WASHINGTON, October 28, 2014—The World Bank today announced an additional US$5 million credit for the continuation of its Social Safety Net (SSN) program in Djibouti. The existing program has reached thousands of households in some of the poorest areas of Djibouti, providing guidance on nutrition and cash-for-work interventions
The program focuses on the early stages of life—vital to development—targeting households with pregnant women and children under the age of two. Advice on nutrition is offered specifically to women, as well as the chance to earn money through community work. Globally, evidence shows that income controlled by women has a more positive effect on child nutrition and household food security than income controlled by men
“The ‘first 1000 days approach’ is based on evidence that malnutrition starts during pregnancy,” said Homa-Zahra Fotouhi, World Bank Resident Representative in Djibouti. “Early damage from malnutrition is irreversible after a child reaches 24 months. Through this innovative project, women learn about optimal child care and the income they earn allows them to put what they learn into practice.
The new credit also supports the development of two registries: a social registry to target and coordinate assistance, and a national registry—or identity system—for everyone in Djibouti
“A social registry is a critical step to allow us to target the most vulnerable members of the population,” said Stefanie Brodmann, World Bank Task Team Leader for the program. “It will also help us ensure the best use of government and donor resources.”
The additional US$5 million credit is being provided by IDA, the World Bank’s arm for the poorest countries. World Bank support for the pilot and its follow-up was made with a US$3.6 million Japan Social Development Fund grant and a US$5 million IDA grant. The project is implemented by the Djibouti Agency for Social Development in collaboration with local organizations, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Interior
The Djibouti IDA portfolio consists of nine projects with a net commitment of about US$68 million—complemented by Trust Funds of about US$16 million—in a range of sectors, including health, education, social safety nets, energy, disaster risk management, urban development, rural development, and private sector development.