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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05DJIBOUTI472
2005-05-16 13:06:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DECLARATION OF DROUGHT DISASTER IN DJIBOUTI

Tags:   PREL  EAID  ECON  EINV  DJ 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

161306Z May 05
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 000472 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF
STATE PASS USAID
USAID FOR OFDA/ECARO
NAIROBI FOR REDSO AND OFDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID ECON EINV DJ
SUBJECT: DECLARATION OF DROUGHT DISASTER IN DJIBOUTI




1. (U) Several years of continuous drought and the lack of
social safety nets have eroded the livelihood and
humanitarian conditions for pastoralists in rural Djibouti.
On April 11, the Government of Djibouti declared that because
of this drought, a humanitarian emergency existed in the
southern and northwestern districts of the country. It
requested international support to assist the affected
populations. The United Nations (UN) subsequently launched a
"Flash Appeal" for USD 7.4 million to support emergency food
distributions, water provision, health interventions and
relief for animals in the emergency areas for a six-month
period. The Chief of Mission concurs that an adequate
response is beyond the capacity of the Djibouti government
and through this disaster declaration, requests USG
assistance to support a humanitarian response.



--------------------------


Background


--------------------------





2. (U) Djibouti is a low-income food deficit country (LIFDC)
and ranks 154 of 177 on the Human Development Index report of
the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Approximately
75 percent of the population lives in relative poverty and
infant mortality is very high at 103 per 1,000 live births.
Unemployment is widespread and the country normally fills
consumption gaps with large-scale imports and food aid.
Djiboutians in the rural areas earn a living through
livestock husbandry and follow a primarily nomadic lifestyle.
USAID/Djibouti currently provides USD 38 million in
Development Assistance and Economic Support Funds (DA and
ESF) in developmental programming in the health, education
and livestock sectors.



--------------------------


Current Situation


--------------------------





3. (U) The March/April seasonal rains in Djibouti were
erratic, which affected pasture regeneration critical to
support livestock, the main source of livelihood for
pastoralists. Drought has severely compromised the
livelihood of pastoralists since 2000. USAID-funded FEWSNET,
which tracks local livelihood indicators, note that domestic
animals have perished in significant numbers and milk
production has declined by 30 percent. The government
estimates 100,000 are affected although FEWSNET reported in
April that 28,650 people are affected after a quick
assessment of some parts of the affected areas. FEWSNET,
with other donors and government counterparts, reported in
May 2005 that over 47,000 people are affected. FEWSNET,
donors and the Government of Djibouti plan a more detailed
and formal assessment in order to identify and register the
affected population. According to the Government of
Djibouti, pastoralists (who comprise approximately 20 percent
of the population) have already begun to migrate to the
country's capital in increasing numbers in search of support
after losing household assets, although no actual record of
their numbers exists. Rainfall is not expected to resume
until September 2005.



--------------------------


Response


--------------------------





4. (U) The UN's "Flash Appeal" to international donors
outlines a six-month intervention to support 28,650
pastoralists through provision of general rations, water
delivery/rehabilitation, emergency health assistance, and
livestock support. The districts of Tadjourah (Northwest),
Dikhil and Ali Sabieh (South-Central) have all been declared
as states of emergency by the Government. The USD 7.4 million
request is to support World Food Program (WFP), UN Children's
Fund (UNICEF), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and
World Health Organization (WHO) projects that will be
implemented directly with government counterparts. There are
no major international non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
with emergency response capability operating in Djibouti.
The exit strategy for the response coincides with the arrival
of the September/October rains that should regenerate pasture
lands and improve animal conditions and thus the welfare of
people in the affected areas.



5. (U) The international response to the Flash appeal has
been significant and pledges are still coming. Within the
appeal, USD 3.5 million is requested for support to
populations and USD 3 million has been pledged. The appeal
for general distribution of food is completely funded with
Japan (USD 1.5 million) as the major contributor.
Complementary contributions have come from Norway, Saudi
Arabia, and Egypt. Water delivery and rehabilitation
activities are 100 percent funded through a USD 300,000
contribution from the German Government. Emergency health
has received contributions totaling USD 50,000, however a gap
for legitimate activities of USD 150,000 still remains. The
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has appealed for
USD 3.9 million to provide feed and veterinarian assistance
to distressed animals (50,000 head) that has not received a
response. The remainder of the appeal still unfunded (USD
250,000) is to support efforts by the Government of Djibouti
to develop an internal disaster response capacity (training
and capital equipment).



--------------------------


Disaster Declaration


--------------------------





6. (U) As Chief of Mission, I hereby declare that a disaster
exists in the districts of Tadjourah, Dikhil and Ali Sabieh
in Djibouti caused by the persistence of drought conditions,
and request that USG international disaster assistance
funding be made available to assist the affected population.
The Government of Djibouti is not able to respond adequately
to the emergency needs, has asked for, and is willing to
accept, international assistance, and it is in the interest
of the USG to help. Based on emergency needs, Embassy
requests USD 150,000 in DA funds to be given to
USAID/Djibouti, which will provide funding to UNICEF (in
partnership with WHO). Funding would go towards
supplementary feeding, emergency health and immunization
programs for 5,800 children, as described in the Flash Appeal
that has been e-mailed to OFDA Washington. Both UNICEF and
WHO have a successful track record in Djibouti, with respect
to management of health activities, and will coordinate with
the Djibouti Ministry of Health. Embassy Djibouti will
continue to monitor the effects of the drought and the local
and donor response to it and provide additional information
when available.
RAGSDALE