Skip to main content

Ongoing dryness driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Djibouti
  • February 2016
Ongoing dryness driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through September 2016
  • Key Messages
    • The ongoing Heys/Dadaa rains have been well below-average, associated with the ongoing El Niño. Large parts of Southeastern Pastoral, Northwest Pastoral of Dikhil Region, and Obock Pastoral were affected by consecutive below-average seasons in 2015. These shocks have led to constrained production and purchasing power among many pastoralist households. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity is likely to continue among poor households in these regions, at least through September 2016. 

    • As of February 15th, 2016, an estimated 32,199 refugees fleeing the conflict in Yemen have arrived in Djibouti. The influx of refugees is putting additional pressure on limited sources of food and income among poor households in host communities. Many refugee households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).




    Southeastern Pastoral Zone, Dikhil Region  in Northwest Pastoral Zone, and pastoralists in Obock

    • The Late onset and poor performance of the October to February Heys/Dadaa rains has led to well below average vegetative conditions.


    • The March to May Diraac/Sorghum rains are expected to be near-average, which could improve pasture conditions and access to water for humans and livestock.

    Obock pastoral areas and urban centers

    • The continued influx of refugees, migrants, and returning residents is increasing competition for limited employment opportunities among poor households in host communities.



    • Due to the ongoing political instability and civil war in Yemen, additional refugee arrivals are likely during the scenario period.


    Projected outlook through September 2016

    The October to February Heys/Dadaa rains have partially regenerated pasture and increased water availability, seasonally improving resources for livestock. This has contributed to a seasonal improvement in food security outcomes in parts of the country, with improved milk production and livestock sales. In addition, the demand for labor from the ongoing

    infrastructure projects in Arta and Tadjourah regions has broadened opportunities for earning income, enhancing the purchasing power of many households in these areas. However, in Southeast Pastoral, Northwest Pastoral of the Dikhil Region, and in Obock Pastoral, the Heys/Dadaa rains started late, with below-average seasonal accumulation.

    The low rainfall totals have exacerbated the already poor vegetative conditions caused by prolonged dryness since October 2014, contributing to further livestock losses, poor body conditions, and low milk output. The vegetation levels in these areas are below average (Figure 1). As a result, poor households have limited access to milk and livestock products, as well as income from the sale of livestock and related products. More than 40,000 people are estimated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Southeast Pastoral, Northwest Pastoral, and Obock Pastoral areas, with an additional 30,000 in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The number of people facing acute food insecurity is expected to increase during the typical lean season (June – September). Currently, 40,000 people are receiving food assistance, with 21,500 receiving general food distribution and 18,500 benefiting from food-for-work programs.

    Prices for most staple foods have remained stable during the past six months, with the exception of beans, which have been affected by below-average production in Ethiopia and a government policy that temporarily bans exports in seasons of deficit production, driving a six percent rise in prices since early 2015. Kerosene prices in Obock have remained high, with a 20 percent increase recorded in the last six months, due to impeded trade with Yemen, the key supplier of kerosene. This has reduced poor households’ access to kerosene for cooking and lighting.

    As of February 22nd, UNHCR estimates that 33,030 refugees, returnees, and transiting migrants have entered Djibouti from Yemen since March 2015. The majority of the refugees are residing in Markazi Refugee Camp in Obock Region, while others are integrated with host households in Obock and Djibouti urban areas. In addition to the refugees from Yemen, Djibouti hosts more than 23,000 long-term refugees, primarily from Somalia, who reside in Holl Holl and Ali Addeh camps in Ali Sabieh Region. The influx of displaced persons has increased the supply of casual labor, thereby increasing competition for limited income-earning opportunities among poor households in host communities. Many refugees are estimated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    Acute food security outcomes in Arta and Tadjourah Regions are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2), partly due to the availability of labor associated with the infrastructure projects. However, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to persist for poor households in Southeast Pastoral, the Northwest Pastoral areas of the Dikhil Region, and Obock Pastoral areas due to the impact of successive poor seasons since October 2014, diminishing livestock herd sizes, poor livestock body conditions, and low milk production. In addition, shrinking labor opportunities and the continued arrivals of displaced people from Yemen are likely to heighten food insecurity in the coming months, both among refugee populations and host communities.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) Anomaly, February 11 – 20, 2016

    Figure 2

    Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) Anomaly, February 11 – 20, 2016

    Source: USGS/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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top