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Improvements in acute food security likely for the Northwest Pastoral Livelihood Zone

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Djibouti
  • August 2013
Improvements in acute food security likely for the Northwest Pastoral Livelihood Zone

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity is expected to persist through December, in Southeastern and Obock Pastoral Zones. Poor consecutive rainy seasons, coupled with anticipated poor livestock production and a decline in labor opportunities, are widening household food deficits. 

    • Appreciable improvements in the Karan/Karma rains are anticipated from July-September, improving acute food insecurity from Crisis to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from September through December in the Northwest Pastoral Livelihood Zone.

    • Continued Stressed acute food insecurity is expected for most poor households in Djibouti City’s urban areas through December. However, the food voucher program for vulnerable households (from July through September covering Ramadan and the Eid), in addition to humanitarian and food assistance programs, should improve household access to food. 

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • The sharp increase (+156%) in food assistance during the month of Ramadan and Eid el Fitr reinforces ongoing WFP assistance.
    • Targeted food assistance programs from governmental and religious organizations will cover some food needs of poor households until September.

    Southeastern (Borderside) and Obock pastoralists

    • Accelerated depletion in grazing resources due to a succession of poor seasons starting in October 2012.
    • Further deterioration in pastoral resources through December, in the southeast due to extended lean seasons.

    Northwestern pastoralists

    • Heavy rains caused loss of livestock in Tadjourah and the Northwest, at the start of the Karan/Karma rainy season in July.
    • Forecasts for the rest of the season indicate normal rains in the Northwest, which should enable regeneration of pasture and water resources.

    Projected Outlook through September 2013

    Poor households in the Northwest are expected to experience marked improvement in food security because recent rains coupled with improved infrastructure for preservation of grazing resources will sustain household food security through improved livestock production and concomitant provision of labor opportunities. Although availability of pasture and browse will likely result in improved milk production and livestock productivity and value, herd sizes are about a quarter as large as usual to fully support household food security. Some localized northwestern areas have received poor rains, such as the Yoboki sector (Allouli and Moutrous localities). Nevertheless, acute food insecurity for poor households in the Northwest will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the outlook period in December.

    WFP food assistance will continue to target 60 to 80 percent of the population in rural areas, despite an incomplete food basket (currently 600 MT compared to the seasonal normal of 1100 MT) from August through October. This will likely further compound poor nutrition given that Global Acute Malnutrition rates are already greater than 20 percent in most regions. However, toward the end of Ramadan, distributions of specific food provisions were targeted to poor households by government authorities in partnership with religious organizations. About 21,000 households across the country benefited, the vast majority obtaining double rations in July. It is likely that the increase in coverage will mitigate further deterioration in food security until September.

    Southeastern (Border side) and Obock pastoral areas

    After a weak Diraac/Soughoum season, followed by the longer May to September dry season, pastoral households in the Southeast border area and rural Obock region are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, likely persisting through December. The current Karan/Karma rainfall season is not significant in alleviating these dry conditions for southeastern pastoralists; therefore further reduction in milk availability and deterioration in livestock production and value is expected, consistent with the ongoing decline in grazing resources. Poor households continue to share food with cattle at the expense of their own consumption to improve livestock productivity. This recently adopted survival strategy, especially in the Southeast, demonstrates that affected households are compensating for seasonally low labor demand/income and their food gaps using methods that are harmful in the short to medium term. In spite of ongoing food assistance, households in these areas are likely to remain in Crisis stemming from poor rainfall, cumulative loss of livestock, and a decline in traditional coping strategies (charcoal and remittances).

    Poor urban households, predominately in Balbala, Djibouti City

    In urban areas, food insecurity is driven by a lack of labor opportunities, and prices of food commodities and kerosene remaining at elevated though stable levels. Wage earners supply less labor during the summer, such as construction and port operations, which are normally scarce until September. Food purchasing capacities of poor urban households remain low during this period of the year, due to high expenditures during Ramadan and anticipated school expenses in September. However, interventions by partners and the government, through food voucher programs in the most vulnerable areas in Balbala, have somewhat helped mitigate the impact of these shocks. The vast majority of urban households constituting 55 percent of the country’s population will likely expect Stressed acute food insecurity through December. A few very poor urban households constituting less than 20 percent of the urban population will likely be in Crisis, through September.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    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.

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