million people, which hosts nearly 27,000 refugees, primarily originating from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and, more recently, Yemen. The majority of refugees have resided in camps in Ali Sabieh Region for up to 20 years. Refugee camps in Djibouti are located in very isolated areas and refugees have very limited livelihood opportunities, leaving them vulnerable to food insecurity and dependent on assistance.