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Cablegate: Darfur - Hac Ranks Local Ngos, Usaid Partners "Dismissed"

VZCZCXRO3998
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0529 0940907
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040907Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6713
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000529

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
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 UN SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR - HAC RANKS LOCAL NGOS, USAID PARTNERS "DISMISSED"


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) On March 20, the Government of National Unity (GNU)
Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) Office in Nyala, South Darfur,
publicly posted the results of an evaluation report ranking local
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the Nyala HAC office.
According to U.N. Civil Affairs, a total of 109 NGOs were singled
out for further evaluation, restructuring, or dismissal, including
19 USAID partners. USAID and the U.N. Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) along with affected NGOs are seeking
greater clarification of the impact and ramification of the HAC
categorizations on humanitarian programs in the region. End
Summary.

----------------------------------
HAC RANKS and DISMISSES LOCAL NGOS
----------------------------------

2. (SBU) On March 20, the HAC office in Nyala publicly posted a
report titled, "Final Evaluation of the Committee," in which local
organizations were ranked as 'perfect, middle, weak, or dismissed,'
according to the HAC's evaluation of the quality of NGO activities
provided to internally displaced persons (IDPs), civilians, and
voluntary returns. In total, 58 NGOs were 'dismissed' and an
additional 48 NGOs were singled out for further evaluation or
restructuring, including 19 current or past USAID partners.

3. (SBU) The list identified two USAID partners as 'dismissed.'
The only explanation of 'dismissed' provided in the report was the
following: "The committee decided to dismiss those who are abusing
the humanitarian field..." While the implications of the
designation remain unclear, both organizations suspended operations
following the announcement. One of the USAID partners dismissed is
among the strongest organizations addressing the human rights
situation and providing legal aid directly to victims. The NGO is
home to international awarding-winning human rights activists and
receives funding support from USAID, the U.N. Development Program
(UNDP), and other U.N. agencies.

4. (SBU) Other key USAID partners with proven records of
effectiveness in violence against women awareness advocacy,
income-generation programs, and civil society skills training were
placed at the 'middle' and 'weak' rankings. One such organization,
now under HAC review for the next six months, was recently visited
by a high-level United States Government delegation in recognition
of its role in organizing women and youth leadership trainings in
support of the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue Consultation.

-------
COMMENT
-------

5. (SBU) It is not yet clear what the ramifications of the HAC
rankings will be in practice. Although the posting stated that
Sudanese government officials, local police, and judiciary
authorities would be informed of these decisions, USAID partners
have not yet received written notification from the HAC.

6. (SBU) OCHA Nyala informed USAID that it had recently asked HAC
to assist OCHA and the general humanitarian community in determining
the validity of numerous new local NGOs whose numbers have
significantly increased over the last year. Many organizations
exist in name only or are one-person operations. One local NGO,
although rejecting the HAC's rankings, acknowledged the need for the
prevalence of poorly managed NGOs to be addressed. It appears that
HAC may have utilized the NGO review as a mechanism to obstruct the
delivery of critical services, including legal aid and skills
training to human rights victims and struggling civil society
members. The ranking seems to award groups that provide traditional
relief services and punish groups who are implementing other
activities, perhaps deemed 'political' by HAC or not perceived as a
current humanitarian priority. End comment.


HUME

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