Cablegate: Swiss Response: Donor Support for Ethiopia, Kenya,


DE RUEHSW #0395 2610729
R 180729Z SEP 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 70789
B. STATE 96625

1. Econoff delivered reftel A points to Federal Department
of Foreign Affairs Regional Coordinator for Northern
Subsaharan Africa Urs Beer in July. After consulting with
his his colleagues in the Humanitarian Aid Department of the
Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC) regarding
donor support Beer provided the following response.

2. Switzerland agrees with the U.S. analysis concerning the
humanitarian needs in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Beer
noted that Switzerland is concerned that in the Horn of
Africa, including Kenya and Uganda, approximately 17 million
people are in need of food and humanitarian assistance.
Switzerland is worried about the shrinking humanitarian space
in conflict areas which often is the limiting factor for
humanitarian operations. Beer highlighted the situation in
Eritrea, in which the Eritrean authorities do not allow food
security assessments by specialized agencies.

3. In response to these crises, Switzerland increased its
budget for humanitarian aid in the region from 10 million CHF
in 2007 to 18.2 million CHF in 2008, mostly due to additional
allocations related to the food crisis in 2008. However, the
implementation of projects in conflict areas proved more
challenging, so Switzerland has tried to keep the amount of
its budget and interventions in 2009 at the same level
reached in 2008.

4. Switzerland's budget for the region is mainly allocated
for food security and to livelihood support, with a
geographic focus on conflict areas and with the target group
of the most vulnerable population (IDPs, refugees, women and
children). Switzerland also works through partner
organizations which are specialized in medical emergency
interventions such as the International Red Cross.

5. The regional representative of the SDC in Nairobi and
Addis Ababa is closely working with the most relevant actors
in the Food Security sector such as the World Food Program,
the Food and Agriculture Organization, and Swiss and
international NGOs. He is also in dialogue with other
donors, including the US. In close coordination with these
partner organizations, Beer reports that Switzerland is doing
its best to respond to the large humanitarian challenges in
the Horn of Africa.

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