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Djibouti: Background

UNICEF’s work in Djibouti focuses on priority interventions: Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) (including Parental Education, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses and Safe Motherhood), Girls' Education, HIV/AIDS (including prevention amongst youth and PMTCT) and Protection. UNICEF’s early childhood development programme seeks to support national efforts aimed at improving early childhood care, protection and development-related practices and to eradicate polio.

UNICEF priorities

UNICEF’s programme aims to:

  • Increase access by parents to basic knowledge and skills with respect to high-quality care, development and protection. 

  • Strengthen the national capacity in the area of nutrition and the capacity of health-care structures to provide appropriate nutritional guidance and services. 

  • Revive routine vaccination and maintain 100 per cent coverage against polio. 

  • Increase access to maternal healthcare services and reduce female genital mutilation through developing national policies, strategies and plans of action, training care providers, providing information, education and communication (IEC), social mobilization and basic supplies and equipment.

In education, assisting children, particularly girls, to gain access to high-quality education is an central objective. This is achieved through:

  • Increasing enrolment levels, reducing of gender disparities and development of a national strategy for non-enrolled children.

  • Ensuring successful completion of primary education. 

  • Enhancing the school environment by training teachers, school principals and academic inspectors. 

  • Incorporating the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in curricula and via social mobilization.

The HIV/AIDS programme contributes to national efforts towards the prevention of HIV/AIDS in young people and mother-to-child transmission. The first of its two components aims to increase access by young people, particularly adolescents, to knowledge about preventing infection through the development of a national strategy, a plan of action and IEC materials. The second aims to prevent infection in children born to infected mothers through establishing a service providing counselling and basic healthcare and the promotion of solidarity with pregnant women affected by AIDS.

Promoting women's rights is considered as a cross-sectoral component of the Country Programme. This is achieved through the Survival programme, Safe Motherhood project (Maternal Health, IEC on female genital mutilation (FGM) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT); the Development and Disparity Reduction programme through girls' education and IECD; and the Protection, Child and Women's Rights programme within the Advocacy and Social Mobilization project (nomadic education study, juvenile justice and street children situation analysis, support to develop the Family Code).

The supply component is essential to the attainment of UNICEF’s objectives in Djibouti. For example, the timely provision of vaccines and immunization items such as syringes, needles and safety boxes for campaign and routine immunization activities; providing essential drugs and other medical supplies/equipment to Safe Motherhood boosted deliveries in health structures and emergency assistance to obstetric complication cases. The confirmation of similar orders provided an increased motivation amongst main actors in the pilot PMTCT project sites; providing audio visual items and producing communication support materials played a significant role in the implementation of IEC activities for the HIV/AIDS Prevention amongst Youth project.

UNICEF works with government authorities and builds partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Save the Children Fund and Handicap International and women's associations in collaboration with the Ministry of Health for community mobilization activities in support of the pilot projects. It has also created a network of youth clubs using the Community Development Centers (CDCs) and supported initiatives of young people associations to increase their awareness and protection and participation. Initiatives are under way to strengthen coordination and partnerships between UNICEF and the African Development Bank, United Nations Popilation Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Health Organization (WHO), as well as NGOs and bilateral donors.



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Artwork developed by CRIPEN (the Ministry of Education’s Centre for Research, Information and Production), with UNICEF support, to promote the nationwide girls’ education campaign.