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Cablegate: Reclama to Gvn On Usaid Program in Central Highlands

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HANOI 000136

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP DAS MATT DALEY AND EAP/BCLTV

ALSO FOR AID/ANE/ESA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PINS PHUM EAID VM
SUBJECT: Reclama to GVN on USAID program in Central Highlands

1. (U) On January 14, Ambassador raised with Deputy
Foreign Minister Le Van Bang the GVN's unfortunate refusal
to allow implementation of the Kontum provincial portion of
a larger USAID-funded project on disabilities. Aware of the
sensitivities of having a US-based organization carry out a
project in the Central Highlands, USAID had even arranged
for Save the Children-Sweden (Radda Barnen) to be the
implementer in the Central Highlands. Local and provincial
authorities initially approved the project, but it was then
nixed at the national level, the Ambassador noted. (Note:
USAID is unclear whether the refusal originated with the
Communist Party or the GVN. End note) Ambassador explained
that many in the U.S. and in the international donor
community would now conclude that the GVN's policy was to
refuse all USG assistance in the Central Highlands. He
urged the GVN to reconsider and to agree to this purely
humanitarian project, which had no political overtones and
was consistent with the spirit of improving bilateral
relations.

2. (U) DFM Bang (who did not appear well-briefed on this
issue) agreed that that this was a "real issue" and promised
to raise it with GVN leaders and see how/whether this
problem could be worked out.

3. (U) Comment: Embassy will continue to press the GVN to
do the right thing and reverse this decision in the
interests of the people of the Central Highlands and of
better bilateral relations.
PORTER

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