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Cablegate: Sudan Disaster Redeclaration

VZCZCXRO8725
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1110/01 2740600
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 010600Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4497
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001110

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
UN ROME FOR HSPANOS
NEW YORK FOR DMERCADO

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: Sudan Disaster Redeclaration

1. (U) Summary: USAID continues to provide humanitarian assistance
to respond to the needs of conflict-affected and vulnerable
populations in Sudan. Due to the ongoing, complex emergency and
humanitarian conditions in Sudan, Chief of Mission Robert Whitehead
re-declares a disaster and requests continued support from USAID's
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). End
Summary.

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DARFUR
------

2. (U) As of March 2009, nearly 2.7 million people remained
displaced in Darfur, according to the U.N. Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In Fiscal Year (FY)
2009, inter-ethnic clashes and fighting between armed opposition
groups and the Sudanese Armed Forces have limited access to civilian
populations. Assailants have also targeted humanitarian operations,
abducting aid workers in Darfur, stealing non-governmental
organization (NGO) and U.N. assets, food assistance, and emergency
relief supplies. Attacks on humanitarians have restricted access
and reduced operating capacity, exacerbating humanitarian needs.

3. (U) In early March, the regime expelled 13 international
non-governmental organizations and dissolved three Sudanese relief
agencies. The expulsions dramatically decreased humanitarian
services to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur. Despite
humanitarian organizations' extraordinary efforts to provide for
IDPs' needs, the expulsions demonstrated the fragility of the
humanitarian situation in Darfur and the need for continued
assistance.

--------------
SOUTHERN SUDAN
--------------

4. (U) A marked increase in inter-ethnic conflict and Lord's
Resistance Army (LRA) activities have led to large-scale
displacements and limited humanitarian access to populations,
including returnees, in Jonglei, Warrab and Upper Nile states. In
the past year, inter-ethnic violence has caused the deaths of more
than 1,200 people, many of them women and children, in Jonglei and
Upper Nile states. In addition, continued LRA activity has
displaced new populations in Central and Western Equatoria states.
On September 17, OHCA estimated that LRA-related violence had
displaced nearly 85,000 people in Southern Sudan, including more
than 18,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and
the Central African Republic.

5. (U) Conflict has also contributed to food insecurity in Eastern
Equatoria, Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, and Warrab
states in Southern Sudan. According to the Annual Needs and
Livelihood Assessment, conflict, lack of access, delayed rains, poor
terms of trade, and high food prices have exacerbated food
insecurity in Southern Sudan. The U.N. World Food Program estimates
that approximately 1.5 million people face severe food insecurity
from September to December 2009.

--------------------------------------------- -
NORTHERN AND EASTERN SUDAN AND THE THREE AREAS
--------------------------------------------- -

6. (U) In eastern Sudan in FY 2009, Gedaref, Kassala, and Red Sea
state ministries of health recorded levels of malnutrition exceeding
emergency thresholds. Humanitarian access remains limited in many
remote areas, and NGOs have faced difficulties securing travel
permits to further assess and respond to humanitarian needs in
eastern Sudan. In Khartoum state, heavy rains in late August led to
flooding that affected more than 22,000 families, many of whom were
IDPs from Southern Sudan and Darfur and already lacked basic
services. As of late September, sanitation and shelter needs
persisted in Khartoum state.

7. (U) The Three Areas (Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan) were
significantly impacted by the March NGO expulsions. Several of the
expelled organizations provided critical support for water, health,
and agriculture activities in the 'northern' sections of Southern
Kordofan and Blue Nile states and Abyei Area. Gap-filling
activities have not yet fully re-established pending GNU approval of
technical agreements for new NGO operations. Leading up to
elections, popular consultations, and the referendum, humanitarian
assistance programs in the Three Areas are focusing on decreasing
tensions between farmers and nomads. Activities include increasing
access to safe drinking water and boosting farmers' productivity by

KHARTOUM 00001110 002 OF 002


providing agricultural assistance and training.

----------------------------------
USAID/OFDA HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
----------------------------------

8. (U) In FY 2009, USAID/OFDA provided more than $93 million to
meet the needs of conflict-affected persons in Darfur and nearly $44
million to eastern and Southern Sudan and the Three Areas.
USAID/OFDA programs targeted highly vulnerable populations
throughout Sudan, particularly IDPs, returnees, and child- and
women-headed households. The U.S. government's overall package of
emergency and transition assistance included contributions from
USAID/OFDA, USAID's Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP), and
USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI).

----------------------
DISASTER REDECLARATION
----------------------

9. (U) The Chief of Mission re-declares a humanitarian disaster due
to the persistent emergency conditions throughout Sudan and requests
continued support from USAID/OFDA. The scale of the complex
emergency exceeds national response capacity and the GNU and
Government of Southern Sudan are willing to accept USG assistance.
Furthermore, it is in the interest of the United States to provide
humanitarian assistance based on need throughout Sudan during FY
2010.

ASQUINO

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