Cablegate: Ndjamena Regional Refugee Coordinator Duties And

DE RUEHC #5074/01 2562314
R 132253Z SEP 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)
would like to thank outgoing Regional Refugee Coordinator
(RefCoord) Perlita Muiruri and welcome Michael Zorick who has
taken up duties as Regional RefCoord for Chad, Darfur, the
Central African Republic, and Cameroon. This message
outlines the key responsibilities and priorities for PRM
RefCoords generally and for the Ndjamena-based RefCoord
specifically in programming and monitoring U.S. Government
humanitarian assistance managed by the State Department. PRM
appreciates posts, ongoing support and collaboration with
RefCoord Zorick as we address the challenging humanitarian
issues confronting the region.

2. PRM currently has RefCoords deployed in nineteen (19)
posts around the world. Most have regional responsibilities
while some focus on a specific country or a complex
humanitarian emergency. The majority of our RefCoords work
on issues related to protection and assistance for refugees
and conflict victims (including internally displaced
people-IDPs) and voluntary repatriation and reintegration in
post-conflict situations, while some others work mainly on
issues related to resettlement of refugees to the United
States. They have responsibility for input into PRM -- and
USG -- humanitarian strategies; overseeing implementation of
USG policies and implementing partner programs for refugees,
conflict victims, stateless persons, and other vulnerable
migrants; liaising with governmental authorities to help
resolve spot problems with protection and assistance
programs; and helping represent the USG -- for example to
explain humanitarian policies/strategies. Their work with
other donor countries and our key implementing partners from
UN agencies, Red Cross, other international organizations and
non-governmental organizations (IOs and NGOs) is essential to
the work of PRM and our management of a budget which has been
over $1.8 billion in FY09 (including over $350 million for
Africa). RefCoords also serve as a resource for
Embassy-designated "refugee officers", providing guidance and
back-up as requested in responding to refugee issues,
including Embassy-supported programs via PRM,s Taft Refugee

3. PRM,s RefCoord in Ndjamena is the field focal point for
the PRM role in the protection and assistance for some 3.2
million refugees, IDPs, and conflict victims in Cameroon, the
Central African Republic, Chad, and Darfur. Given the
inherently cross-border character of refugee flows, he will
also coordinate closely with the Horn (Addis-based) and Great
Lakes (Kampala-based) Regional RefCoords as well as the
Refugee Admissions RefCoords in Nairobi and Accra. We hope
Ambassadors will consider RefCoord Zorick as a key member of
each of your country teams.


4. The primary issues to be covered by the RefCoord on a
regular basis -- and to be reported on both formally through
cable traffic and less formally through the Weekly Report of
Activities (WRA) as "recurrent issues" -- include the
general status of refugee and conflict victim populations in
the region, including treatment of refugees in host
countries; factors influencing protection, assistance, and
security issues; institutional performance of the IOs and
NGOs; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
protection and assistance programs for refugees, IDPs, and
any stateless populations; UNHCR resettlement procedures (in
cooperation with our Accra-based Admissions RefCoord);
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) protection

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and assistance programs for conflict victims; World Food
Program (WFP) feeding programs for refugees and air
operations (UNHAS); gender-based violence (GBV), sexual
exploitation and abuse (SEA), and HIV/AIDS issues related to
refugees; civil-military coordination between the
humanitarian community and the UN peacekeeping mission in the
Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), including the
Chadian Detachement Integre de Securite (DIS); NGO monitoring
and evaluation (M&E); coordination among USG agencies,
including especially with USAID on IDP issues; upcoming
RefCoord travel and other activities of interest.

5. The Chad/CAR/Darfur situation has been dubbed a "complex
regional protracted emergency." With the conflicts in Chad,
the CAR, and Darfur far from being resolved despite a number
of peace agreements (particularly in the case of the CAR and
Chad), PRM focus in the region in the coming year will
continue to be on preparedness for new refugee flows,
emergency response, maintaining minimum standards of
protection and assistance, such self-reliance measures as may
be possible particularly with CAR refugees, and ensuring that
the humanitarian response architecture is well coordinated
and free of any sexual exploitation and abuse. Difficult
challenges over the coming year will include shrinking
humanitarian space owing to insecurity and/or to governments
being unable or unwilling to support humanitarian efforts,
security and neutrality of refugee and IDP camps,
coordination between a growing military and humanitarian
presence in eastern Chad, the carrying capacity of eastern
Chad, and the growing threat from the Lord,s Resistance Army
in the CAR in particular. We expect public interest in the
Darfur situation to remain high, resulting in multiple
VIP-type visits to Chad, including CODELs for which RefCoord
Zorick will likely have some control officer

6. Key situations of interest include:
A. Sudanese Refugees in Chad
-- Protection, especially of children, from recruitment into
fighting forces.
-- Preventing militarization of camps, including through
-- Maintaining protection and assistance standards, including
in treatment of vulnerable children and women and a reliable
food aid pipeline, in what has become a protracted refugee
-- Possible solutions to fuel wood and water depletion.
-- Impact of refugees on affected Chadians.
-- Coordinated security measures among the many implementing
partners in eastern Chad.
-- MINURCAT: Deployment of the MINURCAT-trained Chadian
police (DIS) to enhance refugee and IDP security and general
civil-military coordination.
-- Contingency planning for additional refugee inflows.
-- Referral of appropriate vulnerable cases to the U.S.
Refugee Admissions Program.

B. Sudanese Refugees in the CAR
-- Protection, especially of children, from recruitment into
fighting forces.
-- Reaching and maintaining protection and assistance
standards, including in treatment of vulnerable children and
women and a reliable food aid pipeline.
-- Contingency planning for additional refugee inflows.
-- MINURCAT: civil-military coordination.
-- Displacement due to LRA activity in SE CAR.

C. Chadian IDPs
-- Improved and coordinated UN and ICRC attention to
IDPs/conflict victims, particularly with regard to IDP
returns; monitoring UNHCR,s coordination role
in addressing IDP protection/camp coordination-camp
management/shelter needs; monitoring OCHA,s role.
-- Ensuring complementarity of USAID and PRM programming.

D. Chadian Refugees in Darfur and Cameroon
-- Protection of Chadian refugees in Darfur from possible

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manipulation in the Darfur conflict; ensuring that return to
Chad is not foreclosed by land redistribution in Chad.
-- Reaching and maintaining protection and assistance
standards, including in treatment of vulnerable children and
women and a reliable food aid pipeline for Chadian refugees
in Darfur and in Cameroon.
-- Appropriate measures to shape repatriation from Cameroon.

E. CAR Refugees in Chad and Cameroon (and Darfur)
-- Reaching and maintaining protection and assistance
standards, including in treatment of vulnerable children and
women among the CAR refugees, in refugee camps in Chad and in
Cameroon where refugees are not encamped.
-- Self-reliance strategies for CAR refugees with access to
land for farming and grazing.
-- Addressing conflict between Peulh refugees and local
-- The situation of CAR refugees who have sought safety in
-- Referral of appropriate vulnerable cases in southern Chad
to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

-- Role of rebel and FACA forces in displacement.
-- UN and ICRC attention to IDPs/conflict victims; monitoring
UNHCR,s coordination role in addressing IDP protection/camp
coordination-camp management/shelter needs; monitoring
OCHA,s role.
-- Ensuring complementarity of USAID and PRM programming.

G. Darfur conflict victims and IDPs
-- Monitoring UNHCR,s coordination role in addressing IDP
protection/camp coordination-camp management; evaluation of
"protection through presence" programming, following
prospects for UNHCR,s expansion into North and South Darfur.
-- Camp security/neutrality.
-- ICRC,s protection and assistance efforts for conflict
victims (including IDPs, the Gereida IDP Camp in particular)

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7. The information that RefCoords gather and analyze helps
PRM enhance the operational capacity and efficiency of our
partners, and is therefore the key to the Department,s
accountability to both beneficiaries and U.S. taxpayers.
With performance increasingly tied to resources, monitoring
and evaluation continue to play a critical role in justifying
budget requests. RefCoord/Ndjamena should also approach
refugee issues in the region from a holistic standpoint with
an eye towards highlighting both humanitarian and USG foreign
policy implications and possible courses of action for PRM
and the Department. He should not only collect information,
but also critically analyze it and offer options for action.
Ideas of how PRM as a bureau (and AFR as an office) might
work more efficiently towards its performance goals
(including better M&E practices) would be highly valued.

8. RefCoord,s activities, including input for the various
Mission Strategic Plans, should promote key PRM objectives
and indicators, as outlined in PRM,s Bureau Strategic Plan,
the OMB Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART)s, the Annual
Framework Agreement with UNHCR, and in the Operational Plans
(both country and global) and Country Assistance Strategies
developed with guidance from the Director for Foreign
Assistance (F). (Note that, given the contingency and
regional nature of PRM programming, PRM funds are part of the
global operational planning rather than country plans in the
F framework.)

9. RefCoord should cultivate relationships with key members
of the following groups:
-UNHCR (both national and local offices)
-Other IOs (mainly WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, and IOM)
-NGOs working in refugee support (Implementing and

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Non-Implementing Partners of UNHCR)
-Governmental Authorities (primarily in Ndjamena and Bangui)
-Embassy and USAID Mission contacts in all embassies, as well
as appropriate other USG personnel such as Defense Attaches,
CDC staff working on HIV/AIDS and malaria, DHS.
-PRM Missions and Colleagues (Washington, Geneva, Brussels,
Addis, Kampala, Accra and Nairobi)


10. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), which has the international lead on all refugee
situations in Africa (and generally in the world apart from
the Palestinian refugees in the Middle East) is PRM's largest
financial partner, receiving over 40% of PRM,s overseas
assistance funds, and is the agency with which we have the
broadest and deepest relationship. Humanitarian reform in
the United Nations has also given UNHCR additional
responsibilities with respect to IDPs under the "cluster
approach". The International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC), which is similarly present in almost every conflict
situation, is second with approximately 20%. Support for
other IOs varies from situation to situation. In general,
USG food aid for refugees through WFP is provided in kind by
the Food for Peace Program managed by USAID. PRM may provide
some cash support to WFP to fill critical gaps in the refugee
food pipeline. RefCoords are tasked with coordinating with
USAID to report on refugee feeding activities by WFP and to
report on any coming food shortages and pipeline breaks.

11. RefCoords are to report regularly on the performance of
UNHCR and ICRC in each country, against the objectives laid
out in their annual appeal documents. Findings are used not
only at the field level in terms of pressing UNHCR to make
changes that the USG might deem useful/necessary and/or in
encouraging other donors to join in support of a particular
program approach; they are also used in the USG engagement on
the Executive Committee of the UNHCR which meets in plenary
once a year and in Standing Committee at least three times a
year. Findings on ICRC,s performance are used primarily at
the field and HQ levels in pressing for any program changes
that the USG might deem useful/necessary and/or in
encouraging other donors to join in support of a particular
program approach. The ICRC does not have a multinational
governing board as UN agencies do, but there is a Donor
Support Group mechanism in which the USG participates and the
USG is a full member in the quadripartite Red Cross Movement
(ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross/Crescent
Societies, the National RC Societies, and the National

12. In addition, in an effort to monitor UNHCR efforts in
support of USG priorities and increase U.S. input into and
knowledge of UNHCR's planning process, RefCoords are annually
requested to perform two specific UNHCR monitoring duties, in
addition to generally monitoring UNHCR activities. One,
RefCoords are asked to meet with UNHCR at the country level
to discuss its Country Operation Plan (COP) for the current
and coming year. Discussions will need to be held in late
winter/early spring, typically sometime in February or March,
as UNHCR offices are putting together their plans for the
coming year (details regarding the consultation will be
provided in an action cable). Two, PRM and UNHCR annually
negotiate a Framework for Cooperation, which lays out shared
expectations for the year. Once finalized, the Framework is
shared with RefCoords who are asked to refer to it throughout
the year in monitoring UNHCR. These two requests and
associated guidance will be provided to RefCoords by cable
early in the calendar year.

13. PRM makes significant unearmarked contributions to ICRC
for the Africa region. Special attention should be paid to
ICRC activities in the region. Front-channel reporting on
ICRC programs, presence, and activities is helpful several

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times during the year as the PRM Financial Plan for a given
fiscal year is reviewed and adjusted quarterly. Updates on
PRM,s earmarked contributions to ICRC and/or other
International Organizations such as UNICEF and IOM are also
needed regularly, particularly if continued funding is


14. PRM has cooperative agreements with a number of NGOs in
the region to complement and/or to fill gaps in UNHCR
programming in particular. RefCoord responsibilities with
regard to the NGOs that we fund includes at least two site
visits and one M&E cable reporting specifically on the
indicators agreed upon in the cooperative agreement, and
others as written in the NGO final proposal. RefCoords will
receive notification from PRM,s Comptroller that an
agreement has been awarded, along with an electronic version
of the cooperative agreement. Notification will
identify/highlight areas for review and establish a date for
formal reports to be submitted to Washington. In addition,
the PRM "nine Core Questions" should serve as a general
outline for evaluating programs. The deadline date for M&E
reports is generally ninety days prior to the expiration of
the agreement. Washington relies on the RefCoords, feedback
in making funding decisions for future NGO programs.
RefCoords should be familiar with programs, goals, objectives
and indicators, as required in NGO cooperative agreements,
and should work with PRM program officers to report on
objectives and indicators in Interim Performance Evaluations
(IPEs). A monitoring and evaluation report must be written
for each PRM-funded NGO program. The M&E reports should also
report on changes in expected funding from UNHCR (from the
planning figures given initially in the project proposal).
In most situations there are multiple NGOs operating in a
specific locale. RefCoords should make sure that PRM funding
for NGOs is balanced with respect to varying needs throughout
a geographic region.

15. HIV/AIDS: RefCoords with responsibilities in countries
that have/will have Partnership Framework should become
active participants in the PEPFAR inter-agency country teams
to advocate for the inclusion of refugees in proposals for
PEPFAR funding. While none of the countries covered by
RefCoord Ndjamena is currently a
PEPFAR-focus country, he, as all RefCoords, should review the
availability and adequacy of HIV/AIDS interventions on
monitoring trips to identify program gaps that our NGO or IO
partners could address. Active RefCoord involvement has
resulted in increased PEPFAR funding for refugees in recent
years to fill critical programming gaps.

16. WEEKLY REPORTS: RefCoords should send Weekly Reports on
Activities (WRAs) to PRM highlighting points related to key
issues above. WRAs serve to disseminate important regional
information throughout the Bureau.

RefCoords should alert PRM-Washington of immediate issues of
concern and recommend appropriate responses.

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