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Cablegate: Usaid Administrator and U.S. Dfa Henrietta Fore's Visit To

VZCZCXRO6051
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0299/01 0871045
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271045Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7731
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KINSHASA 000299

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR F, OES, DRL, EEB, AF,
AID FOR AFR/SD, AFR/DP, AFR/EA, AFR/AA, GH, DCHA, OFDA, EGAT, AID/A

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV PREL CG
SUBJECT: USAID ADMINISTRATOR AND U.S. DFA HENRIETTA FORE'S VISIT TO
THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

REF: A. KINSHASA 297 B. KINSHASA 279 C. KINSHASA 284

1. (U) Summary: USAID Administrator and U.S. Director of Foreign
Assistance Henrietta Fore's March 15-17 visit to the Democratic
Republic of Congo focused on Peace and Security, Democracy and
Governance, the Environment, and Economic Growth. She met with
Congolese leaders including President Joseph Kabila, Prime Minister
Gizenga, USAID implementing partners, private sector partners and
other bilateral donors, visiting Goma in North Kivu province, Epulu
in Ituri District, and Kinshasa. She was accompanied by USAID
Assistant Administrator for Africa Katherine Almquist, the
Ambassador, Mission Director Stephen Haykin and Special Assistant
Wesley Wilson. End summary.

Goma
----

2. (U) Administrator Fore began her March 15-17 visit to the DRC in
the North Kivu provincial capital Goma, where her meetings March 15
focused on the Goma peace process and sexual and gender-based
violence. She urged Governor Julien Paluku to support the Goma
process and work to end sexual and gender-based violence in the
region (ref A). Paluku stressed the importance of developing roads
as a means of stimulating economic activity and reinforcing peace
and stability. He thanked Administrator Fore for USAID's support
for the provincial government and governor's office. The United
States has assisted the North Kivu government and provincial
assembly with technical expertise, logistics and commodity support
to ensure that new officials possess the necessary tools to improve
public service and promote good governance.

3. (U) Administrator Fore received a briefing later that day at
MONUC led by Head of Office Alpha Sow and Eastern Division Commander
General Bikram Singh. Military briefers observed that
professionalization of the Congolese National Army (FARDC) will be a
long-term process, requiring international commitment to training
programs over the next ten years. Civilian personnel provided an
overview of a 12-month stabilization program for eastern Congo being
implemented by MONUC and other UN agencies. The plan includes four
major components: 1) security; 2) political; 3) extending state
authority and 4) assisting return and reintegration of refugees,
internally-displaced persons and ex-combatants. The U.S. and other
donors are coordinating assistance to the region with the program.
Administrator Fore expressed the United States' commitment to
partnership with MONUC and UN agencies in North Kivu as well as to
the Goma peace process and implementation of the Nairobi communique.


4. (U) At Goma's Heal Africa Hospital, Administrator Fore witnessed
the devastating effects of sexual and gender-based violence on women
and girls in the region and visited the fistula repair facilities
supported by USAID. U.S. support for fistula repair at Heal Africa
provides critical surgery for girls and women. Many have been
forced to marry young and lack access to even the most basic
maternal and reproductive health services, including labor and
delivery at a medical facility in the presence of a skilled birth
attendant.

5. (U) Heal Africa staff underscored the acute and widespread
problem of rape and sexual violence in North Kivu and other
provinces. The subject remains a cultural taboo in the DRC, and
women who have been raped, and babies born of rape, are often
rejected by their own families. Heal Africa has established a
significant program to provide medical, psychological and
socio-economic support to survivors of gender-based violence called
"Heal My People" that is funded by UNICEF and other donors.

6. (U) At every opportunity, including a meeting with the local
press, Administrator Fore stressed the United States' commitment to
the peace process and called for the respect of the rights of women
and children. She also highlighted U.S. assistance to North Kivu,
including funding for food aid, health, education, democracy and
governance, conflict mitigation, social protection, environmental
protection, and humanitarian assistance. The United States provided
more than $35 million of assistance to North Kivu and more than $163
million in total assistance to Eastern Congo in FY 2006 and FY 2007.
In FY 2007, USAID also devoted a $15 million supplemental grant to
supporting peace and security in the region.

Epulu
-----

KINSHASA 00000299 002 OF 003

7. (U) Administrator Fore focused on environmental issues on the
second day of her visit. On March 16 she traveled north to Epulu in
Ituri District, where she visited the Ituri-Aru landscape at the
headquarters of the Okapi reserve there. She observed how the
landscape management process initiated by the Central Africa
Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) has proven to be an
effective model for integrating conservation and development goals,
e.g. linking forestry and biodiversity with local livelihood, health
and education.

8. (U) CARPE's public-private partnership approach, working with
companies in extractive industries such as logging and mining,
creates both market and social incentives to support conservation
objectives. CARPE's landscape program is creating a framework to
effectively deal with markets for environmental services such as
"deforestation avoided" or REDD (reducing emissions from
deforestation and ecosystem degradation). In the context of global
climate change, REDD -- and potentially, hydrologic services (i.e.
watershed protection resulting from forest conservation) and nature
tourism -- are developing into mechanisms for sustainable financing
of programs linking conservation and poverty alleviation or economic
growth.

9. (U) Administrator Fore commented that USAID should look at the
success of CARPE's Congo Basin Forest Partnership in linking
community needs and conservation objectives as a potential model for
other CARPE programs. She also expressed concern for the welfare of
indigenous populations such as Pygmies, telling the Ambassador that
she plans to create a new position of Advisor on Indigenous
Populations.

Kinshasa
--------

10. (U) On Day 3 of her visit, Administrator Fore held several
high-level meetings in Kinshasa focused on the peace process, the
DRC's development agenda and the United States' efforts to involve
the private sector in economic growth and development. She
discussed the future of MONUC and UN support for the Goma peace
process at a breakfast hosted by the Ambassador with SRSG Alan Doss,
UNICEF Director Anthony Bloomberg and Lise Grand, Chief of Staff to
the Deputy SRSG. At a press conference following the meeting,
Administrator Fore highlighted the United States' support for the
Nairobi and Goma processes. She announced an increase to more than
$100 million in U.S. bilateral non-emergency foreign assistance in
FY 2008. She also called for respect for the rights of women, and
the importance of responsible natural resource management and
public-private partnerships as engines of economic growth.

11. (U) Administrator Fore expressed U.S. readiness to aid Congolese
development efforts in her meeting with Prime Minister Antoine
Gizenga later than morning (ref B). Gizenga stressed that the DRC
lacked viable infrastructure 48 years after independence. He said
it would benefit from U.S. assistance in the construction,
agriculture and industrial sectors. Administrator Fore noted that
public works would create additional economic benefits in the form
of jobs. She also highlighted the need for educational, health, and
economic assistance for women and children, not only in the east but
throughout the country. Gizenga expressed appreciation for U.S.
support for and involvement in the Goma peace process.

12. (U) At a lunch at the Ambassador's residence, Administrator Fore
exchanged views with Fr. Apollinaire Muhongulu Malumalu, of North
Kivu, who chaired the January 2008 Kivu Conference on Peace,
Security, and Development and is now National Coordinator of the
"Amani" follow-up program. She emphasized a clear message of U.S.
support for the peace process, continued diplomatic engagement,
increased funding for stabilization and humanitarian activities in
eastern Congo, and technical and financial support to the structures
put in place to implement recommendations of the conference.

13. (U) During her meeting with President Joseph Kabila,
Administrator Fore reaffirmed U.S. support for development
assistance to the DRC and for the Kivus peace process and Nairobi
communiqu (ref C). She also emphasized the need for the Congolese
people to see tangible benefits of peace in their daily lives.
Kabila highlighted his "five priorities" platform, which encompasses
infrastructure (including roads), employment, health,
water/electricity and education, and expressed interest in
revitalizing rural areas. The Ambassador and Mission Director

KINSHASA 00000299 003 OF 003


Haykin agreed to follow up on governance and development issues with
Kabila's designated point of contact, Chief of Staff (and former
USAID employee) Raymond Tshibanda. Administrator Fore cited the
importance of land conservation practices to rural development and
highlighted private-sector development as a potentially stabilizing
influence.

14. (U) Meeting with key private sector representatives, including
existing and potential new USAID Global Development Alliance
partners, Administrator Fore focused on enhancing their
understanding of and commitment to public-private partnerships with
the United States to achieve shared development goals. In that
regard, she announced development of the African Entrepreneurs'
Facility to support investments in small and medium enterprises and
solicited business leaders' opinions on areas where USAID could work
together with the business sector in the DRC. Business leaders
responded with specific ideas including technical training and
governance activities.

15. (SBU) Mission Director Haykin announced the development of a
Memorandum of Understanding for a new public-private partnership to
support development activities in Katanga, bringing together USAID,
Katanga Provincial Government, Anvil Mining, First Quantum Mining,
Metorex Mining, and the UK Department for International Development
(DFID). USAID continues to work with U.S. mining company Freeport
McMoRan to bring this important company into the partnership,
although they have expressed some hesitancy to take part in an
initiative that involves other mining companies.

16. (U) Administrator Fore also met with key bilateral donor
representatives and USAID implementing partners to reinforce strong
exiting relationships with the United States and to encourage them
to strengthen ties with the private sector.

Comment
-------

17. (U) This was a highly successful visit. As the first senior
U.S. official to visit the DRC since the Goma conference,
Administrator Fore reinforced the United States' commitment to the
peace process and support for the rights of women. Her meetings
with the president and the prime minister signaled Mission
commitment to work closely at the highest levels to advance our
common development objectives. The visit provided an intensive
overview of the DRC's complex peace, security and governance issues.
It also demonstrated the global significance of USAID's support for
the Congo Basin Forest Partnership.

Action items
------------

18. Significant actions resulting from the visit of Administrator
Fore will include:

a) Prompt consultation with the Office of the President on
strengthening dialogue on development issues including governance
(ref C);
b) Raising the level of dialogue on Global Climate Change and
markets for environmental services (e.g. carbon credits) through
greater consultation between CARPE staff and State and USAID
personnel in Washington;
c) Integrating programs to train public officials throughout foreign
assistance activities;
d) Seeking TDY support for conceptualizing and developing new Global
Development Alliances;
e) Reviewing government and donor programs on improving transport
infrastructure to ensure that priority needs are being met; and
f) Supporting junior officers through mentoring and training
opportunities.

GARVELINK

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