Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations has called on the international community to take immediate action to confront the "climate crisis" that has had a severe effect on the nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. Mueller's office released a statement after a 3 day mission to the country.
“Climate change is real, and I could see it here. I saw the widespread drought and I met communities that can barely access safe water. They explained to me how this situation is impacting their lives. Djibouti has [made] virtually no contribution to the global climate emergency, but its population is suffering the consequences on a daily basis,” said Mueller.
Large areas of the country have been exposed to extreme weather conditions that affect water availability and hygiene conditions, causing chronic food insecurity for one in three Djiboutians and acute malnutrition rates have hit emergency levels according to global standards.
In addition, recurrent droughts, water scarcity and other climate shocks are driving high levels of displacement, food insecurity and malnutrition, and disease outbreaks throughout the Horn of Africa.Djibouti is also a major route of migration with 400 to 600 migrants crossing daily, fleeing the impact of conflict, instability and harsh climate in neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia. There are an estimated 30,000 refugees and asylum-seekers and an estimated 100,000 migrants in the region.
Mueller indicated that refugees are seeking long-term solution and although basic needs are being met, there is a lack of livelihood opportunities that would enable self-sufficiency.
Mueller urged urgent action to address the underlying causes of vulnerabilities and get on a path to sustainable development in Djibouti and the region.