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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04DJIBOUTI873
2004-06-23 14:01:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

PROGRESS ON USAID-SPONSORED FEWSNET IN DJIBOUTI

Tags:   PREL  EAID  ECON  EAGR  DJ 
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						UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 000873 

SIPDIS

STATE PASS USAID
STATE ALSO FOR AF AND AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID ECON EAGR DJ
SUBJECT: PROGRESS ON USAID-SPONSORED FEWSNET IN DJIBOUTI



1. (U) Ambassador and USAID Director met June 10 with hosts
of the USAID-sponsored Famine Early Warning System Network
(FEWSNET) in Djibouti, at FEWSNET offices. FEWSNET's goal is
to strengthen the ability of Djibouti to manage the risk of
food insecurity, through timely and analytical early warning
and vulnerability information. USAID has granted development
contractor Chemonics USD 1 million to set up a FEWSNET office
in Djibouti to monitor and predict food access for one year.
The project was formally launched in March 2004. To date,
FEWSNET has conducted two studies: an Urban Livelihood
Baseline and a Rural Livelihood Baseline survey. To
undertake these studies, FEWSNET engaged experts worldwide.


2. (U) Major findings of its Urban Livelihood Baseline Study
indicate that:

-- Most food purchased in Djibouti is not grown locally;
-- Approximately 60 percent of the population in the poorer
parts of the city of Djibouti live on less than USD 1 per day;
-- The main source of income for the very poor and poor are
casual labor, petty trade, and pensions;
-- Besides food, water, kerosene and education are other
significant expenditures for the populace. Doubling the price
of kerosene will significantly reduce food purchasing power
of the very poor by 10 percent;
-- Most of the very poor that chew qat receive it as a gift;
-- Households are vulnerable to increases in prices for
imported food commodities, changes in government policy that
affects salaries, pensions, and cost of non-food items and
migration into the city. Variations in the activity at the
Port and the construction sector that affects casual labor
also affect the poor households;
-- Recent price increases are undermining urban food
security, which is likely to result in a decline in food
access for the very poor, and food intake of the very poor
has probably been below minimum international standards since
last February, 2004;
-- In urban settings, most food is purchased and levels of
income and patterns of expenditure are critical to food
availability to all households.



3. (U) FEWSNET holds that urban food security could be
improved through reduced taxes for importing staple foods,
monetization of food to stabilize market prices, extension of
school feeding programs to poor urban neighborhoods and
increase in government subsidies of the cost of education. In
Djbouti, FEWSNET found that there are significant hidden
costs associated with education. Sending one child to middle
school requires an expenditure of 10 percent of the income of
the very poor and sending a child to secondary school is
beyond the means of most very poor households.



4. (U) Major findings of the Rural Baseline Study indicate
that:

-- People in the Central Pastoral Zone of Djibouti are most
dependent on remittance income from the city of Djibouti;
-- People in the Southeast Roadside Zone are dependent on the
sale of milk, wood, fruits and vegetables to Djibouti city.



5. (U) FEWSNET will monitor government policies, activities
in the port and construction sectors, livestock and crop
production, surrounding countries supplying Djibouti with
produce and movements in the cost of the expenditure basket
of different wealth groups in Djbouti in its effort to
monitor and predict food access. FEWSNET expects to
disseminate accurate and timely early warning information,
improve decision-making and response planning, strengthen
country and regional networks and strengthen capacities
through training.




RAGSDALE