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Cablegate: Chad Humanitarian Update, 16 - 22 Nov 2009

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PP RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA
RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0556/01 3271305
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231305Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7459
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0961
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 NDJAMENA 000556

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C
STATE ALSO FOR S/USSES
STATE ALSO FOR PRM/AFR
NSC FOR GAVIN
GENEVA FOR RMA
LONDON FOR POL - LORD
PARIS FOR POL - BAIN AND KANEDA
ADDIS ABABA FOR AU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF ASEC PREL PHUM SU CD
SUBJECT: CHAD HUMANITARIAN UPDATE, 16 - 22 NOV 2009

REF: N'DJAMENA 542

1. (U) The following is an update of N'Djamena RefCoord's activities
for the period of 16 - 22 NOV 2009.

2. (U) In this edition:

(SBU) IRC SEEKS TO RE-STRUCTURE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT FOR OURE
CASSONI
(SBU) UN HUMANITARIAN AIR SERVICE IN THE BLACK AGAIN
(SBU) UNHCR TO BRIEF DONORS ON 2010 PLANNING
(SBU) IFRC: BEST CASE FOR 2010 - "TRANSITION YEAR"; WORST CASE -
"CHAOS"
(SBU) IOM SENIOR OPERATIONS OFFICER ARRIVES
(SBU) CALENDAR

--------------------------
IRC SEEKS TO RE-STRUCTURE
COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT FOR
OURE CASSONI
--------------------------

3. (SBU) International Rescue Committee (IRC) Chad Country Director
briefed RefCoord 16 November on negotiations with UNHCR-Chad over
IRC's 2010 activities in the Oure Cassoni refugee camp in northern
Chad. In the wake of IRC-Chad's long-running dispute with UNHCR
over the proper handling of protection case information, IRC reports
the NGO has been asked to maintain its activities in Oure Cassoni in
providing primary health, education, and water/sanitation services.
The Country Director stated that UNHCR-Chad intends to provide all
protection services through additional UNHCR-Chad staff, both
assigned to Oure Cassoni as well as covering the camp regionally
from the more heavily-staffed Iriba sub-office that will begin
operations at the new year. In addition, UNHCR-Chad has suggested
that IRC's role in camp management, which the NGO has undertaken
from the camp's inception, should be turned over to the GoC's
National Commission for the Welcome and Reinsertion of Refugees
(Commission Nationale d'Accueil et de Reinsertion des Refugis --
"CNAR"). IRC estimates that PRM funding for protection activities
in its more than $2.4 million cooperative agreement with the NGO
amounts to some $600,000. The Country Director speculated that IRC
could increase its education, youth, and vocational training
programs for the duration of the cooperative agreement (through July
2010, as well as continue some community services not tied to case
management.

----------------------------
UN HUMANITARIAN AIR SERVICE
IN THE BLACK AGAIN
----------------------------

4. (SBU) World Food Program (WFP) staff of the UN Humanitarian Air
Service (UNHAS) briefed users and donors 19 November on the UNHAS
financial position at the end of 2009, and operations plans for
2010. The air service had started 2009 with a projected budget of
some $16.6 million. Donor contributions were insufficient
throughout the first eight months of the year, leaving the service
over $1 million in deficit by mid-August and without operating funds
for the rest of the year. UNHAS implemented cost-cutting measures
to bring total expenditures for 2009 down to an estimated $12.7
million; emergency contributions from the European Commission
Humanitarian Aid office (ECHO), PRM, Ireland, the United Kingdom,
and Sweden brought total resources to $15.7 million, covering
operating costs through the end of 2009 and up through roughly March
2010, based on a new operations plan just approved at WFP
headquarters (provided by email to PRM and OFDA).

5. (SBU) UNHAS projects budgetary requirements for 2010 at $11.4
million, considered sufficient to continue operations with a more
efficient aircraft mix including a 37-passenger Dash 8 brought into
service in October to good user reviews (greater cargo capacity,
sufficient range for new direct flights from N'Djamena to deep field
locations bypassing Abeche). RefCoord suggested that, while the
leaner budget and efficient aircraft mix were very positive
developments, it appeared that UNHAS had not been listening to users
who had been seeking greater access to the southern areas of Daha
and Haraze, currently only served by the NGO Air Serv International.

NDJAMENA 00000556 002 OF 004


ECHO also stressed the need to build service to these locations
into the operations plan; the representative of Aviation Sans
Frontiers (ASF) reminded the group that plans had been underway to
extend the runway at the southern town of Doba to accommodate the
shifting of UNHCR offices in the south from Gor to Doba, as well as
to build a new airstrip at Daha through an income-generating
activity for the refugees in the area, but discussions had tapered
off without conclusion. (NOTE: RefCoord learned later that UNHCR
intends to begin serving Haraze airstrip with a 19-passenger
Beechcraft B-1900D aircraft that, although part of the UNHAS fleet,
is wholly funded from UNHCR and currently used for twice-weekly
flights between N'Djamena, Moundou, and Sahr in the south. UNHAS
seemed unaware of UNHCR's intentions, and UNHCR representatives at
the users group meeting did not mention it.)

6. (SBU) WFP-Chad staff stressed the need for donors to provide the
greatest possible contributions "up front", which would allow UNHAS
to negotiate longer-term leases on aircraft at reduced costs.
RefCoord emphasized the difficulty of organizing such a financial
response based only on a few indicative slides, and pleaded for
clear, disaggregated budgetary projections to accompany funding
requests, so that decisions on contributions could be made based on
complete information. The ECHO representative lamented the
continued unwillingness of the GoC to allow UNHAS to implement a
cost-recovery system for financing. The WFP-Chad Country Director
stated his readiness to re-open negotiations, but stressed that the
GoC at the working level were clear that any system allowing UNHAS
to charge passengers for flights would change the air service's
status to that of a commercial enterprise, resulting in a
significant increase in landing and other operating fees. He stated
that changing this attitude would likely require political
intervention at the highest levels of the Chadian authorities, and
even then there would be no guarantee of success. Finally, the user
group agreed that there was insufficient humanitarian need to
justify restoration of the cancelled weekly flights from N'Djamena
to Yaounde, Cameroon, but asked UNHAS to work up a cost estimate of
implementing two round-trip flights on consecutive weekends once per
quarter.

-------------------------
UNHCR TO BRIEF DONORS ON
2010 PLANNING
-------------------------

7. (SBU) RefCoord met 19 November with the UNHCR-Chad Deputy Country
Representative, and the Principal Program Administrator, at
RefCoord's request for what was to be a camp-by-camp and
partner-by-partner explanation of how UNHCR-Chad saw activities
going forward in 2010. Discussion instead focused on "FOCUS" -- the
results-based management software now in use to carry out planning
and budgeting for operationalizing the Global Needs Assessment.
UNHCR-Chad colleagues admitted that Chad-based planning had been
chaotic in the last several weeks, complicated by the implementation
of UNHCR-Chad's structural reorganization -- still not finalized --
and the constant rotation in and out of Chad of senior staff for
their 10-day R&R breaks every six to eight weeks. UNHCR-Chad agreed
that communication with donors and partners had been absent from the
field as the team in-country crashed on implementing the new
planning processes at the end of October and early November. The
Program Administrator said he was confident that the 1-day workshop
given to NGO representatives the week of 09 November on the way in
which they should present funding proposals had been effective;
RefCoord noted that NGO partners had reported that they had nearly
finalized proposals for 2010 under the old system, in collaboration
with UNHCR-Chad field staff, when they were told they would have to
start over with a results-based approach.

8. (SBU) UNHCR-Chad colleagues agreed to RefCoord's proposal that
they owed a full briefing and written explanations to donors on (a)
the final shape of the staff reorganization, including an
organizational chart, setting out the expected impact the new
structure would have on operations; (b) the results framework coming
out of the Chad-based 2010 planning process; (c) UNHCR-Chad's
priority activities which they expected to fund out of their budget;
(d) prioritized gaps requiring direct donor intervention; (e)
UNHCR-Chad's intentions regarding greater Chadian national
engagement and camp self-reliance; and (f) UNHCR's activities

NDJAMENA 00000556 003 OF 004


regarding the movement of Oure Cassoni camp. The briefing is
scheduled for 25 November.

---------------------------------
IFRC: BEST CASE FOR 2010 --
"TRANSITION YEAR"; WORST CASE --
"CHAOS"
---------------------------------

9. (SBU) RefCoord met with International Federation of Red Cross and
Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Chad Country Representative on 21
November to discuss IFRC and Chadian Red Cross (Croix-Rouge
Tchadienne -- CRT) operations in the Bredjing and Treguine camps
around Farchana. The Country Representative noted that he had
pulled all international IFRC delegates out of their Hadjer Hadid
office for security reasons, given that the IFRC were committed to
operating without armed escorts, and the security conditions in the
Farchana area were extremely uncertain. The organization and their
CRT partners had already lost two vehicles to criminals in recent
weeks. He characterized the CRT's camp management role in Bredjing
and Treguine, in collaboration with IFRC, as uncertain, believing
that UNHCR-Chad sought to turn this over to the CNAR. He was also
under the impression that UNHCR-Chad preferred a national NGO, the
International Health Support Center (Centre de Support en Sante
Internationale /Tchad -- "CSSI"), to take over primary health
services. However, he was unsure about these possible measures,
having not had any direct word from senior UNHCR-Chad
representatives. He believed he would hear something in the coming
week.

10. (SBU) The IFRC Country Representative expressed the view that,
in the best case scenario, IFRC and the international NGOs that
would continue to work in the camps would be able to help the
Chadian entities build capacity over the coming year to allow them
to take on greater responsibilities in hosting Chad's refugee and
IDP populations. He feared, however, that the worsening security
environment would limit the mentoring opportunities; that Chadian
entities would in no way be immune from attack, and so would be
greatly challenged to fulfill their new roles by both lack of
capacity and the danger of the context; that a possible lack of
consistent services would cause resentment and disruption in the
camps themselves; and that the tendency seen in the past for Chadian
partners to divert project resources from their designated uses
could create significant difficulties.

----------------------
IOM SENIOR OPERATIONS
OFFICER ARRIVES
----------------------

11. (SBU) RefCoord met 22 NOV with the newly arrived Senior
Operations Officer for the International Organization for Migration
(IOM). The OpsOfficer, an American Citizen, has been assigned to
Chad on a TDY basis through February 2010, coming from his recent
post managing the Overseas Processing Entity for Iraq out of Amman,
Jordan. He expressed the hope that his assignment might become
permanent as IOM moves forward to organize its presence in Chad.
Reftel noted the need for a skilled OpsOfficer to relieve the
pressure on an understaffed IOM operation in Chad, as well as the
requirement for IOM to establish itself as an accredited
international organization with the GoC. The current acting Chief
of IOM Mission informed RefCoord that, although an MOU accrediting
IOM in Chad is ready and approved within the GoC's Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MOFA), IOM has been unable to both get on the
Minister's calendar for a signing ceremony, and to organize the
visit of an appropriately-qualified IOM official for the event.

12. (SBU) Regarding the subject of the secure movement of hundreds
of refugees between far-flung camps across eastern Chad, the new
OpsOfficer expressed real concern about the idea of organizing such
movements in a Phase IV security environment, noting that it is one
thing to do so in Iraq, with the help of 130,000 American troops,
and quite another in Chad. RefCoord spent much of the meeting
briefing on the operational realities, including Post's request to
revise the Travel Warning for American Citizens in eastern Chad .
The OpsOfficer wondered whether there has been any thought, in PRM,
UNHCR, or IOM, as to how one "pulls the plug" on such a P-2

NDJAMENA 00000556 004 OF 004


resettlement scheme if tensions rise and turn to violence, perhaps
driven by the eventual roll-out of a public information campaign to
sensitize the affected refugee populations as to the structure of
the resettlement plan.

---------
CALENDAR
---------

13. (SBU) RefCoord Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) travel has been
delayed by security concerns in the Farchana area; the absence of
key partner staff in the Iriba area; and cancellation of UNHAS
flights due to the holidays surrounding the Muslim celebration of
Aid-al-Adha, and the Chadian government's marking of the
Proclamation of the Republic (28 NOV) and "Freedom and Democracy
Day" (01 DEC).

07-11 DEC (TBC) Proposed M&E Travel to Iriba
19 DEC-02 JAN RefCoord Annual Leave

NIGRO

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