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Cablegate: Sudan - Disaster Redeclaration

VZCZCXRO6440
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1600/01 2840649
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110649Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8816
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KHARTOUM 001600

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

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 PBROWN
USMISSION UN ROME FOR HSPANOS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - DISASTER REDECLARATION


KHARTOUM 00001600 001.2 OF 003


-------
Summary
-------

1. The humanitarian situation in Sudan continues to warrant U.S.
Government (USG) assistance to meet the emergency requirements of
conflict-affected civilian populations throughout the country. USG
humanitarian assistance in Sudan saves lives, mitigates the economic
impact of conflict on livelihoods, and fosters economic recovery.
The provision of humanitarian and transitional assistance is in the
foreign policy interest of the USG, and the Sudanese government will
continue to accept USG assistance as the humanitarian situation is
beyond local capacity to manage. Charge d'Affaires Fernandez
therefore redeclares a disaster due to the ongoing complex emergency
in Sudan. End Summary.

------
Darfur
------

2. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, interethnic clashes, fighting between
armed opposition groups and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Arab
militia attacks, aerial bombardments, and inter-factional fighting
among the non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)
displaced more than a quarter of a million people. As of September
2007, nearly 2.2 million people resided in internally displaced
person (IDP) camps and settlements throughout Darfur and an
additional 2 million people are affected by the ongoing conflict.
In FY 2007, South Darfur experienced the highest levels of new
internal displacement.

3. Despite the signing of the DPA in May 2006, insecurity increased
throughout Darfur in 2006 and 2007, while humanitarian access to
vulnerable populations sharply declined. According to the UN,
humanitarian organizations were only able to access 73 percent of
the affected population in July 2007. From January to June 2007,
humanitarian agencies had the lowest levels of access to
conflict-affected populations in Darfur since July 2004.

4. A major factor that inhibited delivery of humanitarian assistance
was the frequent and dangerous attacks on aid agencies that
persisted all year. According to UN reports, attacks against aid
workers increased by 150 percent from June 2006 to June 2007. From
January to September 2007, 97 vehicles were carjacked, 105 staff
were temporarily taken hostage, 66 humanitarian personnel were
physically or sexually assaulted, and 61 convoys were ambushed and
looted.

5. In addition to the challenges of new displacement, violence
against humanitarian agencies, and decreased humanitarian access,
many camps have reached maximum capacity and new camps have not yet
been established. Further, underground water reservoirs, trees, and
other natural resources are rapidly being depleted to meet the
growing needs of IDPs and relief organizations. In FY 2007, the UN
reported the first increase in malnutrition levels across Darfur
since 2004. Nutrition experts have attributed the rise in
malnutrition to a variety of causal factors, including reduced
access to services due to insecurity and inconsistent humanitarian
access to many areas outside of the state capitals.

6. The conflict in Darfur has become protracted, reducing the
likelihood that displaced populations will return to their areas of
origin in the near future and necessitating a sustained relief
operation to support more than 2.2 million people with food, health
care, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services in the
coming months. USG humanitarian assistance provides life-saving
services to millions of IDPs and conflict-affected populations in
Darfur.

--------------
Southern Sudan
--------------

7. The signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on
January 9, 2005, between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan
People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) began a new era of transition
and recovery in Southern Sudan. In FY 2007, it is evident that
security has greatly improved since the signing of the CPA and
people and goods are moving freely. However, the Government of
Southern Sudan (GOSS) has limited capacity to respond to

KHARTOUM 00001600 002.2 OF 003


humanitarian needs. Neither GOSS nor new long-term funding
mechanisms have been able to provide adequate new resource flows to
expand basic social services, such as health care and water,
sanitation, and hygiene. In 2008, half a million people displaced
by the long civil war are expected to return to their homes
throughout Southern Sudan, taxing scarce resources and further
stressing services and infrastructure that are already inadequate
for the current population. Expectations are high among Southern
Sudanese that peace will bring improved services and economic
recovery. The reality is that improvements are happening slowly
outside of the major towns, threatening stability and support for
the CPA.

8. In FY 2008, in keeping with its mandate to save lives and reduce
suffering, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
(USAID/OFDA) will focus on providing assistance in areas with
highest IDP returns and with the greatest risk of returning to
conflict. USAID/OFDA anticipates the largest program sector will
continue to be emergency primary health care. Food security is
expected to be the second major program sector, aiming to promote
production and livelihoods, stimulate local markets, and reduce the
need for external aid. Other major program areas for USAID/OFDA are
likely to be the expansion of water and sanitation facilities in
rural areas and direct assistance to returning IDPs.

--------------------------------------------
The Three Areas, Northern, and Eastern Sudan
--------------------------------------------

9. The CPA has had a less visible impact in the Three Areas of
Abyei, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Although security has
greatly improved and people now enjoy freedom of movement, major
problems persist. In Abyei, lack of political agreement has
prevented the formation of a local authority and the demarcation of
the north-south border, which would determine oil revenue sharing
and who would vote in the 2011 referendum. Tensions in Abyei are
high due to both ethnic and political divisions. In Southern
Kordofan and Blue Nile, joint state governments have been formed by
the two main political parties. However, the imbalance in
infrastructure and services between former government-controlled and
opposition-controlled areas remains stark. Many underlying causes
of the civil war are still unresolved. All three areas have a high
number of returning IDPs and refugees, particularly in the former
opposition areas, where heavy fighting occurred during the war and
where services are poorest.

10. In FY 2008, USAID/OFDA will continue to prioritize humanitarian
programs in the Three Areas, focusing on primary health care, water
and sanitation, and food security and livelihoods.

----------------------------------
USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance
----------------------------------

11. In FY 2007, USAID/OFDA helped meet immediate humanitarian needs
in Sudan while transitioning to longer-term development activities
where appropriate. USAID/OFDA responded robustly to the intense
humanitarian emergency in Darfur and provided basic humanitarian
services in areas of Sudan recovering from conflict, particularly
for returning IDPs. In FY 2007, USAID/OFDA provided more than USD
104 million to 28 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN
partners working in Darfur for multi-sector interventions to assist
IDPs and vulnerable populations. In the rest of Sudan, USAID/OFDA
awarded more than USD 60 million to 29 NGO and UN partners for
emergency programs in the sectors of health, food security and
agriculture, income generation, nutrition, protection, capacity
building, coordination, and water, sanitation, and hygiene. USAID's
overall package of emergency assistance included contributions from
USAID/OFDA, USAID's Office of Food For Peace (USAID/FFP), and
USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI).

12. In addition to the ongoing complex emergency in Sudan, flooding
that began in late June 2007 affected more than 500,000 people in
northern, eastern, and southern states. Above average rainfall and
rising water levels along the Nile, Gash, and Atbara rivers affected
communities in Southern Kordofan, Gezira, Sinnar, Kassala, Upper
Nile, Jonglei, and Unity states. On July 19, the Charge d'Affaires
declared a disaster due to the effects of flooding in Sudan. In
response, USAID/OFDA airlifted relief supplies, including 1,300
rolls of plastic sheeting, and provided nearly USD 1.6 million to

KHARTOUM 00001600 003.2 OF 003


support the flood response activities of NGOs and UN agencies.

----------------------
Disaster Redeclaration
----------------------

13. In light of the above, Charge d'Affaires Fernandez redeclares a
humanitarian disaster caused by the complex emergency in Sudan and
requests continued support from USAID/OFDA.

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