Remotely Monitored Country
Remote Monitoring Report

Food security improving except in coastal pastoral areas

December 2016

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The Xays/Daada coastal rains (October to February) have been largely above average, continuing to improve pastures and livestock body conditions and increasing calving and milk sales. Although improvements have been slower in pastoralist areas of Al Sabieh, Obock, and Tadjourah regions, due to below-average rainfall in October, keeping many poor households there in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), the majority of poor households across the country are expected to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity through May 2017.

  • According to preliminary findings from WFP, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) for children under five years of age in Djibouti has decreased from an average of 11 percent in October 2015 to seven percent in October 2016. Child nutrition improvements were largely attributed to increased milk production, safer drinking water facilities, stable food prices, and food and cash distributions in highly vulnerable areas. Dikhil region, which improved the least, has a GAM prevalence of about 12 percent.

  • Djibouti continues to host about 18,000 refugees, who rely on humanitarian assistance, mainly from WFP and UNHCR, and they are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). WFP, which provides refugees with food and cash transfers, reported that it might not be able to continue cash transfers in January 2017 due to funding shortfalls. Cash transfers help beneficiaries to diversify their diets and allows them to cover other essential needs. 

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

Southeast Pastoral-Border Zone in Ali Sabieh Region and coastal areas of  Obock and Tadjourah regions  

·    Ali Sabieh, Obock, and the Mabla area of Tadjourah received below-average rainfall in October. Despite enhanced rainfall in November, pastures have not fully recovered from the previous droughts as these areas typically only receive a few millimeters of rainfall per dekad. Calving, milk production and sales, remain low. 

·    With the rainfall for the rest of the Xays/Daada season and the Diraac/Sugum (March to May 2017) forecast to be below average, pasture conditions are likely to degrade further, especially in those areas where they never fully recovered. As their access to food and income will remain limited, many poor households in those areas are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through May 2017.

Refugees in  Ali Addeh, Holl, and Markazi camps

·    WFP provides all registered refugees in these camps food assistance through in-kind distributions, including a cash component, and nutrition interventions. 

·    If additional funding is not received, refugees will likely experience breaks in cash-based transfers beginning in January 2017, though they will continue receiving in-kind food rations. As a result, refugees are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2017

Although the cumulative total rainfall for the Xays/Daada season is above normal in most areas, the rains are forecast to be below average through February 2017. As a result, pastures are unlikely to improve further this season in parts of Ali Sabieh and coastal areas of Obock and Tadjourah regions where pastoralists have little milk to sell due to poor livestock body conditions. As the March-May 2017 Diraac/Sugum season, which contributes about 10 to 30 percent of annual rainfall for coastal areas, is also forecast to be below average, improvements will be marginal in the areas of concern. In order to earn income to cover their food gaps, poor pastoralists will rely more on daily labor and charcoal and/or sand sales during this outlook period. Poor households in these areas will therefore likely face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity through May 2017. 

Favorable trends on world food markets are helping Djibouti’s staple food prices remain stable. Job opportunities are expected to remain normal, including in urban areas, through the end of the scenario period, which supports food access. Across most of Djibouti, pastoralists are now able to sell milk, and if needed some animals, as herd sizes have reportedly increased, in order to meet their food and essential non-food needs, except in Ali Sabieh where herd sizes have decreased by 17 percent due to poorer pasture conditions. All this contributes to keeping the majority of poor households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity during the outlook period.

Preliminary findings from a WFP food security monitoring survey conducted in October 2016 showed an average of a 40 percent decrease in the GAM prevalence (measured by Mid-Upper Arm Circumference, MUAC) for children under five over the past year (see Table 1). Improvements were largely attributed to increased milk production, expanded water conservation facilities, stable food prices, and humanitarian assistance in vulnerable areas.

There are approximately 18,000 refugees in Djibouti. The numbers remain stable despite attempts by migrants to transit Djibouti via the port of Obock, through Yemen, en route to Saudi Arabia. Migrants deported back to Obock receive assistance mainly from WFP and UNHCR. Refugees in Djibouti are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity during the outlook period.

Although in some pastoralist areas of Ali Sabieh, Obock, and Tadjourah, many poor households are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), as well as the refugee population, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to persist through most of Djibouti through May 2017. 

About Remote Monitoring

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.