Remotely Monitored Country
Remote Monitoring Report

Significantly improved acute food security outcomes except in southeast pastoral border areas

February 2017

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 cumulative performance of Xays/Daada rains (October to February) was slightly below-average, but together with favorable 2016 Karan/Karma rainfall, has contributed to marked improvements of livestock ownership across Djibouti, except in Dikhil region, improving household incomes and food and milk access. As a result, the majority of poor households are expected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through May 2017, ahead of the lean season.

  • Persistent poor pastoral conditions in Ali Sabieh and Dikhil regions, and limited market access in northern Obock due to its remoteness, has kept many poor households in these areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). During the lean season from May to September, when income-earning opportunities are at their lowest, the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in these areas is expected to increase.  

  • Djibouti continues to host over 18,000 refugees, who rely on humanitarian assistance, mainly from WFP and UNHCR, and are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to projected funding shortfalls. According to UNHCR, the country also hosts about 18,550 transit migrants, who are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes as well. In addition, approximately 4,500 new Ethiopian asylum-seekers, primarily from Oromia, were recently registered by UNHCR in Ali Addeh and Holl Holl refugee camps. 

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

Southeast Pastoral-Border zone in Ali Sabieh  and Dikhil regions and northern areas of Obock   

·    Ali Sabieh and parts of Dikhil received below-average Xays/Daada coastal rainfall. As a result, water availability and pasture conditions remain unfavorable, affecting livestock body conditions and productivity. Poor physical access to markets has also contributed to limited food access in northern Obock.  

·    With a near-average forecast for the Diraac/Sugum March to May rains, pasture conditions are likely to improve, especially in areas where they never fully recovered. This will improve livestock body conditions and productivity, improving access to food and income. This is expected to reduce the number of poor households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during this period.

Refugees in  Ali Addeh, Holl Holl, and Markazi camps

·    WFP provides all registered refugees with assistance in the form of general food distribution or food-for-work, but there are significant funding shortfalls as less than 50 percent of needs have been met. WFP reported an influx of Ethiopian asylum-seekers in the refugee camps.   

·    If additional funding is not received, and with increasing influxes of new refugees, the coverage of food needs of the vulnerable population is likely to be inadequate. As a result, the refugee population is expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2017

Overall, cumulative Xays/Daada rainfall for the October to February season was below average; however, this was enough to sustain normal rangeland conditions in most areas. With sustained improvement of pasture conditions and water availability from the impact of both 2016 Karan/Karma and Xays/Daada rainfall, livestock ownership has improved substantially in all regions, except in Dikhil region where a 17 percent decline was recorded in October 2016. The increased herd sizes and good livestock body conditions have improved access to food, milk and meat, as well as income from the sale of livestock and milk, contributing to a significant improvement in food security. The March to May 2017 Diraac/Sugum rainy season, which contributes about 10 to 30 percent of annual rainfall for coastal areas, is forecasted to be near average and is expected to largely maintain current pasture and livestock body conditions, thereby sustaining favorable acute food security outcomes.

Prices of main staple cereals (sorghum, wheat, and rice) have remained stable over the past few months due to favorable price trends in international markets. In some local markets, these staple prices have even fallen below the five-year averages, improving household purchasing power. The stability of food prices, together with increased income from the livestock sector, is expected to maintain the majority of poor households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity through September.

In Southeast Pastoral-Border zone in Ali Sabieh and Dikhil regions that received poorer Xays/Daada rainfall and were also previously affected by the drought conditions linked to El Niño, a number of poor households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Pastoralists in northern Obock are also experiencing food gaps due to their physical remoteness from markets. It is anticipated that these food deficits are likely to remain for many households in these areas since income-earning opportunities are expected to remain low between now and through the lean period. The inland Karan/Karma rainy season (July to September), which is forecast to start on time and be average to above average in terms of cumulative rainfall is likely to mitigate and improve food security outcomes.

A November 2016 IPC acute food security analysis, released in January 2017, estimated that a total of 130,830 people in rural areas of Djibouti are estimated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and above and in need of urgent food assistance. The largest food insecure population is in Dikhil, which reflects one of FEWS NET’s main areas of concern.

There are over 18,000 refugees in Djibouti and an almost similar number of transit migrants. These numbers keep fluctuating due to insecurity and drought conditions in neighboring countries, including about 4,500 new asylum-seekers from Ethiopia. The refugees and migrants have no stable livelihoods and rely on food assistance, mainly from WFP and UNHCR, and are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity during the outlook period. WFP assist refugees through general food distributions and food-for-work, but there are significant shortfalls, as less than 50 percent of funding has been received.

Although there are significant numbers of poor pastoralists in Ali Sabieh, Obock, and Dikhil regions, as well as refugees and migrants, who are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), especially during the lean season (May to September), Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to persist in other areas through September 2017. However, it is expected, as typically occurs, that due to a drop in seasonal employment and income-earning opportunities, a number of poor households will move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during the lean season, which extends through September.

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.