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Cablegate: Syria: Ambassador,S Fund for Refugees Nomination

VZCZCXYZ0003
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0461/01 1821347
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301347Z JUN 08 ZFF4
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5128

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000461

SIPDIS

PRM/ANE FOR NHASTINGS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF SY
SUBJECT: SYRIA: AMBASSADOR,S FUND FOR REFUGEES NOMINATION

REF: A. STATE 6779
B. JUNE 23 HASTINGS-POUNDS E-MAIL

1. (SBU) Summary: Post has received a $20,000 proposal from
the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and the entire
East (GOPA) for two projects we would like to submit for
funding through the Taft program: (1) a $20,000 program to
provide vocational training and education to 80 vulnerable
Iraqis and (2) a summer camp to provide psycho-social support
to 50 Iraqi children and youth. Additionally, Post also
proposes a second grant of $12,000 for the Syrian Arab Red
Crescent (SARC) to provide child-friendly waiting rooms at
the SARC,s medical clinics in Jeramana and Sayeda Zainab.
End Summary

Greek Orthodox Patriachate Project Proposal
-------
2. (SBU) As provided via email separately to PRM (ref B), the
GOPA,s proposal aims to assist at least 80 disadvantaged
Iraqi refugees from all confessional backgrounds to continue
education through enrollment in vocational training courses
that would enhance their ability to in generate an income to
support their families. GOPA staff will coordinate with
various churches and local community and refugee
organizations to identify eligible participants. In addition
to the vocational training, a summer camp will be organized
for 50 Iraqi vulnerable children and youth to help them cope
with the difficult situation they face after leaving their
country.

3. (SBU) GOPA will sign agreements with prominent vocational
training centers in Syria that can provide certificates for
participants upon satisfactory completion of the course.
Training will be available for individuals who wish to
acquire skills in computer science, sewing, hairstyling,
English language, and life skills.

4. (SBU) The summer camp will be held outside Damascus in
order accommodate the anticipated 50 children. The camp will
be managed by volunteers who are well-versed in child
development, recreational activities, and interactive
educational methods. Three meals will be provided to
participants in addition to transportation to and from the
camp site.

5. (SBU) The program will be implemented over a six-month
period after funding is received, and will be held in
Damascus and other Damascus suburbs that house large Iraqi
refugee populations.

6. (SBU) GOPA, in cooperation with other international and
local partners, has been able to provide assistance that
facilitates access to educational services for displaced
Iraqis.

Project Cost
-------
7. (SBU) GOPA estimates the total cost of the program at
$25,000. The GOPA will provide office space as part of its
contributions to the total cost of the project.

The following is the budget breakdown:
Vocational training: $14,000
Summer Camp: $4,000
Administration, communication, transportation, and overhead:
$2,000
Total: $20,000

Syrian Arab Red Crescent Proposal
-------
8. (SBU) Post proposes to issue a TAFT fund grant of $12,000
to improve and make more-child friendly the enviornment in
two overcrowded SARC-run health clinics in Jeramana and
Sayeda Zainab. These clinics are open to all Iraqi refugees
and other disadvantaged residents of these areas.

--In the Jeramana clinic, we would issue a grant to refurbish
the clinic,s basement waiting room, provide child-friendly
tables and chairs, and install bookshelves and other child
friendly surroundings. Embassy Public Affairs Section would
donate children,s books in English and Arabic, a TV and
video player, and other educational materials. SARC would be
responsible for managing the area.

Costs:

Waterproofing: $2,000
Lighting: $1,000
Wall furnishings: $1,000
Tables/Chairs: $1,000
Bookshelves: $ 1,000
Total: $6,000

-In the SARC,s Sayeda Zainab clinic, Post would authorize
the SARC to construct an awning over its second floor patio
space that is exposed to the elements, which currently
provides a waiting space for families waiting for access to
the children,s clinic. The grant fund providing tables,
chairs, and book cases, and the installation of indoor fans,
and an airconditioning/heating unit.

Costs:

Awning: $2,000
A/C-Heating Unit: $ 2,000
Tables/Chairs: $ 1,000
Bookcases and fans: $ 1,000
Total: $6,000

9. (SBU) Comment: Embassy Damascus chose these projects
because they meet an important USG objective at post,
providing humanitarian assistance to Iraqi refugees. Support
for these projects will reflect continued USG support and
involvement with the Iraqi refugee community in Syria. We are
confident that GOPA and the SARC will provide professional
and beneficial programs to enhance the standard of living of
Iraqi refugees in Syria through the implementation of the
proposed projects. End Comment.
CORBIN

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