DJIBOUTI: Rains boost pastoral lands but rising food costs threaten food security for many

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Food availability has improved in most inland pastoral areas of Djibouti where the July to September rains performed well, the Food Early Warning Systems network (FEWS net) reported.

Both pasture and water were sufficiently available in these inland areas, and livestock body conditions were improving. As a result, milk availability increased and child malnutrition rates were likely to improve temporarily.
However, said FEWS net, some local pockets of extremely food insecure households existed, particularly around Hakande, the foothills of Mt Moussa Ali near Doudayo and the Habsou Plateau.

Pastoralists also faced increased costs of staple food. "Households in urban and rural areas are struggling to consume the minimum caloric requirements, and many may become extremely food insecure," it warned. "Cash-or food-for-work programmes or direct food distributions may be needed."

The early warning agency added: "Staple food prices are expected to remain high during the coming months due to high international oil prices, suggesting that poor households need to switch to low-cost regionally available grains such as maize."

Djibouti, a small Horn of Africa country of 600,000, imports all its staple foods.

Source: IRIN