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Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the southeast and Obock likely through December 2015

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Djibouti
  • October 2015
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the southeast and Obock likely through December 2015

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through March 2016
  • Key Messages
    • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity is anticipated to continue for poor households in the Southeastern Pastoral and Obock pastoral areas through most of 2015. This is attributable to overall below-average seasons from late 2014 through 2015, constraining household production and purchasing capacities.

    • The influx of approximately 28,000 people from Yemen since March 2015 has placed additional pressure on sources of food and labor income, specifically during the June through September lean season when the supply of labor demand is at its lowest.  

    • However, the onset of anticipated near-normal October to February Coastal Heys/Dadaa rains is expected to provide some relief to drought-affected pastoralists in the Southeastern Pastoral Livelihood Zone and the Obock areas. Poor households are likely to move to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between January and March 2016. 




    Southeastern Pastoral Zone and Obock Pastoralists

    • Reduced household purchasing power resulting from reduced livestock productivity and constrained labor opportunities, following a succession of three successive below-average production seasons.


    • While livestock production capacities are unlikely to recover during 2015, near average Heys/Dadaa rains are expected to increase agricultural labor opportunities, expanding household purchasing power toward the end of the year.

    Obock pastoral areas and urban centers

    • Increased flows of refugees, migrants, and returning residents since the end of the lean season in late September has put further stress limited food supplies.


    • Expected improvements in household food security, during the October to February Heys/Dadaa production season, could be limited by continued refugee inflows from Yemen.


    Projected Outlook through March 2016

    The onset of the October to February Heys/Dadaa rains marked the start of the more significant rains in the Coastal areas of the Southeastern Pastoral Zone and Obock. The start of this season is preceded by an extended lean season, which began in May instead of June, after an early end to the to the 2015 March to May Diraac/Sugum rains. Figure 1 is an illustration of significantly below normal vegetation in the Southeastern (Borderside) Zone in Al Sabieh, through October 10, 2015. Vegetation trends are similarly poor in Obock, outside the northern coastal areas. The large negative deviations in vegetation, during the first quarter of 2015, resulted from poor October-February 2015 Heys/Dadaa rains. However, current seasonal rains are expected to be near-normal in terms of overall amounts, onset, and cessation, strengthened by the ongoing El Niño event. Marked rainfall and vegetation deficits suggest that average rains are unlikely to fill deficits that persisted from October 2014 through September 2015. Additional normal or above-normal seasons will be required to facilitate recovery of pastoral conditions, following enhanced distress sales and localized, but increased livestock mortality in 2015.

    Most staple food prices remained stable during September, with the exception of bean prices, following restrictions on exports from Ethiopia. Heightened kerosene prices in Obock have also persisted due to impeded trade with Yemen, the key supplier of kerosene, reducing poor households’ access to kerosene for cooking and lighting.

    An estimated 28,389 refugees, returnees, and migrants from Yemen were residing in Djibouti, during mid-October. Nearly 5,000 of these are registered Yemeni refugees currently residing in the Al Markazi refugee camp, Obock city, and Djibouti city. The refugees from Yemen have exceeded the capacities of planned camps in additional to the 18,000 refugees, predominantly from Somalia, residing in Holl Holl and Ali Addeh camps. To address the increase in needs, the Djiboutian authorities and UNHCR have increased their presence for registration and provided new arrivals with food and non-food items. Furthermore, an estimated 11,671 transiting migrants and 1,879 Djiboutian returnees have arrived in Djibouti after the security situation in Yemen deteriorated.

    Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to continue through December, in the southeastern and Obock pastoral areas. A combination of successive poor seasons, limited livestock production and milk output, and constrained labor opportunities, accentuated by the influx of people from Yemen, is likely to sustain heightened food insecurity through most of 2015. Prevalence of acute malnutrition is expected to remain high. The high prevalence of child malnutrition, demonstrated by global acute malnutrition prevalence that exceeded emergency thresholds even before the lean season, are indicative of a precarious situation and a likely tenuous recovery. However, end-of-year rainfall will improve livestock body conditions, lead to increases in livestock prices, and enhance labor opportunities for poor households. This will improve food security outcomes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between January and March 2016.  

    Figures Calendrier saisonnier pour une année typique

    Figure 1

    Calendrier saisonnier pour une année typique

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. État de la végétation dans la Zone des moyens d’existence du Sud-est pastoral, par rapport à la moyenne à long term

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. État de la végétation dans la Zone des moyens d’existence du Sud-est pastoral, par rapport à la moyenne à long terme

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3


    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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