Skip to main content

Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, has recently graduated to low-middle-income country status. Despite recent economic growth, poverty rates stand at 79 percent, with 42 percent of the population living in extreme poverty.

The climate is hot and dry, and desert-like, arid conditions are exacerbated by natural events such as El Niño phenomenon.  Livestock represents the main livelihood for one third of the total population, but it accounts for only 3 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As a result, Djibouti imports 90 percent of the food it needs, which makes it highly dependent on international market prices.

While malnutrition rates are showing a positive trend – down to 7.5 percent in 2016 from 18 percent in 2015 – food insecurity persists, with 62 percent of the rural population having limited access to nutritious food.

This situation has its roots in structural poverty, insufficient access to water for agropastoral activities, lack of basic services such as health, education, and water and sanitation, inadequate social safety nets, limited employment opportunities, and the effects of the influx of refugees.

Djibouti port is the principal transit point for cargo in and out of Ethiopia and a key link in commercial transport routes to and from the greater Horn of Africa. To enhance efficiencies in both humanitarian and commercial logistics, the Government of Djibouti and the World Food Programme (WFP) have established the Humanitarian Logistics Hub which can store up to 65,000 metric tons of food and goods for operations in the region.

WFP has been in Djibouti since 1978, providing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations. We focus our actions on social protection, human capital and improving resilience with a view to eradicating hunger.

What the World Food Programme is doing in Djibouti

WFP works to prevent acute and chronic malnutrition and treat moderate acute malnutrition. WFP also provides food to people living with HIV (PLHIV) and those undergoing treatment for tuberculosis (TB) to promote good nutrition and health, and ease the side effects of medication.
Resilience building
In addition, WFP supports asset creation activities as part of building the resilience of affected communities. To meet the challenges of the scarcity of rural water and water and soil conservation, working with the Ministry of Agriculture WFP focuses on the mobilization of surface water, land management and capacity building, including strengthening community development.
School meals
WFP provides school meals combining internationally bought ingredients and locally sourced fresh food, in rural schools. Families receive take-home rations and nutritional education, as an incentive to keep their children in school. WFP partners with the Government of Djibouti and UNHCR to support vulnerable households, refugees, and asylum seekers. WFP is also supporting the Government in establishing a sustainable national school-feeding programme.
Assistance to refugees
WFP provides monthly in-kind or mixed cash-food assistance to registered refugees and asylum seekers in camps, most refugees have limited or no income, and therefore rely almost exclusively on food assistance. The most vulnerable are also helped via nutrition programmes such as the treatment of acute malnutrition and the prevention of chronic malnutrition. Refugee girls receive a take-home ration to encourage school enrolment and attendance.
Food security
WFP supports both rural and urban food-insecure families affected by drought, providing food and cash-based transfers. SCOPE cards allow people including refugees to securely receive e-vouchers to buy food at WFP-contracted retailers, or to receive a food basket.
Humanitarian logistics base
The Humanitarian Logistics Base is a pre-positioning point for assistance to Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries. It has four silos and manages port and fleet operations, warehouses and bilateral service provision. The Humanitarian Logistics Base handled 1.5 million metric tons of food, contributing around US$60 million to the country’s economy, from 2020-2022.

Partners and Donors

Achieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Djibouti is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:



P.A.M., Rue Ibrahim M. Sultant, Heron B.P. 10011 - Djibouti République de Djibouti,

+ 253 21 35 34 22
+ 253 21 35 48 10
For media inquiries