Operation: Opération: Djibouti



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
100% of refugees had access to primary health care
3,180 refugee children were enrolled in primary education
160 Somali refugees were assisted to return to Somalia
18 refugees (7 Eritreans, 6 Yemenis, 4 Somalis and an Ethiopian) departed for resettlement
2019 planning figures
100% of people of concern will have access to national primary health-care facilities
6,000 targeted refugee children will be enrolled in primary schools
4,000 persons of concern will receive long-term or permanent shelter

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 28,778
2017 27,004
2016 25,862


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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[26.95790235,41.39620267,31.98783036,31.80505653,26.7309307,16.9251478],"expenditure":[7.38017953,10.5087068,11.1475553,12.07126509,9.50894164,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[26.95790235,41.39620267,31.98783036,31.80505653,26.7309307,16.9251478],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[7.38017953,10.5087068,11.1475553,12.07126509,9.50894164,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational context

Despite its important strategic geopolitical position, due to modest economic growth during 2018, the unemployment rate in Djibouti remained high (above 60%). The harsh climate and prolonged drought continued to inhibit the livelihoods of both refugee and local communities – 23% of whom live in extreme poverty.

While the Government of Djibouti is strongly committed to the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), there is a need for greater attention to the development and humanitarian nexus in Djibouti, including through steady and predictable funding.

Governed by the CRRF principles and multi-year multi-partner strategic objectives, UNHCR provided protection and basic assistance to people of concern in 2018. At the same time, support was provided to the Government in setting the foundations for refugees’ inclusion in the national health and education services. UNHCR has established partnerships with non-traditional actors, including with the World Bank who included Djibouti in the IDA18 sub-regional funding window for refugee hosting countries.

Population trends

Djibouti hosted close to 28,800 refugees and asylum-seekers in 2018, mostly from Somalia (44%), Ethiopia (36%) and Yemen (16%), with smaller numbers arriving from Eritrea and other countries in the region. Women and children make up 73% of the refugee population. The vast majority of refugees – some 83% – live in three settlements (Ali Addeh, Holl Holl and Markazi) while the remaining 17% (mostly Yemenis) reside in urban areas. 

Key achievements

Building on the previous year’s achievements:
  • Promulgation of the national refugee law with two decrees giving refugees access to socio-economic integration i.e. access to social services (healthcare, education) and employment opportunities. UNHCR supported the revision of the Education Action Plan (PAE) ensuring inclusion of the refugees in the national education plan. The Office also worked closely with WFP and the Government on the inclusion of refugees in the National Health Insurance (PASS).
  • Marked progress was noted in the issuance of refugee ID cards.

Unmet needs

Limited funding and human resources prevented a comprehensive response towards sustainable solutions for refugees and asylum-seekers in Djibouti. As a result, the operation focused on protection interventions and the provision of basic assistance, while the following needs remained unmet:
  • Registration through biometric identity management system in Djibouti City.
  • The implementation of durable shelter strategy – only 8% of refugees in Ali Addeh and Holl Holl settlements live in adequate shelters.
  • Lack of secondary school in Holl Holl;
  • Lack of adapted education for refugee children with disabilities in urban areas;
  • Insufficient livelihood and income-generating activities targeting both refugee and host communities.

Operational Environment

The security situation in Djibouti is relatively safe and stable, with no immediate risks in sight. In 2018, UNHCR will continue to protect and provide for the refugees and asylum-seekers from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.
The welcoming stance of the Government of Djibouti lays out a good foundation for the well-being of the refugees and others of concern. The Government’s orientation of inclusivity was demonstrated by the National Refugee Law, which was passed in early 2017. The Government continues to work toward providing refugee protection through legal framework in the upcoming issuance of decrees.
An active and engaged member of the international community, Djibouti embraces global cooperation on refugee rights and protection, but is also proactive in implementing progressive action within its borders. It is a roll-out country of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), an initiative that aims to bolster the well-being of both host communities and refugees.
Djibouti has already made good progress in extending quality education to refugee children, and in 2018 UNHCR continues to advocate for refugee inclusion in national health insurance coverage.
The Office has a strong network of operational and financial partners in Djibouti. In addition to the Government of Djibouti, key partners include donors, other UN agencies, and local NGOs.

Key Priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Advocating for durable solutions and implementing livelihood programmes that will enable refugees to become self-sufficient;
  • Building the capacity of national institutions to ensure that asylum procedures are efficiently applied and in compliance with international standards;
Strengthening the Government’s capacity and local health facilities to ensure the inclusion of refugees into the national health system.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

    private donors

  • Spain
  • Oman

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors