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Cablegate: Tfus01: Update On French Assistance for Hurricane

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

061650Z Sep 05

UNCLAS PARIS 006026

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/06/2015
TAGS: FR PGOV ECON ASEC CASC AMGT EAID PREL
SUBJECT: TFUS01: UPDATE ON FRENCH ASSISTANCE FOR HURRICANE
KATRINA

REF: A. A) SECSTATE 163366

B. B) SECSTATE 163729
C. C) TELCONS PARIS/TF1
D. D) SECSTATE 163416
E. E) PARIS 5995

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, NOT FOR INTERNET

1. (U) SUMMARY: The GOF acknowledged notification of flight
clearance for its aircraft to Little Rock on September 6, and
remains ready to provide further assistance as the evolving
situation in the US warrants. END SUMMARY.

-----------------
FRENCH ASSISTANCE
-----------------

2. (SBU) The GOF is pleased by news that FEMA and USAID's
Joint Task Force for logistical details have finally arranged
clearance for two aircraft to travel to Little Rock,
Arkansas, on September 6. The planes will carry about 7 tons
of material from staging locations in the Caribbean.

3. (SBU) This initial transport is not the core of the
assistance planned, but is only a first gesture of
assistance. France is willing and able to provide more
assistance following an assessment of priorities and needs.

4. (SBU) The GOF reports it will send 7.1 tons of
humanitarian aid via two planes, which includes 4.5 tons of
tents and tarps and 1.6 tons of food rations. France
proposes to send 4 disaster relief specialists to accompany
the flight to conduct a needs assessment. Per telcons with
TF1, we have discouraged the GOF from sending the personnel,
and indicated that there will not be any appropriate
authorities available to meet with them.

5. (U) The GOF has offered to load up a plane from Paris
which could include other material goods, such as tents and
tarps, water treatment stations, and more food rations
(20,000 to 30,000), as well as other items on the USG
priority list. We have referred the MFA again to the USG
list of priority needs (Ref A), and requested specifics on
what items can be provided, when and from where.

6. (U) The GOF has informed us of their participation in a
joint operation with the British and with Airbus to make
available the Airbus Beluga cargo carrier. It will send 12.7
tons of emergency supplies (tents, jerrycans, hygiene kits,
cooking kits), and will leave on Wednesday September 7 for
Mobile, Alabama. Embassy Paris understands this operation is
being coordinated between London and Washington.

------------------
PRIVATE ASSISTANCE
------------------

7. (U) The MFA informed us that the NGO Telecom sans
frontiers has already sent a team to Houston via commercial
air to help restore telephone and communication links. This
NGO,s offer of assistance was included on the original
French list, reported in para 2 of Ref E.

8. (U) Air France Chief of Staff Guy Tardieu told Econ M/C
September 6 that Air France is informing the MFA that the
airline is prepared to make its excess cargo capacity
available for French humanitarian relief shipments to the
U.S. Air France has frequent service to Atlanta and Houston,
for example. Air France is also prepared to provide
cargo-only flights if needed. This could be used, for
example, to move NGO donations of high-priority items into
the Southeast.
STAPLETON

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