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|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
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 trendsDjibouti 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 achievementsBuilding 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.
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.
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.
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;