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UNICEF Djibouti Humanitarian Situation Report, Mid-Year 2019

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Дата публикации


  • UNICEF supported 660 internally displaced people to gain access to adequate sanitation and ensured that 8,000 people were reached with messages on good hygiene practices to prevent waterborne diseases.

  • The country is currently hosting just over 30,000 refugees and asylum seekers which represents a slight increase of around 1,200 compared to December 2018. The increase represents a small rise in the number of Ethiopian, Somali and Yemeni refugees. In the first half of 2019 UNICEF continued to support child protection and education services for refugee children.

  • UNICEF supported the Ministry of Education to rehabilitate and equip 16 schools damaged by the cyclone in Djibouti city in May 2018, enabling 17,096 children to continue their education. UNICEF continued to support 5,003 refugee children enrolled in Lire-Ecrire-Compter (LEC) secondchance education centers and in schools in the refugee settlements.

  • Around 1,348 refugee children and caregivers received psychosocial support in the form of counselling and para-counselling services.


Mid-Year 2019

  • 196,792 # of children affected
  • 30,058 # of refugees and asylum seekers (UNHCR, June 2019)
  • 5,410 # of refugees and asylum seekers in Djibouti-city (UNHCR, June 2019)

UNICEF Humanitarian Appeal 2019: US$ 1,814,021

Funding Status: US$ 3,478,693

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Djibouti is a country of 992,637 people with 30,058 refugees (UNHCR database June 2019). One of the main drivers of humanitarian needs in Djibouti is the chronic drought which affected almost 320,000 people in 2018, including 40,000 children compared to 130,000 people affected in 2016. The impact of the drought is aggravated by additional pressures on already overstretched basic social services by asylum seekers (from Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and recently Yemen) and migrants mostly coming from Ethiopia, Somalia and transiting through Djibouti to the Gulf countries via Yemen.

The prolonged drought induced by climate change over the past two decades has led to a significant deterioration in Djibouti’s humanitarian situation. Heat and arid conditions have left only 0.01 per cent of the land arable with minimal annual rainfall. More than fifty-eight per cent of the rural population is food insecure and about twenty-three per cent live in extreme poverty. Forty-two per cent of the population live in absolute poverty, and thirty-five per cent of the rural population have no access to water. This situation also contributes to high rates of acute malnutrition. In 2019, about 20,000 cases of acute malnutrition are expected of which 6,200 are severe acute malnutrition cases among children. In areas affected by chronic drought, the expected caseload for severe acute malnutrition is around 2,000.

Recurrent measles outbreaks have also been an increasingly regular feature of the emergency profile in Djibouti (460 cases registered in the 2018 outbreak; 69 cases registered in 2019, mostly in Djibouti City). Some 80 per cent of cases occurred among children aged 6 months to 5 years of age and 15 per cent among children 5-15 years of age, including Djiboutians, refugees, and migrants throughout the country. Djibouti’s Government identified the need for a nationwide emergency mass measles vaccination campaign targeting 123,000 children aged 6 months to 15 years (planned for October 2019) with funding secured through the CERF Underfunded Emergencies (UFE) window.

In the first half of 2019, a malaria outbreak was recorded in Djibouti, with an estimated 30,304 cases reported, including around 2,400 children under 5 (source: Epidemic surveillance report, Institut National de Santé Publique de Djibouti). A multisectoral response under the technical leadership of the Ministry of Health and the coordination of the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the support of several UN agencies (WHO, UNDP, UNICEF) is currently ongoing and is showing encouraging results in terms of falling case numbers.

In May 2018, the tropical cyclone Sagar hit Djibouti causing floods in at least 15 percent of Djibouti city. UNICEF and other aid agencies are supporting the Government to address affected populations’ needs during the post-Sagar period. The cyclone weakened fragile basic social service systems, causing damage to an estimated 10,000 households (about 150,000 people) with about 2,000 households (10,000 people) severely hit. Schools and other social infrastructure have been affected, the total damage is estimated at USD30 million . The damage caused by cyclone Sagar in the areas of sanitation and school settings have been the major focus for UNICEF support during the first semester of 2019. According to the human impact assessment of the cyclone which was conducted by the State Secretariat for Social Affairs and recently validated, a total of 78% of surveyed households stated that their dwelling was partially damaged whereas 17% indicated that their houses had been completely destroyed by the flooding. Furthermore, around 50% of households included in the survey declared that their household latrines had been damaged following the cyclone.

A significant number of children are still out of school, in particular children on the move. Enrolment rates in the refugee settlements are as low as 47%.