Inside Djibouti

Djibouti is one of the world's smallest countries being around the size of Massachusetts and with a population of under 800,000. Sixty per cent of the country's population live in the capital city of Djibouti, the rest are mainly nomadic herdsmen, although this way of life is slowing dying out with regular droughts across the Horn of Africa forcing the Nomads to live in communities in order to access food aid.

Inside Djibouti poverty is widespread although has been falling after the period of economic mismanagement under the regime of former President Hassan Gouled Aptidon, however still stands at around 42% of the population. Life expectancy is currently 61.57 years.

Education is a major problem inside Djibouti with under 30% of children attending school, much less for girls. Despite this literacy rates in the country are 78% for boys, however this drops to just over 58% for girls and girls are usually subjected to genital mutilations creating other sanitary dangers in addition to the trauma experienced.

There are also very few pre-school or infancy learning programs for children inside Djibouti.  For every ten children who survive childbirth in the country one will have died before his or her first birthday, and a further one will have died before their fifth birthday. Infant mortality is increased by the local custom of feeding babies water with sugar rather than milk leading to diarrhoea and malnutrition.

According to the report commissioned in 2009 by UNICEF and the Djiboutian Ministry for the Promotion of Women and Social Affairs, nearly 70 per cent of children are deprived of at least one basic right – including the right to water and sanitation, information, nutrition, education and health. Access to safe water is a major issue inside Djibouti. Even in urban areas it runs at just over 50% whilst dropping alarmingly to around 21% in rural areas. Unemployment (running at over 60%) and poverty are rampant with nine out of every ten children in rural areas not even having a home to provide shelter.


Inside Djibouti

Inside Djibouti

Inside Djibouti

Inside Djibouti


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Inside Djibouti

Inside Djibouti

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Djibouti is a predominately Muslim country, 94%, with a Christian population of 6% and today has a mainly Somali population 60% with Afars representing 35% and the rest of the population mainly French, Arabic, Ethiopian and Italian. 76% of them live in urban areas (with 567,000 of the country's 800,000 population living inside Djibouti city itself) not least because less than 1% of its land is arable, although this refers only to crop production. Malawi is currently exploring leasing some of its land to Djibouti to assist the nation developing more of its own food supply. This video gives an insight into life inside Djibouti.


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