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Cablegate: Usaid/Ofda Strategy Consultations

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDS #0978/01 1000605
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090605Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0223
INFO RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 2476
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 8969
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3450
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 3132
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4227
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3064
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6422
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7328
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 000978

SIPDIS

STATE DEPARTMENT FOR A/S FRAZER, DAS AF JSWAN, AF/E, AF/PDPA, OES,
A/S PRM SAUERBREY, AND PRM/AFR
AFR/AA KALMQUIST, WWARREN, LKELLEY, KNELSON, CTHOMPSON, BDUMFORD
DCHA/AA MHESS, GGOTTLIEB
DCHA/OFDA KLUU, ACONVERY, CCHAN, PMORRIS, KCHANNELL
DCHA/FFP JBORNS, PMOHAN, SANTHONY, PBERTOLIN
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER
CJTF-HOA AND USCENTCOM FOR POLAD
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, RTILSWORTH, AND LPANASUK
NAIROBI FOR OFDA/ECARO JMYER, GPLATT, RFFPO NCOX, USAID/EA
ROME FOR AMBASSADOR, OHA, HSPANOS
BRUSSELS FOR USEU PBROWN
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH, RMA
USUN FOR TMALY
NSC FOR PMARCHAN

AIDAC
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PHUM SENV EAGR PGOV ET
SUBJECT: USAID/OFDA STRATEGY CONSULTATIONS

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

Begin summary. An initial series of consultations have been held in
Addis Ababa Ethiopia between USAID/Ethiopia Mission and USAID Office
of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) staff as part of a joint
effort to promote a disaster risk reduction agenda. The OFDA
Director Ky Luu visited Ethiopia at the end of the period, from
March 29 - April 2, 2008 to solidify some initial steps towards
putting the agenda into motion. This cable summarizes the
justification and logic behind the initiative. End summary.

1. Ethiopia is a country of 77 million people and growing by 3
percent per year. Despite healthy growth in the macro economy and
an aggressive pro-poor agenda supported by the World Bank and major
donors, including USAID, millions of Ethiopians rely every year on a
safety net food program to complete their subsistence existence.
Ethiopia is a country of multiple hazards. An OFDA-funded study to
document the frequency and spread of hazards has revealed that in
any one year, 44 percent of the country or over 200 woredas declare
a drought. A similar percentage of the country is affected yearly
by flooding. In conjunction with these disasters, Ethiopia
experiences correlating rises in human and animal disease. The
repeated disaster events erode lives and livelihoods and makes
populations less and less able to resist the next shock.

2. Cumulatively since 1991, USAID has provided more than $2.6
billion in humanitarian assistance (including food aid) of which
$161.2 million constitute emergency assistance programs implemented
by OFDA partners. OFDA supported Disaster Assistance Response Teams
(DART) have been deployed to coordinate the response to drought and
flood emergencies in 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2006. In 2007-2008 a
Humanitarian Assistance Team (HAT) is focusing exclusively on the
crisis in the Somali region.

3. With this as background, OFDA embarked on a review of the current
funding strategy in Ethiopia with a view towards making emergency
interventions more sustainable specifically by linking with USAID
Mission development programming. The strategy will have three broad
objectives evolving from OFDA's core mandate as follows:
(a) saving lives: responding to emergencies
(b) reducing suffering: protecting livelihoods
(c) reducing the economic impact of disasters: protecting
development gains
4. Within these objectives, a disaster risk reduction approach will
be developed, so that program focus will be on:
-- building capacity at government, regional, local and community
levels to improve early warning, planning and response to
disasters;
-- enhancing preparedness and response to malnutrition, and early
response in the area of water and sanitation;
-- funding 'crisis modifiers' within USAID mission programs. OFDA
will initiate this process with funding for the Pastoral Livelihoods
Initiative (PLI I) emergency response fund. The OFDA funded crisis
modifier within the USAID PLI program will buffer the project
against the shock to livestock emanating from the current drought in
the pastoral areas of the Oromiya Region. Future 'crisis modifiers'
need to be examined but are particularly relevant for the USAID
health program and PSNP safety net interventions.

5. Further discussions and field work is needed to refine all of
these key points and to begin a process of adjusting both OFDA and
Mission programming but the initial pilot to be implemented
immediately with the pastoral livelihood program will be a good
indication for how such collaboration can be managed throughout OFDA
and Mission programming in the months and years to come.

YAMAMOTO

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