Cablegate: Tfiz01: Usaid/Prm Dart Situation Report 1 April 2003
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KUWAIT 001256
C O R R E C T E D COPY
STATE ALSO PASS USAID/W
STATE PLEASE REPEAT TO IO COLLECTIVE
STATE FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, NEA/NGA, IO AND SA/PAB
NSC FOR EABRAMS, SMCCORMICK, STAHIR-KHELI, JDWORKEN
USAID FOR USAID/A, DCHA/AA, DCHA/RMT, DCHA/FFP
USAID FOR DCHA/OTI, DCHA/DG, ANE/AA
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA:WGARVELINK,BMCCONNELL,KFARNSWORTH USAID FOR
ROME FOR FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
DOHA FOR MSHIRLEY
ANKARA FOR AMB WRPEARSON, ECON AJSIROTIC AND DART
AMMAN FOR USAID AND DART
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF IZ WFP
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: USAID/PRM DART SITUATION REPORT 1 APRIL 2003
1. UNHCR has heard anecdotal reports of two to three thousand Iraqis
fleeing Basrah. On 31 March, Coalition forces deemed the coastal land
route to Umm Qasr a permissive environment. NGO convoys traveling to
Umm Qasr will need to coordinate their movements through the HOC. On 3
March, UNICEF reported that there are no confirmed cases of cholera in
As Sulaymaniyah. A 29 March rapid assessment conducted by Coalition
forces reported that the population of An Nasiriyah is in need of
water, baby formula, and basic medical supplies. On 30 March, a
UNICEF-sponsored convoy of 14 water tankers crossed into Iraq to delive
water to residents of Safwan, Umm Qasr, and Az Zubayr. The cargo of th
Sir Galahad has been fully off-loaded in Umm Qasr. On 29 March, the DAR
met with representatives from IOM to discuss plans to incorporate
protection issues into IOM's programs. During the HOC briefing on 29
March, an update on the status of borders in the region was provided.
2. A spokesman from the Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC) reported
that 5,000 residents are displaced around the Az Zubayr bridge, near
Basrah. Coalition forces are providing relief supplies, and the
condition of the displaced persons is reported to be stable.
3. In a meeting with the DART on March 29, the Head of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Kuwait office expressed
concern over a lack of cooperation by the Government of Kuwait (GOK) in
preparing for potential Iraqi refugees. UNHCR heard the GOK was
preparing several camps for Iraqis in the border area but when
the issue was raised with Kuwaiti officials, UNHCR was informed that
the borders are closed and no refugees would be allowed in. UNHCR has
stated that it is only willing to help establish refugee camps inside
Kuwait if the borders are kept open.
4. UNHCR has heard anecdotal reports of two to three thousand Iraqis
fleeing Basrah east toward the Iranian border, but has received no
reports that the refugees arrived at the border. It is not known if
these people returned home or are housed with extended family or friend
outside the city.
SECURITY - SOUTHERN IRAQ
5. On 31 March, Coalition forces deemed the coastal land route to Umm
Qasr a permissive environment. NGO convoys or relief vehicles travelin
to Umm Qasr will need to coordinate their movements through the HOC.
Coalition forces will inform humanitarian convoys of the area's
security status and may provide escort. However, military escort will
not be provided for travel to areas not cleared as safe by the
6. On 1 April, UNSECOORD conducted a security assessment of Umm Qasr.
If the findings of the security assessment are approved by U.N.
Headquarters in New York, the UNSECOORD security officer will send a
humanitarian assessment team to Umm Qasr on or about 2 April
to begin to establish a U.N. presence in Iraq.
COALITION ASSESSMENT OF AN NASIRIYAH
7. A 29 March rapid assessment conducted by Coalition forces reported
that the population of An Nasiriyah is in need of water, baby formula,
and basic medical supplies. A local town leader reported that the
population has sufficient stocks of basic foods to last for eight
months, but fresh meats, vegetables, and fruits are needed. Coalition
forces reportedly seized the main government warehouse that stored food
for the OFF program. The warehouse is reported to contain significant
8. Iraqi forces have reportedly intimidated the local population with
loudspeaker instructions to leave their homes in order to slow the
Coalition advance. Individuals have also been intimidated by death
threats to military-age males who refuse to fight the Coalition.
9. According to local sources, the police have fled An Nasiriyah, all
the hospitals and many businesses are closed, and roads into the town
are currently blocked. The An Nasiriyah Military Hospital was badly
damaged, but the hospital still contains a large inventory of
pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. There is a limited amount of
electricity and water, and there are no telephones in service.
10. On 30 March, a UNICEF-sponsored convoy of 14 water tankers crossed
into Iraq to deliver water to residents of Safwan, Umm Qasr, and Az
Zubayr. One additional truck, carrying 15 water bladders to the three
towns, was delayed by Kuwaiti police because of a documentation problem
The HOC is working to resolve the issue with the Ministry of Interior.
The DART's Military Liaison Unit (MLU) is also tracking this issue.
11. The water will be distributed by staff members at the hospitals in
Umm Qasr and Az Zubayr, and by staff at the Primary Health Center in
Safwan. UNICEF reports that this convoy will occur daily, and thus
enable Coalition forces to use their water tankers to supply residents
in towns further north that are not secure enough for civilian workers.
12. A ceremony was scheduled for 31 March to open the water pipeline
from Kuwait towards Umm Qasr. The pipeline is expected to provide 2.7
million liters of water per day to southern Iraq. Coalition forces and
UNICEF-sponsored convoys will provide tankers to deliver water from
the pipe's outlet to southern Iraqi populations in need.
13. On 31 March, UNICEF reported that there are no confirmed cases of
cholera in As Sulaymaniyah. UNICEF is aware of three cases of cholera
in An Nasariyah in February, and reported that a few cases of cholera
occur in the area each year. UNICEF provided one million sachets of ora
rehydration salts to local UNICEF representative Iraq in February but
has no information on how the supplies might have been distributed.
14. There is no mill at the port of Umm Qasr. The closest mills are
in Basrah, where there are eleven. The vacuvators at Umm Qasr are able
to work, but the power supply remains questionable. The DART is trying
to find a person at the port who can conduct a "mega test" to measure
the electrical system's capacity.
15. The cargo of the Sir Galahad has been fully off-loaded in Umm
Qasr. A distribution plan was not made available through the HOC.
However, on 31 March the HOC reported that the waterway into Umm Qasr
Port is non-permissive for humanitarian vessels due to the recent
discovery of unexploded ordinances.
16. By 31 March, UNHCR plans to have enough non-food items stocked in
the region for 300,000 people. UNHCR wanted to pre-position enough
supplies in the region to handle 600,000 refugees but does not
currently have the necessary funding.
17. On 29 March, the DART met with representatives from the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) to discuss plans to
incorporate protection issues into IOM's programs. IOM will be working
closely with the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (UNOCHI),
which will take the lead on protection concerns in IDP camps.
18. UNOCHI will have five regional officers, each with a regional
coordinator. UNOCHI will include an IDP protection officer in each
19. The DART members urged IOM to address protection concerns and ways
to mitigate abuses and to develop response mechanisms at the camp level
in its overall strategy and programming. The DART promised
to share protection documents with IOM staff in Kuwait. IOM reported
that each camp manager will be aware of protection concerns and report
abuses to UNOCHI.
20. During the HOC briefing on 29 March, an update on the status of
borders in the region was provided.
21. Between Turkey and Iraq, the Habur border crossing point (BCP) is
open on Turkish side but not operating on Iraqi side. Consequently,
legal trans-border transportation is not possible. The Cukurca BCP
remains under military control and is closed for any civil/humanitarian
activity. The borders between Turkey and Syria remain open.
22. Between Kuwait and Iraq, the borders of Abdaly and Umm Qasr remain
officially closed, though some local NGOs have delivered supplies from
Kuwait into Southern Iraq.
23. Between Jordan and Iraq, the Trebil BCP is open to humanitarian
and commercial traffic. For humanitarian traffic, a security pass and
vehicle sticker obtained in Amman from the Ministry of Interiors (MoI)
is required to enter the border security zone. A separate pass
obtained from the MoI in Amman is required to access refugee camps in
the border area.
24. All borders between Iran and Iraq remain closed. The borders
between Syria and Iraq are open, however, negligible commercial
trans-border movement has been observed by Coalition forces.