Djibouti flag

Djibouti Djibouti RSS Feed

2015 UNHCR country operations profile - Djibouti

| Overview |

Working environment

UNHCR 2015 Djibouti country operations map

  • Long considered an example of stability in a volatile region, Djibouti is now facing a precarious security situation. The country plays a significant role in international efforts to combat piracy in the region, and supports the restoration of peace in Somalia; however these efforts have led to threats of reprisal attacks.

  • The country has limited natural resources and is struggling to recover from the continuous drought of recent years. Djibouti has a high national unemployment rate, placing further economic pressure on the population. Work opportunities and prospects for refugees' local integration are scarce: this affects livelihood opportunities.

  • Djibouti continues to deal with a protracted refugee crisis, having hosted more than 23,000 mainly Somali refugees, in many cases for more than two decades, in the Ali Addeh and Holl Holl refugee camps.

  • Its geographic location, environmental conditions, and regional socio-economic and security situation mean Djibouti has increasingly become a transit country for mixed migratory movements to other countries such as Yemen, and beyond to the Gulf States and Europe.

  • In 2015, UNHCR will continue to count on the hospitality and support extended to refugees and asylum-seekers by the Djibouti Government, including the provision of land for the two refugee camps. The Office National d'Assistance aux Réfugiés et Sinistrés (ONARS) will manage water, food distribution and security.

People of concern

The main populations of concern to UNHCR in Djibouti in 2015 are estimated to be approximately 23,000 refugees and more than 5,000 asylum-seekers. While mainly Somalis, there are also Ethiopians and Eritreans who fled their homes as a result of persistent conflict and violence in their countries of origin, with women and children representing more than 70 per cent of the refugee population in the two refugee camps.

UNHCR 2015 planning figures for Djibouti
Type of population Origin January 2015 December 2015
Total in country Of whom assisted
Total in country Of whom assisted
Total 27,500 27,500 28,850 28,850
Refugees Eritrea 610 610 760 760
Ethiopia 480 480 600 600
Somalia 21,580 21,580 22,080 22,080
Various 10 10 10 10
Asylum-seekers Eritrea 780 780 840 840
Ethiopia 3,930 3,930 4,430 4,430
Somalia 40 40 40 40
Various 60 60 80 80

| Response |

Needs and strategies

In 2015, UNHCR will protect and assist more than 28,000 people in Djibouti who are seeking asylum from insecurity and oppression in neighbouring countries. The Office will continue to research the most appropriate durable solutions for the population of concern in a protracted situation - developed in coordination with partners, the Government and the communities themselves - to address their needs.

Based on the results of physical verification and a household socio-economic assessment of refugees, which is planned for the end of 2014, UNHCR is likely to reorient its programme towards the search for durable solutions.

The Office and its main partners will place greater focus on self-reliance activities in Djibouti, while continuing to work on improving the operational context in the country. Building on work undertaken in 2014, activities in 2015 will focus on: health/nutrition, water, education and self-reliance/livelihood activities, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and durable solutions. For people in a protracted situation, UNHCR will enhance access to self-reliance and livelihood activities to help reduce their dependency on assistance.

| Implementation |


NHCR maintains close cooperation with the Government, other UN agencies and national and international NGOs, in order to protect and assist refugees in a joint and comprehensive manner.

The organization's main government counterpart and implementing partner will continue to be the Office National d'Assistance aux Réfugiés et Sinistrés (ONARS). The Ministry of Urbanism, Housing and Environment implements environmental and energy activities.

UNHCR will maintain partnerships with NGOs. WFP will continue supplying food rations to refugees in the camps. The Office will engage with UNICEF and other UN agencies, guided by the letter of understanding and plan of action on the coordination of critical activities in the sectors of child protection, health and nutrition, education, and water and sanitation in 2015.

UNHCR is fully engaged in the Humanitarian Country Team in Djibouti, where refugee programmes are discussed to ensure that refugees' needs are addressed comprehensively.

2015 UNHCR partners in Djibouti
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Ministry of the Interior (ONARS), Ministry of Urbanism, Housing and Environment
NGOs: Association pour la protection de l'enfance et pour l'épanouissement de la famille, Lutheran World Federation, Union nationale des femmes djiboutiennes
Operational partners
NGOs: Caritas, Danish Refugee Council, Life in Abundance International, Norwegian Refugee Council

| Financial information |

During the last four years, the financial requirements for UNHCR's operation in Djibouti have grown from USD 20.8 million in 2010, with the current 2014 budget standing at almost USD 27 million.

The 2015 financial requirements for Djibouti are set at USD 27.1 million and are fully allocated for the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers (mainly Ethiopians, Eritreans and Somalis). A funding shortfall would cause critical gaps in several areas including: primary health care and referral services; malnutrition and anaemia reduction programmes; and water supply in the refugee camps (less than 11 litres per person per day). Other needs include additional classrooms for refugee children and capacity-building activities for NGOs and government officials. Furthermore, UNHCR will not be able to undertake joint registration of refugees with the Government unless sufficient resources are available.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update

UNHCR contact information

The UNHCR Representation in Djibouti
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative in Djibouti
Street Address LOT No 24, Rue De L'Ígad, Quartier Heron, Djibouti, Djibouti
Mailing Address B.P. 1885, Djibouti, Djibouti
Telephone 253 21 35 16 77
Facsimile 253 21 35 86 23
Time Zone GMT + 3
Working Hours
Monday:08:00 - 15:15
Tuesday:08:00 - 15:15
Wednesday:08:00 - 15:15
Thursday:08:00 - 15:15
Sunday:08:00 - 15:15
Public Holidays 03 January 2016, jour de l'an
27 March 2016, paques
01 May 2016, fete du travail
04 May 2016, al isra al miraj
27 June 2016, fete de l'independence
06 July 2016, aid el fitr
11 September 2016, aid al adha
02 October 2016, nouvel an musulman
13 December 2016, fete mouloud
25 December 2016, noel




UNHCR contact information

Statistical Snapshot*
* As at June 2015
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained. In the absence of Government figures, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in many industrialized countries based on 10 years of individual asylum-seeker recognition.
  3. Persons whose applications for asylum or refugee status are pending as at 30 June 2015 at any stage in the asylum procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first half of 2015. Source: country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and assistance. It also includes people in IDP-like situations. This category is descriptive in nature and includes groups of persons who are inside their country of nationality or habitual residence and who face protection risks similar to those of IDPs but who, for practical or other reasons, could not be reported as such.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first half of 2015.
  7. Refers to persons who are not considered as nationals by any State under the operation of its law. This category refers to persons who fall under the agency's statelessness mandate because they are stateless according to this international definition, but data from some countries may also include persons with undetermined nationality.
  8. Refers to individuals who do not necessarily fall directly into any of the other groups but to whom UNHCR may extend its protection and/or assistance services. These activities might be based on humanitarian or other special grounds.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Djibouti [1]
Refugees [2] 14,787
Asylum Seekers [3] 2,586
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 17,373
Originating from Djibouti [1]
Refugees [2] 921
Asylum Seekers [3] 494
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 31
Total Population of Concern 1,446
Government Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2000
2014 0
2013 0
2012 0
2011 0
2010 0
2009 0
2008 0
2007 0
2006 0
2005 27,000
2004 0
2003 3,000
2002 0
2001 0
2000 0

Djibouti UNHCR Fundraising Reports Rss FeedUNHCR Fundraising Reports

more documents

Djibouti UNHCR Maps Rss FeedUNHCR Maps

more documents

The Gulf of Aden: Sharp Rise in Crossings and Deaths

The number of people arriving on the coast of Yemen after being smuggled across the treacherous Gulf of Aden from the Horn of Africa has more than doubled this year. So far this year, more than 18,000 people have arrived in Yemen across the Gulf of Aden, and nearly 400 have died attempting the journey.

This surge in arrivals is largely due to the continuing conflict in Somalia and the use of new smuggling routes from Somalia to Yemen and across the Red Sea from Djibouti. Many of the new arrivals also tell of crop losses due to drought, which forced them to leave home. This photo set focuses on those people leaving from Djibouti.

UNHCR has been calling for increased action to save lives in the Gulf of Aden and other waters. We have stepped up our work in Yemen under a US$17 million operation that includes extra staff, provision of additional shelter and assistance, and protection for refugees and internally displaced people.

Posted on 20 May 2008

The Gulf of Aden: Sharp Rise in Crossings and Deaths

Somalia: Fleeing FaminePlay video

Somalia: Fleeing Famine

Tukaay is one of the nearly 1.5 million internally displaced Somalis struggling with drought and conflict.
Djibouti: A Better PlacePlay video

Djibouti: A Better Place

Hundreds of exhausted Somalis cross into Djibouti at the Loyada border point every week. They are escaping the horrors of war in their country.