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Cablegate: Avian Influenza - Indonesia Attempts to Reorient Tangerang

VZCZCXRO9606
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #0068/01 0110857
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110857Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7615
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J07/CATMED/CAT//
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 8284
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1864
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1073
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7711

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 000068

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, G/AIAG AND OES
USAID FOR ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/WSTEIGER/ABHAT/MSTLOUIS AND HHS/NIH
GENEVA FOR WHO/HOHMAN
USDA/FAS/OSTA BRANT, ROSENBLUM
USDA/APHIS ANNELLI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CASC EAGR AMGT PGOV ID
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA - INDONESIA ATTEMPTS TO REORIENT TANGERANG
PROJECT

1. (SBU) Summary. The Tangerang Trilateral Project reveals
Indonesia's overall challenge in combating avian influenza (AI) - a
lack of an integrated approach among government ministries and
regional and district governments. Increased public scrutiny and
heightened government interest offers a new opportunity to turn the
project around. In an effort to invigorate it, Nyoman Kandun,
Director General of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Health
at the Ministry of Health (MOH), convened a three-day interagency
meeting commencing January 7 to review sector action plans and
integrate activities into a coordinated implementation plan. The
meeting follows a series of internal Government of Indonesia (GOI)
meetings in December that recommended stronger coordination for the
project, following the occurrence of seven human cases of AI in the
Tangerang area since August 2007. The Government of Singapore
shares our concern and is working closely with us to improve the
management and technical capability of the project. A successfully
implemented project could yield solutions that stakeholders can
apply more broadly in other districts in Indonesia. End Summary.

Improving Financial Situation in 2008
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The Tangerang Trilateral Project, launched in 2005 and
named for the suburb of Jakarta which experienced the first human AI
case, has been slow to deliver results due to a lack of GOI
interagency focus. At a June 5, 2007 technical meeting, the
Tangerang Secretariat developed an ambitious work plan for the
remainder of 2007, but lack of funding prevented full
implementation. Although the GOI initially planned a 2007 Tangerang
budget of 20 billion rupiah ($2.21 million), it ended up devoting
very little funding towards Tangerang, using the money instead for
the National Poverty Alleviation Program.

3. (SBU) The Ministry of Health (MOH) Center for Disease Control
(CDC) requested Rp 15 billion ($1.59 million) for general health
issues for Tangerang in 2008. According to our sources, the GOI has
already released Rp 5 billion ($0.53 million) of this 2008 funding.
Participants in the January 7-9 meeting in Tangerang are working out
the allocation of the funds. Sufficient GOI, US and Singapore
financial support therefore seems to be in place to move the project
forward in 2008.

New Focus on Integrated Work Plan
---------------------------------

4. (U) Seven new AI cases have surfaced in Tangerang since August
2007 and public awareness has prompted the GOI to revamp its efforts
on Tangerang. The GOI has conducted interagency coordination
meetings and requested that all agencies develop sector action plans
to incorporate into an integrated project work plan for review at
the January 7-9 meeting. The meeting will merge four separate
action plans from the Project Secretariat, Banten Province,
Tangerang District and Tangerang Municipality in order to break down
stove pipes, create real-time data sharing, and promote cross-sector
coordination of pilot project activities. Over 30 participants from
central, regional and district authorities for both human and animal
health are participating in the meeting.

Singaporean Perspective
-----------------------

5. (SBU) In 2007, Singapore provided $600,000 of in-kind assistance
including vehicles, equipment, supplies for the project. In late
2007, Singapore also released $200,000 to support project
operations. However, project vehicles, equipment and supplies
purchased through Government of Singapore funding languished in a
warehouse while waiting for GOI approval to accept the international
assistance. Singapore has made the release of additional funding
contingent on the project meeting specified milestones and timelines
based on a work plan that Singapore asked the project to submit by
January 31, 2008.

6. (SBU) According to Singaporean Embassy contacts, the Singapore

JAKARTA 00000068 002 OF 002


government will not pull out of the Tangerang project for political
and public relations reasons. Their experts believe that the GOI is
technically capable of implementing a work plan but will only do so
under continued pressure.

USG Contributions to the Trilateral Project
-------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) The REDI Center, a joint US/Singapore-sponsored
organization based in Singapore, currently channels direct USG
funding for the Tangerang Trilateral Project from DHHS ($400,000)
and USDA ($200,000). These funds are supporting the activities of
the Pilot Project Secretariat. Direct USG funding of the project
started in June 2007, and to date the REDI Center has allocated
approximately $50,000. There is also substantial in-kind support of
AI surveillance and control operations for the project through
USAID. The 2008 GOI funding will support local costs of the project
operations.

AI Still an Agricultural Problem...For Now
----------------------------------------

8. (SBU) AI is primarily an agricultural problem, and the issues in
Indonesia will show little progress until there is a concerted,
comprehensive long-range program to deal with it. The Tangerang
Pilot Project could be helpful in demonstrating how to mount such a
comprehensive agricultural control program in the Indonesian
setting. The GOI's active project management and DG Kandun's
engagement over the past two months demonstrate significant
improvement and raise expectations that the project's implementation
may be finally turning the corner. If the government can be
successful in controlling AI in Tangerang, it (and the international
community) can apply valuable lessons learned in other districts.
However, even if Tangerang were to eradicate AI in poultry, it would
be impossible to keep the district AI-free when it is susceptible to
reintroduction from other AI affected areas in Indonesia, unless
there are basic changes in the way Indonesians rear, market and
process poultry nationwide. Sporadic human cases will continue to
occur as long as AI remains entrenched in poultry, no matter how big
the investment on the health side. The response of the Ministry of
Agriculture and local animal health authorities to controlling AI
has been woefully inadequate because they lack the capacity,
resources, and leadership to mount the kind of program that the
solution needs. We will not see progress until GOI stakeholders
address the basic agricultural problem.

HUME

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