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Cablegate: Darfur - Assessment of Humanitarian Protection

VZCZCXRO5716
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #2486/01 2841333
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111333Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4916
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 002486

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
USMISSION UN ROME
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, NSC/AFRICA FOR TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV KWMN PHUM SOCI SU
SUBJECT: DARFUR - ASSESSMENT OF HUMANITARIAN PROTECTION
PROGRAMMING


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Summary
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1. In September, USAID staff conducted an assessment of
non-governmental organizations (NGO) partners' humanitarian
protection activities in all three Darfur states. The assessment
revealed that the majority of partners are successfully protecting
conflict-affected populations through beneficiary targeting,
responding to sexual and gender-based violence, and coordinated
assistance for vulnerable individuals. Yet further improvements are
needed, particularly for responding to vulnerable cases and in
establishing more effective coordination. End Summary.

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Background
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2. In September, USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
(USAID/OFDA) staff undertook an assessment of 15 NGO partners'
integration of protective strategies within humanitarian assistance
programs. USAID concluded that NGOs are protecting populations
through beneficiary targeting, responding to sexual and gender-based
violence, and camp coordination activities. Innovative strategies
have been a priority for the humanitarian response to the Darfur
crisis, because the crisis has been characterized by protection
concerns such as forcible displacement, sexual and gender-based
violence, family separation, and other issues.

3. USAID implements a variety of protection activities in Darfur,
including human rights and rule of law initiatives, as well as
humanitarian protection. The assessment undertaken in September
evaluated the extent to which protective strategies were integrated
into USAID/OFDA-funded humanitarian assistance programs in Darfur.
USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) also supports
protection monitoring and discrete activities to reduce violence
against women in Darfur such as strengthening rule of law, human
rights monitoring, and providing alternatives to firewood
collection.

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Achievements in Humanitarian Protection
---------------------------------------

4. Each NGO assessed described methods for beneficiary targeting
that rely on community-based committee recommendations combined with
verification mechanisms to ensure fair and appropriate targeting.
NGOs were quick to acknowledge the importance of community
participation in beneficiary selection, as well as the need to
spread decision-making power beyond the sheikhs and umdas. NGOs
employ strategies such as female representation on food distribution
committees and formation of women-only committees for vegetable seed
distributions targeting female-headed households to ensure
appropriate community representation. In most cases, NGOs also
independently verify beneficiary lists to ensure that the most
vulnerable are included.

5. Sexual and gender-based violence has been a significant
protection issue in the Darfur crisis. NGOs implementing health and
psychosocial activities have developed case management protocols for
survivors of sexual and gender-based violence that seek to ensure
strict confidentiality as well as provide appropriate medical care.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN
Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) have
conducted trainings for health care workers and social workers on
the clinical management of sexual and gender-based violence. Each
of the seven NGOs implementing USAID/OFDA-funded health activities
have participated in these or other trainings, and report that the
trainings were useful in increasing staff skills for appropriate
case management.

6. Referral links are another important component of case management
for sexual and gender-based violence. Four NGOs implementing
USAID/OFDA-supported health or psychosocial support activities
indicated that they provide referral links, either to health
facilities or to psychosocial support and livelihoods activities for
survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. The referral links
may occur within one agency that implements both types of
activities, or between different agencies working in the same camp
or community. In all cases, confidentiality of the survivor is
preserved, enabling the survivor to choose whether or not to access

KHARTOUM 00002486 002 OF 002


the proffered services. USAID will encourage all NGO partners to
strengthen referral links in their programs.

7. Camp coordination plays a key function in protective programming.
Through community participation mechanisms, consistent presence,
and knowledge of the camp population and assistance agencies, two
USAID/OFDA NGO partners are ensuring protective programming within
the camp in their role as camp coordinator. The camp coordinator
function allows for tracking of vulnerable individuals within the
camp to ensure that they receive general assistance, as described
above, as well as any additional assistance available. In
conjunction with other assistance providers in the camp, camp
coordinators track vulnerable individuals such as separated or
unaccompanied children, unaccompanied elders, and persons with
disabilities.

--------------------------------------------- --------
Recommendations for Improving Humanitarian Protection
--------------------------------------------- --------

8. The successes noted in the assessment demonstrate that NGOs can
improve the protection of beneficiaries through integration of the
strategies detailed above. Yet more effort is needed to ensure that
all humanitarian assistance activities incorporate protective
strategies to the fullest extent possible. In particular, the
strengthening of referral links, case management, and coordination
mechanisms will improve humanitarian protection in Darfur.

9. While some agencies have referral links between health care
services and psychosocial support services for survivors of sexual
and gender-based violence, nearly all NGOs assessed noted that the
referral links could be strengthened. NGOs noted that staff
involved in health, income generation, or other programs need to be
made aware of other nearby complementary activities that are
accessible to beneficiaries. Enabling referral links between
service providers strengthens the overall assistance package,
particularly for vulnerable individuals.

10. In several locations, camp coordinators are effectively
managing assistance for vulnerable cases. However, appropriate case
management for vulnerable individuals is vital for all camps and
communities, and camp coordination needs to be strengthened to
ensure that vulnerable cases are tracked and assisted in areas where
this is not currently happening.

11. USAID staff also note that protection issues and programs are
not well coordinated in Darfur. The successful examples of camp
coordination and referral pathways are entirely dependent on the
initiative and capacity of the individual NGOs working in the camp.
Most USAID NGO partners participate in state level protection
working groups, but in general, NGOs reported that the working group
leads do not coordinate effectively. NGOs particularly wished to
see more leadership from UN agencies in follow-through of individual
cases and concerns, including advocacy with the Sudanese government
where needed. Strengthened coordination on protection in the field
is necessary to move from ad-hoc cooperation to an effective and
efficient system.

HUME

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