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Elevated food insecurity in the southeast and Obock anticipated to persist through most of 2015

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Djibouti
  • June 2015
Elevated food insecurity in the southeast and Obock anticipated to persist through most of 2015

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2015
  • Key Messages
    • Poor pastoral households in the Southeastern Borderside Livelihood Zone and Obock are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), after the failure of the March to May 2015 Diraac/Soughoum rains. The deterioration in food security is exacerbated by a similarly poor October to February 2015 Heys/Dadaa season. Together, these resulted in an early start to the lean season while constraining access to food and income, for poor households.

    • An estimated 79,000 people (including 2,000 refugees from Yemen) are targeted for humanitarian assistance, including General Distribution and Food for Work Programs. An early start to the 2015 lean season in May, instead of June, and widening household food deficits have led to extensive re-distribution of food among non-targeted households, limiting the ability of assistance to mitigate food consumption gaps.

    ZONE

     CURRENT ANOMALIES

     PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Southeastern Pastoral Zone and Obock Pastoralists

    • Overall poor March to May 2015 Diraac/Soughoum rains, closely following a similarly below average October to February 2015 Heys/Dadaa season.
    • Pasture, browse, and water scarcity may worsen through most of 2015, after two poor consecutive seasons. Karan/Karma rainfall is forecast to be average to below average.

    Southeastern Pastoral (Borderside) Zone and Obock Pastoralists

    • The combination of two cumulative poor or below average seasons has led to increased re-distribution of humanitarian assistance, widening household food gaps.
    • Reduced labor incomes through September 2015, will accentuate the impacts of the seasonal rise in food prices, during the June to July Ramadhan period, reducing further food access for poor households.

    Projected Outlook through September 2015

    The 2015 Diraac/Sugum rainy season has ended, culminating in another poor season in most areas of Djibouti, and in the Southeastern Pastoral Zone and Obock Pastoral areas, in particular. The start of season was delayed and overall rainfall was below average across most of the country. Figure 2 shows the wide disparities between cumulative Diraac/Soughoum rains in 2015, compared with cumulative long-term mean rainfall coupled with little or no Heys/Dadaa rains in 2015, in the Southeastern Pastoral (Borderside) Livelihood Zone.

    Pastoralists in the Southeastern and Obock areas are already facing an exceptionally severe lean season, which started early in May and will likely last through September. The Climate Prediction Centre’s analysis suggests abnormal dryness for most of Djibouti and drought conditions for the western part of the Southeastern Livelihood Zone, confirming a sharp deterioration in agroclimatological indicators, at the normal tail end of the season. Figure 2 also depicts significantly below average vegetation through all of 2015, in the Southeastern Pastoral (Roadside) Livelihood Zone. However, unusual rainfall during the first week of June in Central Tadjourah and southern areas of Djibouti provided some respite in those localized areas. 

    The rapid deterioration in pasture and browse and depletion of key water sources, coupled with  high temperatures is expected to result in a significant deterioration of livestock body conditions, productivity and value, compromising both food and income sources for pastoralists. As drought conditions intensify, alternative income opportunities will become more limited. The previous upsurge in construction and infrastructure development has been curtailed by unfavorable working conditions (very high seasonal temperatures), coupled with the traditional summer holiday exodus by wealthier employers.

    Coping strategies for poor households in the Southeastern Pastoral Livelihood Zone and Obock pastoralists, who own 1-2 Tropical Livestock Units, are eroded. While some poor households have increased involvement in sand collection, the food and income gaps have widened substantially, after a series of poor seasons and progressive erosion of coping capacities, as the lean season began prematurely.

    Purchasing capacities of poor households are also under severe pressure, as livestock terms of trade deteriorate with declining body conditions. The erosion in households’ purchasing power is accentuated by the rise in key food prices at the onset of the Ramadan period. Although remittances are anticipated to increase for poor households during Ramadan, those increases are unlikely to offset below-average access to food and income from other sources in the Southeastern Pastoral Livelihood Zone and the Obock pastoral areas.

    About 79,000 people are targeted for humanitarian assistance during June, including existing refugees and new refugees from Yemen. The number comprises 24,000 under general food distribution, 30,000 under the Food-for-Work program, 13,000 refugees in Ali Addeh and Holl Holl camps and 2,000 Yemen refugees, up from 1,145 in April. Growing food insecurity across poor households in the Southeastern Pastoral Livelihood Zone and Obock areas, in particular, has resulted in widespread re-distribution of food across non-targeted households. Subsequently, the intended role of humanitarian assistance in mitigating rising household food deficits has reduced markedly, compounding the precarious food security situation of drought-affected households.

    Poor households in the Southeast Pastoral Livelihood Zone and Obock pastoralists are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and likely to remain as such through September, at least. Parts of Obock are largely inaccessible, suggesting that further deterioration in food insecurity cannot be discounted, in the event that humanitarian assistance and absence of free movement of traded commodities persists. Acute food insecurity for poor households in the Central Pastoral and Northwest Pastoral Zones is anticipated to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through September. The two livelihood groups are overwhelmingly dependent on the June-September inland Karan/Karma rains, which are forecast to be average to below average.

    Figures Figure 1. Cumulation des pluies dans la Zone de moyens d’existence du Sud-est pastoral (routier), de janvier au 10 juin 2015

    Figure 1

    Figure 1. Cumulation des pluies dans la Zone de moyens d’existence du Sud-est pastoral (routier), de janvier au 10 juin 2015

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2.  Comparaison des conditions de la végétation dans la Zone de moyens d’existence du Sud-est pastoral (routier), eMOD

    Figure 2

    Figure 2. Comparaison des conditions de la végétation dans la Zone de moyens d’existence du Sud-est pastoral (routier), eMODIS, janvier à juin 2015

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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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