Cablegate: Tfus01: French Offers of Assistance for Hurricane

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. A) SECSTATE 163366

B. B) SECSTATE 163729
C. C) TELCONS PARIS/TF1 09/04/05
D. D) SECSTATE 163416

1. SUMMARY: Following specific French offers of disaster
assistance, repeated below, we relayed acceptance per ref D.
The GOF still awaits notification of where and when to send
the material accepted. END SUMMARY.


2. France announced on September 2 it is willing to provide
disaster relief assistance to the United States to help the
victims of Hurricane Katrina. Initial proposals included:

--Interior Ministry capabilities: an emergency services
detachment of 35 people (including 11 hurricane specialists)
can be immediately deployed from Guadeloupe and Martinique.
An airmobile disaster intervention detachment of up to 60
people can also be mobilized from continental France.

--The Foreign Ministry pre-positioned humanitarian action
supplies in Martinique, including 600 tents, almost 1000 camp
beds, 60 generators, 3 motor pumps, 3 water treatment units
and 1000 foldable jerry cans.

-- The Defense Ministry can make available 2 aircraft which
are already in the area and another six from continental
France, 2 navy ships (one with a helicopter) and a hurricane
unit specialized in medical support.

-- The Telecom sans frontiers NGO and the French water
company Veolia Environment Company offered services in their
areas of expertise, namely, restoring telephone and water

3. On September 4, we met with representatives of the French
disaster response team (which includes representatives from
the Foreign Ministry, Defense, Interior, and the Presidency),
and shared with them the points provided in Ref B. The
French provided further specifications of their offers of
material assistance, at our request, as follows:

143 tents 25m2
146 tents 13m3
200 tents 16m2
98 tents 8m2
2 tents, hangar 86m2
980 camp cots
1000 pliable jerricans
1100 buckets 11 liters
3136 soapbars
576 cooking kits
30 generators 2.5kwa
9 generators 4.2kwa
20 generators 4kva LX400 SDMO with stakes
350 Cresyl chemical water-purifiers with 5-liter flask
126 first aid kits
1029 tarps 8x6m
1200 tarps 5x4
1000 blankets
200 stretchers
6 ropes
1 water treatment station 10m3/h
2 water treatment stations 10m3/h
10 motor pumps 36m3/h Honda ) suction tube 6m, discharge
tube 40m
20 motor pumps 36m3/h SDMO TR 2.36H with tube kits
4 concrete mixers with accessories
394 storm lamps
159 masonry kits
192 carpentry kits
295 plumbing kits
6 portable electric tools
30 chainsaws gloves safety hats
300 pick axes
223 shovels
180 sledgehammers
3000 ponchos
234 boots (US sizes M 7, 8, 9)

Subsequently, the French MFA indicated it also has available
1000 MRE rations. We faxed the detailed list to the Task

4. During the meeting, French officials indicated they also
would coordinate their offers with the European Commission
Civil Protection Cooperation Mechanism (ECCPM). (NOTE:
French officials provided a copy of a message from the ECCPCM
to us, with a list of urgent requirements in two tables. It
appears the second table is almost verbatim from Ref B, with
the exception that pharmaceuticals are listed as being
requested, not excluded. END NOTE.)

5. The GOF indicated that it has planes ready to go in
Guadeloupe and Martinique with disaster supplies; their
pilots just need to know a destination. The French also
would like to know exactly what to send, and sought
confirmation of our priorities. Delivery can be by air or
sea, but by sea will take a few days longer. French
officials repeated their offer to provide trained personnel.
These specialists would be fully autonomous (e.g., have
enough food and water) for up to five days. The French Red
Cross stated their contacts with the US Red Cross indicated
the greatest need is for medical personnel.

6. We checked by phone with the Task Force, and relayed the
message that the USG priority now is for material supplies,
not personnel. We also relayed the message to the French
that search & rescue personnel are not required. The French
suggested that they could also provide personnel to aid in
the distribution of goods, if desired.


7. In addition to the French Telecom NGO and Veolia, the GOF
informs us that Airbus is willing to make available, as soon
as September 6, its Beluga cargo carrier. In addition, the
Groupe de Secours Catastrophe Francais has offered to send a
team of 5-15 persons to engage in water purification of up to
1500 liters per hour and to provide sanitary support. POC is
Thierry Velu, tel 336 63 58 0195, fax 333 21907 932, email The Corps Mondiale de Secours, another

NGO specializing in search & rescue, has also offered its
services. POC is Camille Chardon, tel. 336 19 98 45.

8. We have referred other offers to FEMA and the Task Force
for consideration, as well as to the Embassy website, which
has contact information for donations.

9. Francoise le Bihan, Assistant Secretary for French
Consular Services, expressed concern to us about the plight
of EU members in the wake of the storm, particularly of
course French citizens. She requested, if possible, to have
EU citizens grouped together for easier handling. She
reported the French ConGen in New Orleans had been relocated
to Lafayette, but soon would move to Baton Rouge. Other
French consulates, such as in Houston, are also involved in
providing aid.

10. We relayed the USG acceptance to the French of the tents
and generators (ref D). The GOF took note, and requested
destination information soonest. In order to fuel the planes
properly, that is the most important piece of information
missing. The GOF also awaits further notification on its
other offers of aid, specifically the personnel proffered.

11. For the GOF, the primary host-country POC who is
English-speaking and can address technical and logistical
details is Marion Fesneau-Castaing, in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, tel. 331 43 17 40 27, fax 331 43 17 54 70
and 331 43 17 58 91, portable duty phone 336 15 30 61 41.
The French lead POC is Christian Rouyer, Delegate for
Humanitarian Action, tel. 331 43 17 47 63, fax 331 43 58 91.

12. Embassy Paris POC is Economic Officer Otto Van Maerssen,
reachable through the Embassy,s 24-hour switchboard at
331-4312-2222. Alternate phones: 331 42 94 84 89 (home),
336 20 8666 19 (cell).

© Scoop Media

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