Djibouti is a small country in which more than 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty. It is poorly endowed with natural resources and has limited arable land, rainfall and water. With less than 1,000 km2 of arable land (0.04 percent of 23,200 km2) and an average annual rainfall of 5.1 inches, Djibouti has a chronic food deficit and is totally dependent on imports to meet its food needs. As such, it is highly sensitive to external shocks such as spikes in food and fuel prices and natural disasters such as floods and droughts. Djibouti’s economy is dependent on foreign financing, Foreign Direct Investments, rents from foreign countries’ military bases, and port services, which capitalize on both the strategic position at the southern entrance to the Red Sea and the fact it is Ethiopia’s main import-export route.

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2015

A Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2014-2017 was launched in March 2014. This is the first World Bank Group strategy to combine the resources and expertise of the International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The strategy is anchored in the Government of Djibouti’s Vision 2035 development plan. The overarching objective of the Strategy is to support the government’s vision to reduce extreme poverty and build the foundations for shared growth by harnessing the country’s human and economic potential. The strategy rests on two pillars—reducing vulnerability and strengthening the business environment—while focusing on institutional strengthening and gender as cross-cutting themes.

The World Bank provides assistance and funding to Djibouti through the International Development Association (IDA). As of August 31, 2015, the active WBG portfolio for Djibouti comprises seven IDA projects, for a total commitment of US$45 million. The total undisbursed balance is about US$30 million. The World Bank teams have continued to leverage IDA resources through Trust Funds (TF), both recipient- and Bank-executed and including 1 GEF operation, with a net commitment value of about US$30 million as of July 2, 2015. The current Djibouti portfolio – both IDA and TF – focuses on social safety nets, energy, rural community development, disaster risk management, urban poverty reduction, health, education, governance and private sector development.  All projects place particular emphasis on women and youth.

An IDA-IFC Governance for Private Sector Development Project was approved in June 2014. This is the first Bank Group project focused on supporting private sector development and is aimed at judicial reform as it relates to the resolution of commercial disputes; and support for business environment reforms in key areas measured by Doing Business. IDA and IFC initiatives will jointly support regional integration by strengthening cross-border trade through technical assistance to improve the quality and timeliness of related services and the establishment of a one-stop shop for business creation. The FIRST Initiative also supports Djibouti to improve access to financial services through the creation of a guarantee fund and the modernization of payment systems. Djibouti also benefits from a US$427 million guarantee from MIGA for the development, design, construction, management, operation and maintenance of the container terminal in Doraleh.


Last Updated: Sep 16, 2015


In terms of maternal and child health, the recently-closed IDA-funded health project contributed to a reduction in the Maternal Mortality Ratio from 546 to 383 deaths per 100,000 live births from 2002 to 2012. The under-five Mortality Rate was also reduced from 124 to 68 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2002 and 2012. Medically-assisted deliveries reached 87% in 2012, compared to 40% in 2002, and the proportion of children vaccinated against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus before 12 months increased from 45 percent in 2002 to 93% in 2012. HIV/AIDS prevalence among young pregnant women (15 to 24 years old) decreased to 1.4% in 2010, compared to 2.9% in 2002. In addition, the total number of paramedics enrolled in the High Institute of Health Sciences increased to 1,098 students in 2012 compared to 515 students in 2008.

Social Protection:

The World Bank is supporting Djibouti to build a productive social safety net (SSN) system. An innovative SSN project providing short-term employment in community-based labor-intensive work and supporting the improvement of nutritional practices among pregnant/lactating mothers and pre-school children was the center piece of the government’s SSN strategy.
The project, funded by a grant from the Japanese Social Development Fund and scaled-up with funds from the IDA Crisis Response Window and an additional IDA financing, has reached over 7,000 women and children who participated in the nutrition program and provided about 300,000 person-days of short term employment opportunities. The program contributed to diet diversification and improved nutrition practices among beneficiary households and has strengthened female empowerment. At project level, an integrated Management Information System covering the nutrition, as well as the workfare component has been developed to ensure efficient implementation of the social safety net project in Djibouti. At the national level, the project is supporting the development of a social registry that will be used by multiple programs and stakeholders, creating a database containing socio-economic/demographic characteristics of the population to target resources to the most needed; the social registry will spearhead, and eventually feed into, a national ID system.

Urban Development:

With engagement since 1984, the World Bank has a long history supporting urban development in Djibouti. The Djibouti Urban Poverty Reduction Projects (DUPREP) resulted in improved access to basic infrastructure and community services via the construction of four major roads; creation of 25,000 person-days of short term employment opportunities; increased capacity building of selected institutions through the establishment of a financial and stock management system; and the funding of the City master plan. The ongoing DUPREP II is a follow-up to DUPREP which initiated the transformation process of Quartier 7. The project should soon start showing positive impacts among Quartier 7 residents and urban environment.


The Bank supported Djibouti through the Power Access and Diversification Project (PADSE) which closed on December 31st, 2014. Implementation of the project allowed 12,000 people to access electricity, essential social infrastructures have been electrified and 199 street lights have been installed in the poor neighborhoods of PK12 and Balbala.
This parent project enabled electricity access to 4% of the total population. Two additional financing have been granted (Grant H5740 and Grant H7830). The project also financed the piloting of smart metering, with 3,300 meters deployed, which allowed the provision of better quality services by EDD to its clients, while enabling the company to reduce its losses, increase its profitability and improve capacity to cover costs. Moreover, a regulation on security stocks was promulgated to ensure diesel availability for the additional water pumping needs of the poor rural population in response to the prolonged state of drought in the country. Based on the regulation, the security stocks financed by IDA will be used in the next 10 years for water pumping during the 3 driest months of the year, i.e. June, July and August.

Rural Development:

The ongoing Rural Community Development and Water Mobilization Project (PRODERMO, 2012-2017), is the first rural development project supported by the World Bank in Djibouti. It is also the first project in Djibouti to support small scale fisheries activities. PRODERMO contributed to: (i) the strengthening of the institutional framework through the constitution of 12 Local Steering Committees (including at least 2 women), 22 associations (among which 12 of women), 6 fishermen associations and  65 water management committees; (ii) the construction of 32 cisterns and 7 open reservoirs, with a total water mobilization capacity of 143,200 cubic meters; (iii) the selection of 32 income generating activities, (iv) the training of 783 beneficiaries, among which 250 women and (v) the creation of  more than 94,000 person-days of temporary work. More than 750 households, 3,650 small ruminants and 970 large ruminants benefited from the water mobilized so far and 160 fishermen are benefiting from the recently rehabilitated Ice unit, allowing better fish conservation and improved quality. 

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2015


Djibouti: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments