Djibouti is a small dry country strategically-located in the Horn of Africa at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.With a population of 887,900 in 2015, according to the World Bank, its economic activity centres upon providing port services, including for its land-locked neighbour Ethiopia. Real GDP growth was estimated at 5.6 per cent in 2018, up from 4.1 per cent in 2017, due to normalization of the situation with Ethiopia and large infrastructure investments.
With less than 1,000 km2 of arable land among its 23,200 km2, and an average annual rainfall of 5.1 inches, Djibouti has a chronic food deficit and depends on imports to meet its food needs. This leaves it highly sensitive to external shocks, including spikes in food and fuel prices.
The national poverty rate is 79 per cent, and outside the capital, Djibouti-ville, it reaches 94.2 per cent, and the rural rate of extreme poverty is 72.5 per cent. National acute malnutrition was estimated at 13 per cent in 2017, compared with 7.5 per cent in 2016.
About 30 per cent of the population are rural yet farming is underdeveloped, generating just 4 per cent of GDP. Arable land is scarce, so farming is based upon pastoralism. Improving access to water is the main priority for rural communities and for raising livestock production. Groundwater resources are widely exploited, so the Government is focusing on capturing more surface water.
In Djibouti, the overall objective IFAD country program is to sustainably improve resilience to climate change and the living conditions of poor rural households. This goal also contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It includes two complementary and interrelated Strategic Objectives (SOs): SO 1: Natural resources, including water, are sustainably exploited and managed to be resilient to climate change; and SO 2: Efficient and resilient production systems are widely adopted to improve food security and nutrition.
IFAD loans and grants support efforts to improve the living conditions of the rural poor.
Activities target rural communities that are severely affected by adverse economic and climate conditions.
IFAD takes into account community priorities and the needs of particular groups, such as young people and women.
Key activities include:
- community-driven rural development through participation of beneficiaries in decision making, and grassroots capacity building;
- diversification of livelihood systems; and the
- sustainable management of natural -resources , soil, water and fisheries.
Djibouti is a small country where more than 23 per cent of the population live in extreme poverty.
Agricultural generates only 4 per cent of GDP, but is the main source of income for rural communities, home to about 30 per cent of the total population.