Djibouti is almost totally reliant on
foreign imports to survive as it has few natural resources and little industry.
Djibouti only produces 5% of its own food needs and is reliant on importing
grain and other staples from Ethiopia and meat and dairy products from Somalia.
It is currently exploring leasing arable land from Malawi to help with this
This reliance makes it particularly vulnerable to 'price shocks' and whilst the
global recession of 2009 did not effect Djibouti significantly, its high
population growth rate and influx of refugees into a very small country is
having a negative impact on poverty levels there. Programs for these refugees
from Somalia and Ethiopia are only part funded by the United Nations leaving the
government of Djibouti to resource the shortfall.
Poverty has actually been falling in Djibouti after the
economic mismanagement of the regime of former President Hassan Gouled Aptidon, however still stands at around
42% of the population down from 49% ten years ago. This figure,
however, belies the fact that in rural Djibouti in excess of 60%
of the population live in poverty with only 21% of them having
access to safe water (rising to just 50% in urban areas.) The
levels of poverty in rural Djibouti are so bad than one in ten
children doesn't even have a home to provide shelter.