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
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.