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Cablegate: Sudan - Launch of Sudan Humanitarian Policy 2007

VZCZCXRO3186
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0328/01 0611136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021136Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6336
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000328

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND TSHORTLEY
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI SU AU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - LAUNCH OF SUDAN HUMANITARIAN POLICY 2007


KHARTOUM 00000328 001.2 OF 002


-------
SUMMARY
-------
1. On February 1, the USAID Senior Humanitarian Advisor (SHA) and
two USAID/Sudan officials attended the launch of the Sudan
Humanitarian Policy 2007 by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in
Khartoum. The policy document disseminated to attendees included
general goals of improving coordination, bureaucratic processes, and
security for humanitarians, but did not propose concrete actions to
achieve those goals. During the launch event, Sudanese government
representatives announced the extension of the moratorium on
bureaucratic impediments until January 31, 2008, and outlined their
vision of the role of the UN and non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) in Sudan's recovery. The UN Deputy Special Representative of
the Secretary General (DSRSG) and Humanitarian Coordinator/Resident
Coordinator (HC/RC) acknowledged the excellent collaboration between
the government and the UN and appealed for the security of
humanitarian workers. End summary.

-----------------------------
Highlights from the Addresses
-----------------------------

2. On February 1, three USAID officials attended an event to
introduce the Sudan Humanitarian Policy 2007. Speakers included the
Government of National Unity (GNU) Minister of Humanitarian Affairs,
the Khartoum State Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, and the GNU
Humanitarian Aid Commissioner. DSRSG and HC/RC Manuel da Silva
represented the UN, and Paul Barker, CARE Country Director,
represented international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

3. Minister for Humanitarian Affairs Kosti Manibe stated that the
new policy has three purposes: to set national priorities for
humanitarian aid in Sudan in 2007; to better coordinate humanitarian
work and organize roles and responsibilities, duties, and tasks of
all partners; and to ensure that all actors work together in
conformity with the government's five-year plan for 2007 through
2011. (Note: The plan for 2007 reportedly will be posted on the
same website as the government's five-year plan. End note.)
Additionally, Manibe emphasized that the GNU has extended the
moratorium on bureaucratic impediments to January 31, 2008, rather
than December 2007 as agencies previously believed. Manibe also
pledged to bring the security concerns of the humanitarian community
to the attention of the appropriate agencies.

4. Manibe stressed the need for fast-track government procedures to
approve the work and travel of NGOs; the accelerated voluntary
return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees according
to the joint GNU, UN, and Government of Southern Sudan returns
program; humanitarian assistance free of any political motivation;
and wider inclusion and capacity-building of national NGOs. In this
context, he noted the need to shift the majority of humanitarian
procurement to Sudan, particularly for food items. He further
stressed the need for NGOs to establish technical agreements with
the government to outline where and in what sector an NGO can work,
as well as the strict adherence to these agreements. He warned the
NGOs not to work outside of an assigned area or sector without first
requesting a modification of the technical agreement. (Comment:
These statements caused concern among humanitarians in the audience
because of the potential for involuntary returns of displaced
persons and the reference to the assigned area and sector of NGO
involvement. Manibe likely made the latter statement to put on
notice NGOs that couch protection work in ambiguous language. End
comment). The minister closed his remarks with an appeal for NGOs
to observe and respect local customs and sensitivities.

5. The DSRSG stressed that the excellent collaboration among the
government, the UN, and UN partners in developing the UN Work Plan
2007 was reflected in the Sudan Humanitarian Policy 2007. He added
that it remained UN policy to attempt to purchase goods locally or
regionally to the extent possible. The DSRSG joined Manibe in
calling for continued strong collaboration between the Sudanese
government and the UN, and added that security was a necessary
condition to achieve development. He stated that while there were
three separate peace agreements in place, they were a long way from
implementation. He noted significant progress made in Southern
Sudan and the Three Areas, adding that now recovery should be the
focus. He further emphasized the need to broaden the Darfur Peace
Agreement and acknowledged the efforts underway to do so.

6. DSRSG da Silva ended his address with a strong appeal for the
government to restore the lost humanitarian space and improve
security for civilians and humanitarian workers. He noted that many

KHARTOUM 00000328 002.2 OF 002


humanitarian workers were killed in 2006. He stressed the excellent
collaboration in preparing for the return of IDPs and refugees to
the Three Areas and Southern Sudan and noted the outstanding work of
the International Organization of Migration in registering more than
500,000 persons. He closed his remarks by thanking the
international community for extremely generous pledges and
commitments, noting that Sudan received 25 percent of worldwide
humanitarian assistance in 2006.

7. Aldo Adjo Deng, chairman of the Humanitarian Committee of the
National Assembly, emphasized that poverty was pervasive throughout
Sudan and assistance is needed everywhere. Deng also noted that
only a limited amount of food aid was necessary, and only during a
certain period of the year. Deng proposed small model towns in
which the government would provide water, sanitation, health care,
and education. Deng expressed concern that many displaced people
who had not been farming during their displacement are no longer
accustomed to the rural way of life. He also noted that there were
areas in the country where the returnees could become tenant
farmers. In his closing remarks, Deng assured the audience that the
National Assembly was fully aware of the need for security in order
for displaced persons to return to their areas of origin and that
the National Assembly fully supported the return program.

8. Dr. Amna Abdelrahman, Secretary General of the Association to
Combat Harmful Traditional Practices, asked to take the floor and
passionately appealed for gender equality. She noted that not one
of the speakers was female and that agencies did not adequately
consult women in the design and implementation of assistance
programs. She appealed for the greater participation of national
NGOs and stated that the Sudanese should be taking the lead in
humanitarian assistance and recovery. In addition, she proposed the
integration of beneficiaries so that they will have true ownership
of the programs. She closed her remarks by stating that the
beneficiaries "will bring the peace themselves."

HUME

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