Women carry water from a community well they have dug as part of a WFP food-for-assets project in Tadjourah district. Copyright: WFP/Abdallah Mohammed

Drought And High Food Prices Plague Djibouti

After six years of consecutive drought, Djibouti faces severe food insecurity. Food production from both crops and livestock remains extremely poor. Many rural households have migrated within their region or moved into the capital and other towns looking for work. Households unable to afford to move have suffered serious livestock loss and the number of cultivated plots has dropped sharply. The last WFP Emergency Food Security Assessment (May 2012) revealed the rural food security situation to be “critical”. Three quarters of assessed households were found to be severely or moderately food insecure. With agricultural production accounting for only three percent of GDP and more than 90 percent of food requirements being imported, the country is highly susceptible to international market prices. The poor, who spend up to three quarters of their income on food, are particularly vulnerable to high food prices. At least 20 per cent of the capital remains in a state of food crisis.


Recurrent drought and high food prices have taken their toll on this tiny Horn of African country, where the average life expectancy is less than 60 years. However, a range of WFP programmes - from school meals and food-for-work activities to a pilot food voucher project for the lean season - is offering Djibouti’s most vulnerable people a foothold out of poverty and prospects for a healthier and more sustainable future.

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