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Cablegate: Chad Humanitarian Update

VZCZCXRO0246
PP RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0482/01 2991433
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261433Z OCT 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7362
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NDJAMENA 000482

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C, S/USSES, AND PRM/AFR
USAID FOR OFDA
KHARTOUM FOR OFDA
NSC FOR GAVIN
LONDON FOR POL - LORD
PARIS FOR POL - KANEDA
ADDIS ABABA FOR AU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL PHUM SU CD
SUBJECT: CHAD HUMANITARIAN UPDATE

NDJAMENA 00000482 001.2 OF 003


1. (U) The following is an update of RefCoord N'Djamena activities
for the period of 12 to 23 OCT, 2009.

------------------------------
RET'S SUDAN CURRICULUM EXAMS
FOR GRADES 8 AND 11 -- PILOT
CONTINUES IN 2010
------------------------------

2. (SBU) RefCoord met 12 OCT with Refugee Education Trust (RET)
Global Programme manager Guillaume Villard and outgoing Country
Director Jennie Taylor (en route to take on RET's programs in
Burundi). RET is providing education services in life skills and
French/English instruction, Secondary Education through Distance
Learning (SEDL), as well as formal secondary education, in the Oure
Cassoni, Touloum, Am Nabak, Bredjing, Gaga, Treguine, Farchana,
Djabal, and Goz Amir refugee camps, and the local communities of
Hadjer Hadid, Kourkourgin, Farchana, Goz Beida, Koukou and Aradip.
Regarding the 2010 administration of Sudanese curriculum grade 8 and
11 leavers' exams for Sudanese refugees in Chad, in cooperation with
Sudan's Ministry of Education, the RET team sought to clarify that,
though school programs other than those that RET managed would be
producing grade 8 leavers, RET would only have the capacity to
organize the grade 8 and 11 exams for pupils in the RET-managed
programs. RET expects to have some 500-800 8th grade leavers at the
end of the school year, out of roughly 4,000 completing the grade in
all programs. At the grade 11 level, RET, in conjunction with
partner IRC, expect to graduate 78 students.

3. (SBU) RET will only be able to push forward the pilot exams for
their 8th graders, and the combined RET-IRC 11th graders, because
the exams must be administered in a central location -- likely
Abch -- due to the limited number of exam administrators that
Khartoum is to provide. All pupils who will take the exams must be
transported to that location from the camps where they reside, with
the rainy season already in full swing. This meant, in 2009, that
RET organized for the pupils to be transported by air, and provided
lodging in Abch. RET has made certain all other organizations
managing education programs in the camps are aware that these
constraints will mean that, for the coming academic year, they will
need to organize their own exams under UNICEF certification.

4. (SBU) The RET team also reported that they have found what may
be an excellent site for their secondary school pilot in Hadjer
Hadiid, very near to their current compound. However, the
structures and land are privately-owned, bringing up the question as
to whether RET would be in the position of purchasing the site with
donor funding. Last, RET brought up the subject of the need to
replace their vehicles in order to have sufficient transport to
mitigate their security risks -- the vehicles purchased in 2006 are
currently falling increasingly into disrepair -- and asked for
guidance on budgeting for additional vehicles.

-------------------------------------
PLANNING FOR WFP/UNHCR JOINT
ASSESSMENT MISSIONS TO SOUTHERN CHAD
-------------------------------------

5. (SBU) RefCoord attended planning meetings on 13 OCT for subject
Joint Assessment Missions (JAM). Two teams were originally set to
travel simultaneously from 15 through 21 OCT, one to the five
refugee camps in the Danamadji and Gore areas, and the second to the
populations in motion in the area of Daha and Haraze. In both
cases, the focus of the missions was to assess the level of food
security in each of the areas; develop an understanding of possible
self-reliance strategies that may be encouraged among the host
populations and old CAR refugee caseloads in the Danamadji and Gore
region; and explore the needs for essential services among the newer
caseloads in the Daha / Haraze region. RefCoord determined that,
with upcoming visits from Accra RefCoord and a Khartoum/Washington
OFDA team beginning 16 OCT, joining one or the other of the JAMs was
not appropriate. Results of the assessments will be released as
part of WFPs overall assessment of needs in the coming weeks.

----------------------------------
MINURCAT READY TO SUPPORT LODGING
NEEDS FOR FUTURE DHS CIRCUIT RIDES
-----------------------------------

6. (SBU) N'Djamena and Accra REfCoords began two weeks of work on

NDJAMENA 00000482 002 OF 003


admissions issues with a 19 OCT meeting at MINURCAT headquarters
with Guy Siri, Chief of Support Services. Mr. Siri's engineering
staff has been the locus of assistance to PRM and all other USG
travelers lodging in Abch during missions to Eastern Chad. Under
the Embassy's current security policy which limits lodging for USG
personnel in Abeche to a military base, maintaining cooperation with
MINURCAT on lodging is essential for all staff overseeing the use of
USG funds in the East and particularly important for the refugee
resettlement program. Accra RefCoord, seeking to plan for a
probable requirement to lodge up to six DHS Circuit Riders for
several weeks to conduct admissions interviews of Sudanese refugees,
sought Mr. Siri's guidance as to how we might best be able to expand
the existing cooperation with MINURCAT to accommodate a more
intensive use of the base's facilities. Mr. Siri stated that
organizing lodging for these numbers was entirely within the base's
capacities, given that by end-November, some 170 pre-fabricated
housing units would be fully operational with en suite baths (vice
some six units at last Embassy visit to the camp in September). He
suggested that, in order to regularize the arrangement, a
fee-for-use agreement would need to be worked out to cover the
significantly greater costs to MINURCAT of lodging several visitors
for a period of time beyond a night or two -- right now, USG
visitors have lodging for free. Siri will consult with MINURCATs
lawyers on the next steps to establish an appropriate mechanism for
funds transfer.

------------------------------
ACTED PREPARING FOR 2010
SUBMISSIONS FOR SOUTHERN CHAD
------------------------------

7. (SBU) RefCoord met 22 OCT with Regional Director Benoit PIOT,
and Country Director Norik Soubrier of the NGO Agency for Technical
Cooperation and Development -- "ACTED" to discuss the organization's
intention to submit project proposals for PRM funding to benefit CAR
refugees in southern Chad. ACTED staff believe that current
self-reliance strategies will soon have diminishing returns, as
nearly all fallow land in the region is now under cultivation. They
believe that work done now to ease relations among refugees -- who
do not appear to be preparing to return to CAR -- and host
populations will help in a de facto integration strategy for the
near future. ACTED sees the most pressing needs to be in water and
sanitation for the coming year, with continuing work on agricultural
production and economic recovery also needed. ACTED believes that
projects can be appropriately formulated to meet the PRM requirement
for focus on refugees, while allowing for conflict-mitigating
benefits to host populations. They said they are working closely
with UNHCR on proposal concepts.

--------------------------
REF COORD FACILITATES RSO
TRAVEL SECURITY ASSESSMENT
--------------------------

8. (SBU) RefCoord has joined with RSO to develop a field
assessment strategy to review and update Post's travel security
policy to areas commonly visited by USG travelers within RefCoord's
areas of responsibility. RefCoord drafted a summary of current
"best practices" used for travel in the areas of Abch and further
east that are based on Post's current travel security requirements,
as a starting point for review and update. RefCoord has used
contacts within the humanitarian community to introduce RSO to
security officers from UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA, MINURCAT contractor
PAE, and UNDSS, as well as to help set up briefings in N'Djamena
with MINURCAT's chief of security. N'Djamena and Accra RefCoords
will travel to Abch 27-29 OCT to establish contacts with field
security officers at UNHCR, WFP, IOM and MINURCAT (see calendar,
below).

---------------------------
CAM MAKING A GOOD START IN
IRIDIMI AND TOULOUM CAMPS
---------------------------

9. (SBU) RefCoord met 23 OCT with Comit d'Aide Mdicale (CAM)
Chief of Mission Adolf Bushiri Lukal to discuss the first months'
work of this new PRM partner. CAM is providing services to maintain
access to primary health care for the populations of the Iriba
Health Distict, in the Touloum and Iridimi refugee camps, after the
departure of MSF -Luxembourg (MSF-L) in June 2009. Mr. Bushiri

NDJAMENA 00000482 003 OF 003


reports a successful hand-off of staff, including 33 refugee health
assistants staffing pharmacies, vaccination units, and consultation
rooms, and nine Chadian medical staff. MSF-L transferred a
two-month supply of essential medications and supplies; CAM ordered
another two-months in supplies in July, and once PRM funding was
availlable at end-September topped up to a six-month stock. Current
health problems among the population are dominated by watery
diarrhea, particularly among those who take water from ouaddis near
farm fields far from fixed water points. Mr. Bushiri noted he had
the impression in these first weeks of real engagement in the camps
that CARE Canada, working on water and sanitation in the camps, has
had some difficulties with drawing supplies from existing bore-holes
providing for the host population, with output at times only seven
liters/person/day. He also noted that the IMC-run hospital at Iriba
appears easily overwhelmed with referrals from both the Iriba Health
District and as far afield as Bahai and the Oure Cassoni camp
populations.

10. (SBU) Mr. Bushiri reports that CAM is conducting a case study
in conjunction with CAM USA on primary health care delivery and the
health environment in the camps and host community to determine
whether a change in the mix of the MSF-L health program is
necessary. He said the study will be completed by end-NOV, and will
be shared for feedback with the Health Cluster in Abch, and then
used as a basis of a conference of partners in the Iriba Health
District for services coorcdination. Mr. Bushiri noted that CAM has
had to establish a health data collection system brom scratch,
having not received access to the MSF-L data system and collection
in the hand-off. CAM has also been struggling to take on staff
payment standards of UNHCR, requiring a reduction in payments to the
refugee health assistance of up to 30 percent from the levels MSF-L
had provided. CAM has sought to give some additional incentives to
the refugee staff in the form of some non-food items. Last, Mr.
Bushiri reports that UNHCR is encouraging CAM to pursue at least
limited cost recovery, initially by charging a fee to refugees for
their health care treatment booklet. CAM has delayed implementation
until new refugee health committes can be orgainzed to sensitize the
populations to the change in procedures.

---------------------
VISIT OF OFDA TEAM
M'BARECK AND SIASOCO
---------------------

11. (SBU) RefCoord provided basic assistance to OFDA/Khartoum's
Oumar M'Bareck, and OFDA/Washington's George Siasoco, during their
one-week visit to Chad, including help with scheduling appointments
with FAO and the NGO Solidarits, in- and out-briefs with Ambassador
Nigro, obtaining flights between N'Djamena and Abch, and filing
requests for their lodging at the MINURCAT base there. Of
particular interest was their finding that most humanitarian
agencies appear to be following the lead of UNHCR's reorganization,
and intend to relocate from Abch to N'Djamena, in an apparent
effort to support increased humanitarian coordination. OFDA
colleagues found that, although the planned move may have funding
and program implications, agencies are indicating that none have a
clear plan for operations yet, and planning remains ongoing. OFDA
has drafted cables on these and other findings of their visit, to be
transmitted septel.

12. (SBU) Calendar

-- 15 -- 30 OCT: Visit of Accra RefCoord Emily Mestetsky

-- 27 -- 29 OCT: Security Assessment Travel to Abch of N'Djamena
and Accra RefCoords, N'Djamena RSO

-- 02 -- 10 NOV: (Proposed -- TBC) RefCoord Monitoring Travel to
Iriba, Farchana Areas

NIGRO

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