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Crisis outcomes expected to persist in southeastern and northeastern pastoral areas

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Djibouti
  • October 2016
Crisis outcomes expected to persist in southeastern and northeastern pastoral areas

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  • Key Messages
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2017
  • Key Messages
    • The Xays/Daada coastal rains (October to February) started early and have so far been above average in most areas of Djibouti. The rains have further improved pasture conditions and increased milk production and sales. However, the improvement has been less than expected in the drought-prone pastoralist zones of the southeastern border areas and in areas north of Obock City, lowering prospects for full rangeland recovery. As a result, poor households in these areas will likely stay in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity.

    • Many activities, including in construction, have fully resumed, providing labor opportunities to poor, urban households and thereby improving access to food through higher incomes.  Staple food prices also remain stable and lower than average. Unfortunately, many water supply and infrastructural projects (port, rail, roads) that had provided labor opportunities to rural households ended last year, with no new projects imminent. 

    • It is expected that from October 2016 to May 2017 that the majority of poor households in Djibouti will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes where they will be able to meet their minimum basic food needs, but due to a lack of income, will forgo non-food needs. However, due to prospects of an incomplete recovery of pastures in southeastern and northeastern pastoral border zones, these areas are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity through the scenario period.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Southeast Pastoral-Border Zone in Ali Sabieh Region

    ·    The El Niño-induced drought severely damaged pastures to the point that they have not yet fully recovered despite the recent abundant rains. Livestock conditions and productivity remain below average.

    ·    Labor opportunities are fewer than last year, as water and infrastructural projects in Tadjourah and Ali Sabieh have ended.  Poor households are likely to continue relying on charcoal production for needed income and on WFP for food assistance.

    ·    Despite the fact that the current seasonal forecast points to average rainfall, rangeland conditions and livestock productivity may still not fully recover by May 2017 as rains continued to be below average in those areas during the last 30 days.

    ·    Water management projects are likely to be extended, and new infrastructural projects, such as building a new airport, could begin before May 2017, providing needed income for food purchases. However, the projects are unlikely to be fully operational by the end of the scenario period, unlikely significantly altering food security outcomes.

    Northeastern pastoral areas in Obock Region

    ·    Despite pasture regeneration in other areas, near Obock City, conditions remain below normal as rains were below average in those areas over the last 30 days. Further north, in border areas with Eritrea, the isolated populations have poor access to markets to sell milk and buy food.

    ·    Despite the favorable seasonal forecast, the October to February rains in areas north of Obock City are unlikely to be enough to fully recover pasture, livestock body conditions, and productivity. As a result, poor households will likely remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity through May 2017. Also, in border areas, access to markets will remain difficult due to inadequate roads.


    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH MAY 2017

    The relatively abundant rains since July improved rangeland conditions and livestock productivity and allowed households in central and roadside pastoralist zones that were facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in September to produce enough milk for sale and move to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity in October. However, rangeland in certain areas had not fully recovered in mid-October (see Figure 1). Given the favorable forecast of average Xays/Daada rainfall from October to February, which provides 60 percent of annual precipitation for coastal areas, livestock conditions and productivity are likely to improve further. However, while most of the country is expected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity through May 2017, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to persist in parts of northeastern and southeastern pastoralist areas, and poor households are expected to intensify their livelihood and coping strategies to minimize their food consumption gaps.

    Various trading and daily jobs related to the school year and the resumption of business activity improved incomes in September, and thus access to food for the urban poor. In rural areas, many projects in the infrastructure (ports, rail, roads) and water sectors that had improved income and food access in recent years closed and have not restarted. However, the prices of staples (sorghum, rice, and wheat), which are generally below last year’s and the five-year average, are expected to remain stable, supporting expectations for food security outcomes to largely remain unchanged through May 2017. 

    Despite the ongoing civil war in Yemen, there has been no new influx of refugees in Djibouti in recent months. WFP assists registered refugees with general food distributions, provides take-home rations for girls attending schools, and distributes cash money to allow families to diversify diets and boost local market operations.

    Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to persist throughout most areas of the country through May 2017. However, in the Southeast Pastoral-Border zone and in some pastoralist areas north of Obock, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity is likely to continue through May 2017.  

    Figures Vegetation anomalies compared to historic conditions; Dekad 2 of Oct. 2016 (in % terms). Driest hot spots are around major ur

    Figure 1

    Vegetation anomalies compared to historic conditions; Dekad 2 of Oct. 2016 (in % terms). Driest hot spots are around major urban areas.

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    SEASONAL CALENDAR IN A TYPICAL YEAR

    Figure 2

    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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