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Cablegate: Status of Usg Humanitarian Assistance Team in Ethiopia

VZCZCXYZ0003
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDS #3644/01 3651225
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311225Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8978
INFO RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 2035
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 8830
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3286
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 3020
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 4087
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2954
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6310
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7143
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2/CCJ5/CCJS//
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 003644

SIPDIS

STATE DEPARTMENT FOR A/S FRAZER, DAS AF JSWAN, AF/E, AF/PDPA, OES,
A/S PRM SAUERBREY, AND PRM/AFR
AFR/AA KALMQUIST, WWARREN, JBORNS, KNELSON, CTHOMPSON
DCHA/AA MHESS, GGOTTLIEB
DCHA/OFDA KLUU, ACONVERY, CCHAN, PMORRIS, KCHANNELL
DCHA/FFP JDWORKEN, PMOHAN, SANTHONY, PBERTOLIN
LONDON, PARIS, ROME FOR AFRICA WATCHER
CJTF-HOA AND USCENTCOM FOR POLAD
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, RTILSWORTH, AND LPANASUK
NAIROBI FOR OFDA/ECARO JMYER, GPLATT, RFFPO NCOX, USAID/EA
ROME FOR AMBASSADOR, OHA, HSPANOS
BRUSSELS FOR USEU PBROWN
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH, RMA
USUN FOR TMALY
NSC FOR PMARCHAN

AIDAC
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PHUM SENV EAGR PGOV ET
SUBJECT: STATUS OF USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TEAM IN ETHIOPIA


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SUMMARY
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1. Summary: On December 19, staff from USAID and the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) arrived in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, as part of a six-person U.S. Government (USG) Humanitarian
Assistance Team (HAT). The team will assess and report on
humanitarian conditions in Somali Region to determine the extent and
severity of the current food security crisis and reports of
deteriorating health and nutrition indicators in the region. In FY
2007 and to date in FY 2008, USAID has provided nearly USD 39.5
million in emergency assistance to affected populations in Somali
Region. In conjunction with USAID/Ethiopia, the USG HAT will
conduct field assessments to inform emergency response efforts and
monitor existing programs. End summary.

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HUMANITARIAN CONDITIONS IN SOMALI REGION
----------------------------------------

2. In Somali Region of Ethiopia, ongoing military operations by the
Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), as well as insurgent
operations by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), have
caused delays in food assistance and restricted the movement of
people, livestock, and commercial goods. These problems have
exacerbated the impact of successive years of drought conditions and
resulted in a food security crisis and increased malnutrition rates.
More than 1.6 million people are confronting survival and
livelihood protection deficits in Somali Region, including more than
730,000 people in immediate need of food assistance, according to
the December Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of
Ethiopia (GFDRE) Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency (DPPA)
Deyr/Karan Needs Assessment. However, as a result of access
constraints, limited reliable information is available on the
magnitude and severity of the crisis.

---------------------------------
USAID ASSISTANCE IN SOMALI REGION
---------------------------------

3. On August 16, 2007, U.S. Ambassador Donald Y. Yamamoto declared
a disaster due to the complex emergency in Ethiopia's Somali Region.
In response, USAID has provided affected populations in Somali
Region with nearly USD 39.5 million in emergency assistance,
including 58,150 metric tons of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food
assistance in FY 2007 and to date in FY 2008. At present, USAID's
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is
supporting programs in nutrition, health, agriculture, food
security, logistics, and humanitarian coordination. In addition,
USAID/OFDA maintains two permanent field monitors in Addis Ababa,
supports frequent field visits by a regional advisor, and has
deployed various staff to Ethiopia, including a program officer who
will remain in country through July 2008.

-------
USG HAT
-------

4. On December 19, USG HAT members arrived in Addis Ababa. The team
includes a team leader, a CDC health and nutrition specialist,
information officer, safety and security officer, and program
officer. In addition, a food officer from USAID's Office of Food
for Peace will join the team on December 27. The USG HAT will work
closely with USAID/Ethiopia to assess current humanitarian
conditions in Ethiopia's Somali Region and inform emergency response
efforts.

5. Since arriving in Ethiopia, USG HAT staff have met with
representatives from the GFDRE, U.N. agencies, international
non-governmental orgaQtions, and various USAID and U.S. Embassy
staff monitoring the crisis, including the GFDRE DPPA General
Director. In the coming weeks, the USG HAT plans to conduct
multiple field assessments to Somali Region in an effort to verify
the extent and magnitude of the current crisis, monitor ongoing
relief programs, and recommend appropriate response efforts. On
December 27, the USG HAT program officer, health and nutrition
specialist, and security officer are scheduled to travel to Jijiga
and Degehabur zones in Somali Region to conduct a preliminary
three-day assessment.

YAMAMOTO

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