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Cablegate: Zimbabwe Emergency: Ambassador's Declaration

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001791

SIPDIS

STATE/AF FOR NEULING

AID FOR DCHA/OFDA FOR PRATT, KHANDAGLE,
HALMRAST-SANCHEZ, GOTTLIEB
DCHA/FFP FOR LANDIS CRUMBLY, MUTAMBA,
PETERSEN, WELLER
AFR/SA FOR FLEURET, COPSON, BAKER, MACNAIRN
BRUSSELS FOR LERNER
PRETORIA FOR DISKIN, HALE, SINK
NAIROBI FOR SMITH, BROWN
MASERU FOR AMB LOFTIS
GABORONE FOR CASHION, BROWN
ROME FOR FODAG FOR GAST

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL US ZI
SUBJECT: Zimbabwe Emergency: Ambassador's Declaration
for FY05 Revalidation of Continuing Emergency

Ref: (A) Harare 001594 (B) Harare 1734 (C) Harare
001139; (D) Harare 000768

--------
Summary
--------

1. The Ambassador has determined that the complex
political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis
facing Zimbabwe is of sufficient magnitude to warrant
continued USG emergency assistance, and therefore
requests continued assistance through USAID, including
USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

------------
Background
------------

2. USG humanitarian assistance for the complex crisis
in Zimbabwe has totaled over $295 million from the
USAID/DCHA Office of Food for Peace (FFP), and $16
million from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
(OFDA) since 2002.

3. Although the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ)
acknowledges the humanitarian needs highlighted in the
UN Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for CY 2004, at the
request of the central government, the UN will not
launch a formal CAP for Zimbabwe for 2005. However,
local and district authorities have publicly and
privately expressed growing concern over the continued
humanitarian needs among people in their areas.

3. Preparations for up-coming parliamentary
elections, scheduled for March 2005, have created a
highly charged political environment. Mounting
interference from government, increasingly limited
humanitarian access to sensitive populations, and an
elevated threat of political violence and intimidation
are expected. These factors are likely to further
contribute to the increased vulnerability of some
populations and their need for humanitarian assistance.

---------------------------------
The Complex Humanitarian Crisis
---------------------------------

4. Zimbabweans are caught in a downward spiral of
poverty, food insecurity, HIV/AIDs and natural
resources degradation caused largely by counter
productive macroeconomic and structural policies,
distorting government controls, the disorderly
implementation of the GOZ fast-track land reform
program and general collapse of the rule of law. The
sharp economic decline and high inflation in Zimbabwe
are having dire consequences for the country's
population, notably rising unemployment, the rapid
deterioration of social indicators and decreased
purchasing power. The invasive and debilitating effects
of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe intensify the
current humanitarian crisis.

5. The GOZ continues to implement the land reform
program, with the impact being increasing numbers of
internally displaced people (IDPs), mostly ex-
commercial farmworkers. Recently, even the "A1"
farmers, small or subsistence farmers or war veterans
who were allowed to settle on farms taken over from
former commercial farmers, have themselves been evicted
from the land in order to make those farms available
for those more politically connected (Ref: A and B).

6. The food crisis in Zimbabwe, exacerbated by
worsening input supply and financial constraints, is
expected to continue into the 2004/05 marketing year.
Food security calculations for Zimbabwe are severely
hampered by the GOZ's lack of transparency,
withholding of information about imports and national
stocks, and cancellation of independent food security
assessments (Ref: C and D). All estimates, except
those of the GOZ, point to a significant food gap.

----------------
Mission request
----------------

7. Based on the complexity and magnitude of the
continuing crisis, the Ambassador believes that the GOZ
has neither the resources nor the capacity to respond
effectively. The Ambassador therefore exercises
disaster assistance authority to declare Zimbabwe to be
in a state of complex emergency, and requests continued
assistance by USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster
Assistance during FY 2005, as well as continued support
from the office of Food for Peace and the Office of
Transitional Initiatives to implement an integrated
strategy to mitigate the crisis and meet humanitarian
needs in Zimbabwe.
DELL

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