Read caption Halimo is mother of four boys and lives in the Ali Adde Refugee Camp. She was born in Mogadishu, but escaped to save her life after deadly armed violence broke out in 1991. Photo: NRC/Nashon Tado

NRC in Djibouti

In the Horn of Africa, Djibouti hosts tens of thousands of refugees from across the region.


Total # of refugees from the country:
Total # of refugees to the country:
Total # of internally displaced:
New refugees from the country in 2017:
New refugees to the country in 2017:
New internally displaced in 2017:
Source: UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The figures are from the beginning of 2018.


Humanitarian overview

Conflict, drought and violence in the Horn of Africa have compelled many to seek protection in Djibouti, which they see as a politically stable island of peace and protection.Its position has also made Djibouti a transit country and the main route for mixed migration towards Yemen and beyond. 

Arid and resource-scarce Djibouti hosts about 27,000 refugees, mainly Somalis, Ethiopians, Eritreans and lately, Yemenis fleeing war. Harsh climatic conditions and the El-Nino drought have, and will continue to, displace people in the region and push them to cross the border to Djibouti.  

Drought has also devastated the livelihoods of Djiboutians in rural areas, and many have fled to the country’s capital, Djibouti City, and become internally displaced.  

High pressure on weak social services in camps, rural andurban areas have left an increasing amount of people with little access to basic services like education and shelter, and vital resources like water. 

The country recently committed to opening all social services, including education, health and employment, to refugees in the country.



A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2017.

NRC's operation

We provide lifesaving support to refugees, host communities and internally displaced people. Our Djibouti operation is part of our regional response in East Africa, and we coordinate closely with our operations in regional countries where many refugees arrive from. 

Our team in Djibouti works on crisis support as well as disaster and climate-related displacement, all of which affect both refugees and Djiboutian nationals. In 2017, we published a report on protection of refugees, where we urged the Djiboutian government to allow refugees to work.  


People we helped in Djibouti in 2017

people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our WASH programme

NRC EducationEducation


Our education pilot project supports displaced youth. Our teams:  

  • offer vocational skill training to young people in refugee camps in trades like IT, tailoring and cosmetology
  • provide financial support to graduates so that they can start their own business 


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security


Our food security activities target both refugees and the local communities hosting them. Our food security teams: 

  • provide cash grants to support small businesses and start-ups
  • give training on microenterprise and business management
  • donate livestock to farmers and give training on animal husbandry, marketing and health 


NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements


As crises progress in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen, refugees in Djibouti require better housing to shelter them through their time in displacement. Our shelter teams: 

  • construct permanent shelters for refugees and poor members of the local community, made of concrete bricks and iron sheet roofing 
  • improve shelter designs and materials, to last through extreme weather
  • provide training to refugees on shelter construction so they can fully participate in the construction process while earning a living
  • responded to cyclone Sagar destruction by distributing cash grants/vouchers for rehabilitation of shelters in Djibouti city 



NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion


We are the main provider of WASH services in Djibouti’s three refugee camps. Our WASH experts: 

  • supply safe water torefugee camps
  • operate waste management in camps
  • construct sanitation facilities
  • distribute hygiene kits and instructions on how to use them
  • run awareness campaigns and give training on sanitation and hygiene practices
  • rehabilitate water systems with solar energy when possible
  • recently distributed cash vouchers to people affected by cyclone Sagar in to purchase hygiene kits and rehabilitate toilet systems in Djibouti city
  • construct sanitation facilities including a water filtration system that uses the waste water from bathing facilities for tree planting and home-gardening 



NRC Djibouti is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) 
  • European Union
  • Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 
  • Julie T
  • Open Society Foundation (OSF)
  • Start Fund Network
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


About NRC in (country)

International staff
Areas of opertion
Djibouti city (Country office), Ali Sabieh and Obock.
Budget 2018
NOK 17 million
National staff


Country Director

Mohamed Abdi (Acting)


+ 967  738 401 702