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Cablegate: Unicef Acting Representative Sketches Out Syria

VZCZCXRO2914
OO RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ
DE RUEHDM #4236 2401353
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281353Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1256
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0192
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 004236

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

PARIS FOR WALLER, LONDON FOR TSOU, PRM/FO, AMMAN FOR GREEN,
CAIRO FOR CHEYNE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PHUM PGOV SY LE
SUBJECT: UNICEF ACTING REPRESENTATIVE SKETCHES OUT SYRIA
SITUATION


1. (SBU) The Charg paid a courtesy call August 27 on
UNICEF's acting director, Marc Lucet, who said that UNHCR,
WFP and UNICEF planned to do a joint assessment of the
remaining displaced Lebanese who are thought to be staying
in private homes in about six locations in Syria. UN
agencies had reports so far of only a few Lebanese returning
to
Syria, although they expect some Lebanese may eventually use
Syria as a safehaven during the rebuilding of their homes,
Lucet said.

2. (U) UNHCR and UNICEF plan to stockpile relief supplies
in Syria, sufficient for one month for 20,000 people, Lucet
said. UNHCR's supplies would primarily deal with shelter,
while UNICEF would include hygiene and health items, as
well as recreational supplies.

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3. (U) UNICEF is making preparations to support 2,500
displaced Lebanese, primarily in Damascus and its
surroundings, as well as Homs, Lucet said. It is also
rehabilitating, in direct coordination with the Ministry of
Education, 30 schools that were occupied by displaced
Lebanese, and it will assist the Ministry of Social Affairs
and Labor in the establishment of five centers to host up
to 2,000 persons as a contingency for any future crisis, he
said.

4. (U) Separately, UNICEF plans to assist up to 2,000 of
the most vulnerable Iraqi families in Syria, in hopes of
boosting the school attendance rate of Iraqi children,
given figures indicating that up to 30 percent of displaced
Iraqi children in Syria do not attend school, Lucet said.
UNICEF's regional headquarters, based in Amman, is focused
on dealing with the issue of displaced Iraqis in the same
way that it regionally handles assistance to Palestinians,
the UNICEF acting director said.

5. (SBU) The UN Resident Coordinator's office in Damascus
said Monday that it has canceled
donor consultations in Damascus, after postponing the meeting
originally set for August 22.
CORBIN

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