UNICEF Djibouti Humanitarian Situation Report, June 2017 – Reliefweb

  • A high rate of 17.6 per cent of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is recorded among Yemeni refugees residing in Markazi camp. UNICEF is providing support for the treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) cases and ensuring that preventive and curative services are provided.

  • About 30,000 (90 per cent of target) children under the age of five received one dose of Vitamin A supplementation since the beginning of the year. A total of 2,566 (46 per cent of target) children under the age of 5 suffering from SAM were treated.

  • The UNICEF Health response remains underfunded with only 3 per cent of the humanitarian funding appeal received. As a result, 5,000 children under the age of five are at risk of not being vaccinated against measles.

  • Despite the limited information related to Acute Watery Diarrhoea in Djbouti, UNICEF has provided to the Ministry of Health Oral Rehydration Salts and water treatment products to reinforce its rapid response capacity for the treatment of 4,000 cases

Situation in Numbers

133,095 # of children affected out of
244,920 # of people affected (OCHA January 2017)

12,695 #of children affected out of
27,011 # of refugees and asylum seekers (UNHCR, May 2017)

5,076 # of refugees and asylum seekers in Djibouticity (UNHCR, May 2017)

UNICEF Appeal 2017

US$ 1.640 million

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Despite the overall improvement of the food security situation recorded since 2015, the situation remains serious in the pastoralist areas of Dikhil, North Obock and Ali-Sabieh regions, which are bordering countries that are affected by famine crisis. In these areas, the food insecurity rate has deteriorated and reached 60 per cent in 2016 compared to 55 per cent in 2015. This worsening situation is the consequence of chronic drought, which started in 2008 and has intensified due to climate change and the effects of El Niño’ phenomenon, in addition to the decrease in the monthly average of rainfall over the past seven years (67 mm in 2008 to 43.2 mm in 2014).

With regard to the rates of acute malnutrition, the trend, measured through the Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) methodology, is declining from 17 per cent (October 2015) to 7.5 per cent (October 2016) in all Republic of Djibouti (RoD) regions, according to the Food Security and Monitoring System (FSMS) survey of October 2016. However, the rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) among children remains high in Obock (11.5 per cent) and Dikhil (11.5 per cent) regions. A number of factors, including food security, malnutrition and low access to basic healthcare and potable drinking water are linked to the nomadic lifestyle of the population in an environment that offers few opportunities for livelihoods. According to the RoD 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), approximately 18,500 children under the age of five (U5) are at the risk of developing acute malnutrition, of whom 5,090 are expected to be severe cases.

Since Djibouti has a long porous border with Somalia and Ethiopia, it records continuous population and livestock movements across the border, especially during the lean season (June-September) when nomadic populations are often displaced from neighbouring countries to Djibouti to search for pastures for their livestock. Although the Somaliland administrative regions1 currently affected by the famine are relatively far from the RoD borders, it is likely that there will be population and livestock movements to Djibouti’s northern areas of Dikhil, Tadjourah, Ali-Sabieh and Arta regions during the lean season. This type of displacement puts pressure on the already precarious livelihoods in these areas and may further aggravate food insecurity, as well as overburden fragile service delivery systems for nutrition, water and sanitation, health, child protection and education. Children (46 per cent) and women (27 per cent) comprise the most vulnerable groups among the displaced populations. Specific needs for displaced children and women include equipment for water storage, water treatment products, soaps, access to health and nutrition services and food.

Refugees have been at the center of humanitarian interventions in Djibouti for the past two decades. As of 31 May 2017, there are 27,011 refugees and asylum seekers in the three existing refugee camps and in Djibouti city, of whom 47 per cent are children (49 per cent female). The majority consists of a protracted Somali caseload (49 per cent), followed by Ethiopians (31 per cent), Yemenis (16 per cent), Eritreans (4 per cent) and other nationalities. There has been more than 11 per cent increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers during the last six monthsfollowing unrest in Oromia region, adding further pressure on the already overstretched social services. Refugee children’s access to educational services remains a key concern. While the number of Out-Of-School Children (OOSC) is officially unknown, it is estimated that the rate is above 20 per cent nationwide, with refugee, migrant and displaced children being the most affected. Absence of birth certification is the main bottleneck affecting this group’s eligibility to enrol and access school. The rise of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD/cholera outbreaks in neighbouring countries exposes the RoD to a high risk of epidemics in view of the fragile health system at national and sub-national level, in addition to the low rate of access to safe water and improved sanitation, particularly in rural areas, and the limited knowledge of key hygiene practices.

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