Cablegate: Unami's View of Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

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

221550Z Apr 04



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) In an April 20 donor coordination meeting UNAMI
Humanitarian Officer Wojtek Wilk reported that 50,000 to
100,000 IDPs have fled Fallujah to Baghdad. He noted the
problems relief agencies face providing aid in Fallujah and
unconfirmed reports of a possible new movement of Iranian
Kurds from Al-Tash refugee camp to the Jordanian border.
Fallujah municipal council members are reportedly in Amman
meeting with GOJ officials and the donor community to discuss
relief. UNAMI Chief of Strategic Planning, Michael Dalton,
said one of the key issues for the April 22 International
Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) meeting in
Washington is to check the progress of aid pledges from
various donors. UNSECOORD rep Peter Fry made the observation
that insurgent activity appeared to be increasingly
coordinated. We report these views without assessing their
validity. End Summary.

Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

2. (SBU) In a meeting with the donor community on April 20,
United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI)
Humanitarian Officer Wojtek Wilk provided an update on the
humanitarian situation in Iraq. He reported a sizeable
increase in the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)
fleeing Fallujah to Baghdad, noting that between 50,000 to
100,000 civilians are believed to have been displaced. 3,000
IDP families are receiving assistance at three major transit
points outside Fallujah, set up in local mosques. UNAMI
estimates that another 8,000 families are receiving
assistance from relatives, friends or mosques in the Baghdad
area. Up to 50,000 additional IDPs may have taken refuge in
villages around Fallujah. UNAMI has heard reports of new
movements of Iranian Kurds from the Al-Tash refugee camp
toward the no-man's land at the Jordanian border due to high
tension levels in Al Ramadi. (UNHCR told refcoord on April
22 that these reports have not been confirmed).

3. (SBU) UNAMI continues to be concerned by the humanitarian
situation within Fallujah and Najaf. In Fallujah, UNAMI is
concerned about recent reports of a few wounded Iraqis
arrested at the Fallujah hospital by coalition forces,
fearing this will discourage other wounded from seeking
medical attention. The overall number of casualties within
Fallujah is unclear as many may be buried--alive or
dead--under homes. Reports from within Fallujah cite the
lack of fresh food and conflicting accounts of fresh water
shortages as troubling. Paul Filler, head of the European
Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) Iraq Mission
(currently based in Amman), said that a small group of
Fallujah municipal council members are in Amman meeting with
GOJ officials and the donor community to discuss aid relief
to the city. He stressed that the trip is not to discuss the
political situation or criticize the CPA. In Najaf, UNAMI
claimed that the occupation of the main hospital by coalition
military personnel discouraged local people from seeking
treatment. Outside the main hospital, there is only one
operating room in the city, in a maternity clinic.

Strategic Planning and IRFFI

4. (SBU) Michael Dalton, Chief of UNAMI Strategic Planning,
said that the 10 agency clusters--different UN agencies
grouped together for ease of planning and coordination--are
in the process of finalizing plans for the UN Trust Fund
meeting in Amman on May 3, 2004. They have a tight,
well-organized rollout strategy and need only work out the
details. Dalton noted that the April 22 International
Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) meeting in
Washington would check the progress of aid pledges from
various donors.

Security Update

5. (SBU) UNSECOORD's Peter Fry stressed that insurgent
activity continues with what he saw as increasing
coordination. He pointed to Kirkuk as the tension point
between the Kurds and northern Sunni elements. On the
political-religious front, al-Sadr's position of strength is
yet undetermined, but he appeals to the youth. He reported
signs of Sunni fundamentalist "oppression" of fellow Iraqis
in the central region, as well as IGC members disassociating
themselves from coalition forces. Fry worries that the
recent kidnappings will continue with greater frequency amid
rumors of significant bounties offered to kidnap Americans
and NGO personnel. Fry did not comment on the security
situation after June 30, 2004, stating that it was too far
away. On the Jordanian front, he reported that locals
deliberately threw soda cans at 2 NGO workers while driving
in Amman the other day.

6. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.

Visit Embassy Amman's classified website at

or access the site through the State Department's SIPRNET
home page.

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