Flash Appeal Drought in Djibouti 2005
The Republic of Djibouti is a disaster-prone, low-income, food deficit country (LIFDC) with a population of around 500,000 people. It is currently facing a severe food crisis in three out of six rural zones as a consequence of three consecutive failed rainy seasons and worsening drought conditions. Delayed rains and erratic rainfall patterns have been insufficient to allow the replenishment of water catchments or the regeneration of pastures. Pastoralists from Djibouti and neighboring areas in Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea have been forced to continue seasonal grazing in coastal Djibouti areas, beyond the restorative capacities of the land. As a consequence, pasture and browse have been overgrazed and exhausted in most rural grazing areas. All water catchments in the northwest and southeast pastoral zones are practically dry.
Immediate needs include food aid for 28,650 people and the provision of water for 18,000 of them. Water points and boreholes need rehabilitation and maintenance and their running costs must be covered. Due to the protracted nature of the drought, malnutrition is a major concern and supplementary feeding for 5,730 children is needed. Mobile health services for 5,000 persons are required, given the nomadic and vulnerable nature of the most affected populations. Animal feed, water, and emergency veterinary care for 50,000 heads of livestock are urgent requirements. Disaster management structures at national and local levels need reinforcement and support in order to provide effective coordination of the response.
In the short- and medium-term, a second and more comprehensive, joint multi-sectoral assessment needs to be carried out, involving United Nations (UN) and international non-governmental organization (NGO) partners as well as technical ministries of the government. An accurate survey to ascertain the numbers of livestock lost should also form a part of the assessment. More sustainable rehabilitation of water points is required.
In the longer term, the government needs support to strengthen its disaster management capacities. Livestock restocking for those who have lost their herds is required as is the development of water points along pastoral routes. The establishment of an emergency food stock is part of the long-term preparedness plan, which should also encompass the strengthening of the information system related to animal marketing in order to better regulate the flux of living animals on traditional trade routes.
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) is appealing for US$ 7,494,198 in order to provide a consolidated approach to respond to this emergency over the next six months.