MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Djibouti
Children and women queue for water at a UNICEF-supported distribution point in a slum area near Djibouti City. The country is one of the most water-scarce in the world and one of the worst-affected by the Horn of Africa drought.
Update: CAP Mid-Year Review
Children and Women in Crisis
Some 120,000 people living in the northwest, central and south-eastern parts of Djibouti are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, largely due to five consecutive years of drought and six consecutive years of rainfall deficit. The 2011 July–September Karan/Karma rains have been below average in intensity and spatial distribution, and ineffective in regenerating pastures and water points. This situation, coupled with the rise of staple food prices, has drastically deteriorated the coping mechanisms of the most vulnerable women and children. Additionally, Djibouti City faces a critical shortage of water. The country’s children and women are vulnerable to food insecurity and extreme undernutrition. There is also an influx of refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen, with an estimated 500 refugees arriving every month.1 There are currently about 17,000 refugees in camps, many among them children, women and elderly often arriving in poor health and nutritional status.2 In Djibouti, 210,000 people – including 120,000 people in rural areas, 60,000 people in urban areas and 30,000 refugees – are in need of assistance.3
Meeting Urgent Needs in 2012
UNICEF provides leadership for the nutrition and WASH clusters in Djibouti. UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of Djibouti, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and partners in 2012 to respond to the needs of 180,000 people affected by drought and other hardships, especially women and children, out of which 7,500 women, 37,500 girls and 43,500 boys have already been identified as needing immediate assistance. Given current trends, the numbers of women and children needing assistance during the course of the next 12 months are likely to increase.
- Nutrition interventions will target community management of undernutrition in 40 communities and 30 health centres, promote infant and young child feeding practices, provide blanket supplementary feeding and address micronutrient deficiencies. Other activities will assist prevention of malnutrition and transition towards development.
- The health and nutrition surveillance system will be strengthened through the timely collection of comprehensive data for situation monitoring and early warning systems. More than 100,000 children under 5 (at least 95 per cent) will receive high-impact interventions, including polio vaccines, deworming tablets and vitamin A supplementation. An estimated 26,000 pregnant women and children under 5 will receive insecticide-treated mosquito nets for malaria prevention in 16 localities of Djibouti’s peri-urban areas and regions.
- An estimated 120,000 people will have access to drinking water through water trucking as well as construction and/or rehabilitation of water points. Hygiene promotion campaigns will educate 80,000 people on improved hygiene behaviours.
- Both basic primary and early childhood development education will be provided for the 3,000 Ethiopian, Somali and Yemen refugee children in the Ali Addeh and Holl Holl refugee camps. UNICEF will support 20 public early child centres to benefit 600 vulnerable children 3 to 5 years old.
- An estimated 700 orphans and vulnerable children will receive care, support and protection through the provision of social services, including conditional cash transfers and vocational training. Establishment of a youth drop-in centre will provide services to an additional 500 children.
- About 42,000 adolescents will be able to better protect themselves from HIV by increased access to essential information provided through community mobilization, capacity building and communication for development.
Humanitarian Funding at Work: Highlights from 2011
As of end October 2011, UNICEF had received US$3,934,765 – or 73 per cent – of the requested US$5,405,000 for its programmes in Djibouti. This funding enabled UNICEF to achieve key results for women and children. UNICEF supported more than 80 per cent of a total of 6,000 children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition in enrolling in one of 40 health centres and 30 community therapeutic centres. An estimated 96,000 persons in affected areas benefited from rehabilitated drinking-water sources and increased hygiene supplies. UNICEF provided social services that helped to protect and support 700 orphans and other vulnerable children. Furthermore, the conditional cash transfer programme helped to improve the nutritional and educational status of 700 orphans and vulnerable children affected by drought and rising food prices. Among these children, 515 received school kits, access to tutoring and vocational training for out-of-school youth. UNICEF supported 7 early child centres for 300 vulnerable, displaced children 3 to 5 years old. In addition, 200 street children received nutrition in safe, child-friendly spaces equipped with WASH facilities.
Funding Requirements for 2012
UNICEF is requesting US$8,390,000 for its 2012 humanitarian work in Djibouti, in order to respond to the increasing needs of the population affected by persistent drought, food insecurity and conflicts in neighbouring countries. Without funding for the key activities described above, the shortfall of food, water and safe housing will continue to threaten the welfare of Djibouti’s children and women. This amount is aligned with the 2012 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements.
1 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘Response to the Somali Displacement Crisis into Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, 2011’, UNHCR, Donor Relations and Resource Mobilization Service, Geneva, July 2011, p. 8.
2 U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Drought in the Horn of Africa: Children in crisis – A proposal, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, New York, August 2011, p. 7.
3 Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture, ‘GIEWS Country Brief: Djibouti’, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, 4 November 2011.