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Cablegate: Tfx001: Ec On Donor Coordination and Assistance To

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 BRUSSELS 005427

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR TASK FORCE 1 AND EUR/ERA; DEPARTMENT PLEASE
PASS USAID/DCHA/OFDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL IN CE TH EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: TFX001: EC ON DONOR COORDINATION AND ASSISTANCE TO
TSUNAMI VICTIMS


SIPDIS

REF: BRUSSELS 5408

1. (U) Summary: The EU will meet in Luxembourg on January 7
to coordinate its response to the tsunami in Asia. On the
agenda is the advisability of an international donor
conference. Commissioner Louis Michel may visit Sri Lanka
before this meeting to assess the situation. The European
Commission (EC) expects to make its second decision by the
end of the week, making an additional 10 million euros
available mostly for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Future
decisions should favor Indonesia, although the EC is
concerned about access to key affected areas in Aceh. EC
coordination for humanitarian assistance with the UN and the
U.S. is good. End Summary.

-------------------------
International Conference?
-------------------------

2. (U) On December 29, a Directorate General Development
official confirmed to us the accuracy of press articles
reporting that Commissioner Louis Michel may call for an
international donor conference to discuss the tsunami
response. Michel will raise the need for such a conference
with Development Ministers from EU Members States on January
7 at an informal meeting called by the incoming-Luxembourg
Presidency to take place in Luxembourg. EU Ministers will
also take stock of Member State responses and discuss ways to
ensure a smooth transition between relief efforts in the
affected areas and longer-term rehabilitation and
reconstruction.

3. (U) The official stated that Michel may/may travel to Sri
Lanka on or about January 5, although no final decision has
been made. Although the EC would like to show its concern
for the region by such a visit, they do not want to distract
from the relief efforts by placing an undue burden on the Sri
Lankan authorities. Another option would be to wait until
the initial response has been concluded before Michel visits.

-------------------------
Assistance
-------------------------

4. (U) ECHO told us that most of the EC,s pledge of 30
million euros will go to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the
Maldives. Although ECHO has evaluation teams currently in
Sri Lanka and Indonesia, their reports are not expected to be
completed before ECHO makes its next decision for tsunami
relief. Our interlocutor expressed concern that Indonesia
had delayed access in the Aceh area and noted specific
problems with access to the islands of Andaman and Nicobar.
Regarding Thailand, the ECHO official said that EU Member
States would be more active donors than the EC (in part,
because so many European tourists were affected in that
country). The official also noted that Thailand has more of
its own financial resources and is less dependent on
international aid. Regarding India, the official said that
in the past it has not welcomed EC aid, and that India was
assisting Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

5. (U) An ECHO desk officer explained that the EC,s
immediate humanitarian response of 30 million euros will be
disbursed in tranches of up to 10 million euros each. A
decision on the first tranche of 10 million euros is expected
before the end of the week and will focus primarily on Sri
Lanka. About ten to twelve pre-cleared implementing partners
will be listed, of which seven or eight should be selected.
To date, ECHO has received only one proposal, but has seen a
number of concept papers. UNICEF is expected to present a
proposal for the Maldives. ECHO said the EC plans to contact
Indian authorities to ask whether assistance would be
welcome.

-------------------------
Coordination
-------------------------

6. (U) The EC has not publicly reacted to Jan Egeland,s
remark about "stingy" donors. In general, ECHO has an
excellent relationship with OCHA. ECHO also cited good
experience working with UNICEF in Sri Lanka. Our
interlocutor remarked that OCHA has been quite active and
somewhat faster to react to the present crisis than to the
July flooding in Bangladesh.

7. (U) USEU is actively engaged in coordinating donor
response with EC interlocutors. ECHO has been particularly
appreciative of the factual information published by
USAID/OFDA, and this information will be used as they make
future funding decisions. The EC's Monitoring and
Information Center has provided USEU with periodic updates,
which have been forwarded via unclass email to the tsunami
task force, EUR/ERA and USAID.

McKINLEY

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