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Cablegate: Usaid/Ofda Director Visit to Ethiopia

VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDS #1212/01 1271108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061108Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0476
INFO RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 2642
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 8989
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3482
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 3145
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4247
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3077
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6434
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7356
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 001212

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
REF: A) ADDIS 0978
SUBJECT: USAID/OFDA DIRECTOR VISIT TO ETHIOPIA

Begin Summary: USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
(USAID/OFDA) Director Ky Luu and USAID/OFDA East and Central Africa
(ECA) Regional Coordinator Kasey Channell visited Ethiopia from
March 29 to April 2 to review humanitarian efforts in Somali Region,
introduce USAID/OFDA's disaster risk reduction priorities, initiate
implementation of USAID/OFDA's transition strategy for Somali
Region, and expand USAID/OFDA's countrywide portfolio approach. The
Director met with humanitarian stakeholders within the U.S.
Government (USG), the UN, and non-governmental organization (NGO)
partners. Visit findings indicate the need for improved
humanitarian coordination at all levels and continued advocacy for
improved access and food assistance distribution in the region. A
detailed overview of USAID/OFDA's disaster risk reduction approach
and its application in Ethiopia can be found in REF A. End
summary.

---------------------------------------
Coordination Critical to Relief Efforts
---------------------------------------

1. In discussions with USAID/OFDA implementing partners, the
USAID/OFDA Director emphasized the importance of coordination and
information sharing within the Ethiopian humanitarian community,
particularly in Somali Region. To facilitate improved response
programming, the Director advised NGOs operating within Somali
Region to prepare an updated consensus statement on current
humanitarian conditions and obstacles to response efforts, including
specific recommendations for how USAID and the U.S. Embassy can
support NGO activities in the region.

---------------------------------------------
Coordinated Donor Messaging and UN Leadership Required
---------------------------------------------

2. The USAID/Director reiterated the critical need for timely and
coordinated communication within the humanitarian community in
meetings with UN partners and donor counterparts. The director
highlighted the improved utility and effectiveness of coordinated
donor messaging in advocating for greater access and collaboration
with federal and regional authorities. In addition, the USAID/OFDA
Director emphasized the need for robust UN leadership in
humanitarian communication, coordination, and advocacy efforts.

---------------------------------------
Food Assistance Still in Need of Reform
---------------------------------------

3. Despite recent U.N. World Food Program (WFP) measures to improve
food aid delivery in Somali Region, the implementation of logistics
reform through the adoption of a hub-and-spoke distribution system
has made limited progress. Since January, WFP has increased the
number of monitors and negotiated the elimination of required
military escorts for food deliveries along several main
transportation corridors. However, the director emphasized the need
for WFP to continue efforts to secure improved access and
distribution in Somali Region and articulated the USG's commitment
to support WFP's reform agenda with Government of Ethiopia
leadership and officials.

YAMAMOTO

1

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