European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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In Djibouti, temperatures are perennially high, rainfall is rare, and the earth is covered with volcanic rock. © European Union/ECHO/Martin Karimi

What are the needs?

Most refugees are from Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen and Eritrea. Some refugees arrived in Djibouti 20 years ago, while others have arrived just recently. In late 2016, there was a steady flow of refugees from Ethiopia, mostly of Oromo origin. About 4 000 of them were registered, pushing the total number of Ethiopian refugees in Djibouti to 7 759.

Although Djibouti has less than 1 million inhabitants and gets substantial revenues from its sea port and foreign military bases, it has difficulties meeting its population’s basic needs. A majority of Djiboutians are food insecure and lack safe drinking water. Close to 400 000 people live in a slum on the edge of Djibouti city with minimal services.

Since 2005, Djibouti has dealt with water scarcity due to irregular rainfall. The ensuing food deficit has affected both the urban poor and rural, pastoralist communities. Food prices are high, as is unemployment. Poor households rely on food assistance and remittances to survive.

How are we helping?

The European Commission provides humanitarian aid to the refugee population as well as the host communities in Djibouti. It has released over €10 million in aid for Djibouti since 2012, including €1.25 million for disaster risk reduction initiatives. Together with the Djiboutian authorities, the Commission’s partners ensure camps are being maintained and refugees protected. Other priorities include food assistance, nutrition and health care as well as access to water and sanitation facilities. Livelihood opportunities remain however limited around the camps.

In addition, the European Union Delegation to Djibouti has been supporting the Strengthening Horn of Africa Resilience initiative (SHARE) aimed at enhancing communities’ capacity to withstand recurrent droughts. From 2013 to 2017, a total of €14 million will go to building Djibouti’s capacity to mitigate the effects of drought.

Last updated 22/03/2017