WASHINGTON, May 29, 2022 — On May 26, the World Bank approved $19.5 million in financing from the International Development Association (IDA) improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health and nutrition services for the entire population of Djibouti, including refugees and host communities, and support the Government of Djibouti to integrate refugees into the national system health.
Despite Djibouti’s significant efforts to improve health service delivery, communicable diseases and maternal and child malnutrition are among the leading causes of death, with approximately 58 out of 1,000 children never reaching their fifth birthday. The maternal mortality rate of 248 per 100,000 live births is almost five times higher than the regional average.
The Djibouti Health System Strengthening Project aims to improve national health services in order to strengthen the resilience of communities in the face of health risks, in particular those related to the hot climate and the hostile environment of the country. The project builds on the achievements of previous health operations, focusing on optimizing health care services, especially for the most vulnerable and in underserved areas.
“Increasing women’s and children’s access to better health services with a focus on a stronger health system is a key priority and an important part of our development strategy,” said Minister Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh. Djiboutian Health. “The new project aims to reach the most vulnerable communities and those most in need. Building capacity to provide quality neonatal and child health care is essential for poverty reduction in Djibouti.”
Project activities involve rehabilitating health facilities—particularly those providing comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care—and creating incentives for improved health services to all levels. Activities also include engaging citizens and communities, building the capacity of institutions critical to maternal and child health and nutrition, and encouraging positive behavior change. The project will directly benefit women of childbearing age, adolescent girls, newborns and children under five.
“The government of Djibouti is committed to meeting the growing health needs of the entire population, including refugees,” said Boubacar-Sid Barry, World Bank Resident Representative in Djibouti. “The capacity of health facilities in Djibouti is being strained by COVID-19 and climate-related shocks, which are increasing the country’s needs for essential health care. The new operation will help improve on-call services in Djibouti. children, mothers and newborns, which are essential for better health.”
The new financing includes a $14.5 million IDA credit and a $5 million grant from the IDA19 Window for Host Communities and Refugees (WHR). The WHR was established to support countries that host large refugee populations and help them meet the long-term development needs of refugees and host communities. Refugees make up over 2.3% of Djibouti’s population, making it one of the countries with the highest refugee population rates in the world. About 70% of Djibouti’s refugees are women and children.
The World Bank in Djibouti
The World Bank’s portfolio in Djibouti consists of 17 projects, with a total value of $403.5 million in IDA financing. The portfolio focuses on education, health, social safety nets, energy, rural and urban development, modernization of public administration, digital development, strengthening regional governance and infrastructure, and private sector development, with a focus on women and youth.
Kadar Mouhoumed Omar