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Cablegate: Humanitarian Response for New Congolese Refugees

VZCZCXRO1475
RR RUEHGI
DE RUEHC #4736 3101549
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 061515Z NOV 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHGI/AMEMBASSY BANGUI 1470
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0073
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 8571
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 6600
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 8412
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0561
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3676
RUEHNJ/AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA 5032
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2877
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS STATE 114736

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CD CG CT PHUM PREF PREL SU
SUBJECT: HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE FOR NEW CONGOLESE REFUGEES
IN THE CAR

REF: A. BANGUI 236
B. AMBASSADOR COOK AND REFCOORD ZORICK EMAILS OF
NOVEMBER 2-4

Sensitive but Unclassified.
GENEVA FOR RMA
ADDIS-KAMPALA-NDJAMENA-NAIROBI FOR REFCOORDS
USEU FOR THOMAS
ROME FOR FODAG
1. (U) This is an action request. See paras 4 and 5.

2. (SBU) Department greatly appreciates Embassy Bangui,s
forward thinking and analysis with regard to arrival of the
newest Congolese refugees in southeastern CAR (Refs). It has
been helpful to get an initial impression of the number of
beneficiaries, their assistance needs, the projected duration
of their displacement, and the initial response being
organized by the humanitarian community. Given that the
impact of LRA depredations is being felt by victims across a
widening swath of territory (in the CAR, DRC, and southern
Sudan) as the military operations to destroy the LRA break it
into small groups, the Department will appreciate additional
updates as the situation develops and by septel will be
sending addressee posts a suggested outline of information
that would be helpful to have in hand.

3. (U) The USG response at this point would be from
State/PRM, principally via the UNHCR, responding to appeals
for funds should UNHCR's emergency reserve fund -- to which
PRM has already contributed for 2009 -- be exhausted. Thanks
to the alert from Embassy Bangui sources about the arrival of
the new refugees, UNHCR Bangui, along with other UN agencies
and non-governmental humanitarian organizations, has already
led an assessment mission to the affected area in and around
the town of Zemio. The next step will be for these agencies
to articulate the identified assistance needs, including the
food aid needs to be addressed by WFP, and determine the
required budget to address these. Should internal UN funding
mechanisms not be sufficient, UNHCR would then turn to
outside donors for support. The International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) may also be called upon to address
assistance for the refugees, though ICRC generally does not
intervene in refugee situations if the assistance available
to them is sufficient through the UN system. At the moment,
ICRC,s interventions in southeastern CAR focus mostly on
assisting Central African internally displaced persons (IDPs)
- also displaced due to LRA activity - around the town of Obo.

4. (U) For Bangui: From Ref B e-mails, it seems that WFP
is in need of cash contributions at this point in order to
provide for the new refugees. Please confirm and advise
whether local purchase is an option.

5. (U) For Geneva: PRM would appreciate UNHCR/Africa
Bureau's urgent assessment of the situation in the CAR and an
update on its regional planning and preparedness as well as
information on how UNHCR will cover the costs of the
emergency response (operational reserve or a new funding
appeal?).
CLINTON

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