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Cablegate: Fy 2010 Renewal of Disaster Declaration for Flooding In

VZCZCXRO1405
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0795/01 2780601
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050601Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5362
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0313
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0212
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0008
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0012
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NIAMEY 000795

SIPDIS
AIDAC

DEPT FOR AF/W, AF/RSA, AND AF/PDPA
PLS PASS USAID AFR/WA FOR NFREEMAN, LDOORES-FENDELL, GBERTOLIN
OFDA/W FOR ACONVERY, CCHAN, FSHANKS, MSHIRLEY, JMCINTOSH
FFP/W FOR JBORNS, ASINK, TMCRAE
ACRA ALSO FOR AFR/WA
DAKAR FOR RDAVIS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
ROME FOR US MISSION RNEWBERG, HSPANOS
BRUSSELS FOR USAID PBROWN
NEW YORK FOR DMERCADO
NSC FOR CPRATT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EAGR PREL PHUM PGOV NG
SUBJECT: FY 2010 Renewal of Disaster Declaration for Flooding in
Niger

REFS: A) NIAMEY 00669, B) NIAMEY 00791

NIAMEY 00000795 001.2 OF 002


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. SUMMARY. On September 16, post declared a disaster due to the
effects of severe flooding on September 2 in the northern city of
Agadez and surrounding rural areas (ref A). In response, the USG
has provided nearly USD 88,000 in emergency assistance to date,
including USD 50,000 from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster
Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and nearly USD 38,000 from USAID's Office of
Food for Peace (USAID/FFP). However, potential Government of Niger
(GoN) action to raze damaged buildings and prohibit reconstruction
in flood-affected areas of Agadez city could result in further
displacements, necessitating additional humanitarian assistance in
the weeks and months to come. In addition, GoN security
restrictions in the region outside Agadez city are currently
impeding provision of emergency assistance to flood-affected
populations in rural areas. Accordingly, post re-declares a
disaster for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 due to ongoing and potentially
increased humanitarian needs. END SUMMARY.

-------------------------------
CURRENT HUMANITARIAN CONDITIONS
-------------------------------

2. On September 16, post declared a disaster due to the effects of
severe flooding on September 2 in the northern city of Agadez and
surrounding rural areas (ref A). The GoN estimates that the floods
affected approximately 79,000 individuals, including 42,000 people
in Agadez city and 37,000 people in three nearby rural communes.
(Note: Relief agencies believe the GoN's flood-affected figures
overestimate actual numbers. End note.) Current response efforts
appear to be meeting the immediate basic humanitarian needs of
flood-affected populations in Agadez city, including the 850
displaced families sheltering in schools and public buildings. The
GoN is currently relocating 731 of these families to new sites.
During a recent assessment (ref B), USAID/OFDA staff observed GoN
authorities and relief agencies preparing shelter and water,
sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities at the new sites

--------------------------------
POTENTIAL NEW HUMANITARIAN NEEDS
--------------------------------

3. However, many flood-affected populations in Agadez city did not
choose refuge in schools or public buildings, and chose instead to
remain in damaged homes, shelter with host families, or erect
makeshift shelters on the land where their homes previously stood.
USAID/OFDA staff have recently learned from the U.N. Resident
Coordinator that the GoN plans to raze flood-affected areas of
Agadez city and may prohibit any reconstruction in flood-prone
neighborhoods. Such actions would likely result in new
displacements and an increase in humanitarian needs.

4. Outside Agadez city, GoN security restrictions resulting from
ongoing conflict with Tuareg rebels are currently impeding provision
of emergency assistance to flood-affected populations in the rural
communes of Dabaga, Tchirozerine, and Tabelot. Following an
assessment in the communes from September 14 - 16, the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO) reported the need for
restoration of agricultural capacity, particularly since the
planting season is scheduled to start in early October. However, to
date, relief agencies have only been able to provide initial
emergency food aid to the approximately 37,000 flood-affected people
in the three rural communes.

--------------------------------
USG EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO DATE

NIAMEY 00000795 002.2 OF 002


--------------------------------

5. To date, the USG has provided nearly USD 88,000 in emergency
assistance in response to the floods, including USD 50,000 from
USAID/OFDA and nearly USD 38,000 from USAID/FFP. USAID/OFDA
provided USD 50,000 through post to Mercy Corps International for
WASH activities benefiting flood-affected populations. In addition,
USAID/FFP granted approval to Africare to redirect 28 metric tons of
USAID/FFP-funded emergency food assistance, valued at nearly USD
38,000, for flood-affected populations. Following the recent
assessment trip to Agadez city, USAID/OFDA staff recommended
providing modest additional humanitarian assistance and coordinating
closely with other donors to ensure the maximum impact of any
additional assistance (ref B).

-------------------------------------------
RENEWAL OF DISASTER DECLARATION FOR FY 2010
-------------------------------------------

6. Given the scope of ongoing and potentially increased
humanitarian needs, and pursuant to Section 062, Volume 2, of the
Foreign Affairs Manual and USAID ADS 251, post hereby renews the
disaster declaration for floods for FY 2010. Post finds that it is
in the best interests of the USG to provide continued assistance in
response to the disaster and that it is beyond the capacity of the
host government to provide adequate support to flood-affected and
displaced people. In addition, post has determined that the GoN
will accept additional USG assistance within the context of ongoing
relief activities coordinated by the GoN. USAID/OFDA staff will
continue to assess humanitarian conditions and the potential need
for additional assistance in the weeks and months to come.

WHITAKER

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