Djibouti is a least developed low-income food deficit country (LIFDC), with an estimated population of 632,000 people, and a 2.8 percent annual population growth rate. It is ranked 148th of 177 countries in the 2006 Human Development Report. 74 percent of the population live in relative poverty, and 42 percent in extreme poverty. Illiteracy levels are high at 46 percent.
The national net enrolment rate for primary education has increased from 46 percent in 2000/1 to 55 percent in 2005/6, but geographical disparities persist. In 2005/6, the net enrolment rate in urban areas was 56 percent, but only 43 percent in rural areas. Primary completion rates are similarly low, with national rates at 68 percent.
The joint WFP and government emergency food security assessment in 2006 identified seasonal vulnerability and food insecurity by livelihood zones, and recommended that school feeding continue in rural areas of Djibouti. A WFP programme review conducted in 2007 also recommended a focus on school feeding. In line with these recommendations, a school feeding project has been formulated that incorporates the results of the school feeding evaluation undertaken in November 2007.
The project has the objectives to:
- increase enrolment, attendance, and completion and
- improve enrolment, attendance, and completion rates for girls to reduce the gender gap.
The project will provide a morning snack and a hot lunch for all school children in all rural primary schools, encouraging parents to send their children to school.
The project will further provide take-home rations for all girls in grades 3 to 5 who attend at least 80 percent of school days.
The project is consistent with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2008-2012, the Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG) to achieve universal primary education, the Government Master Plan for Education and the national priorities of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The project addresses WFP’s Strategic Objective 4.
A national food for education strategy is being developed with WFP assistance as part of the wider education sector policy and will act as an entry point for a progressive handing over of the school feeding activities to the Government.