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Cablegate: Emergency Assistance Coordination Team Convenes In

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #3174/01 3431717
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091717Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5672
INFO RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003174

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ASEC PGOV PTER IZ
SUBJECT: EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE COORDINATION TEAM CONVENES IN
RESPONSE TO DECEMBER 8 ATTACKS

REF: BAGHDAD 2877

1. (SBU) Summary: On December 9, Coordinator for Assistance
Transition Patricia Haslach convened Post's interagency
Emergency Assistance Coordination Team (EACT) in response to
the December 8 bombings in Baghdad. The blasts damaged the
Karkh courthouse, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
(MOLSA), the new Ministry of Finance (MOF) site, and
surrounding buildings. ATF and Multinational Baghdad forces
have sent explosive ordnance disposal assets to the bomb
sites and are conducting lab analyses. EACT, which was
established in response to the October 25 bombings, is
tracking GOI recovery efforts and requests for USG
assistance. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Coordinator for Assistance Transition Patricia
Haslach convened Post's interagency Emergency Assistance
Coordination Team (EACT) in response to the December 8
bombings in Baghdad, which damaged several GOI offices and
surrounding areas. EACT, which was established in response
to the October 25 bombings, has clear organizational and
funding processes in place that could quickly activate USG
assistance if needed. ATF and Multinational Baghdad forces
have already sent explosive ordnance assets to the bomb
sites. Most GOI entities remain in a recovery and assessment
phase, and have not requested further assistance so far.

-------------------------
Immediate USG assistance
-------------------------

3. (SBU) At the Ministry of Interior's request, Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents
visited the bomb sites on December 9 at the Karkh Courthouse
and the new Ministry of Finance site. ATF's samples and
evidence are undergoing lab analyses. Multinational
Division-Baghdad also provided explosive ordnance disposal
assets and security forces to support the Iraqi police and
military forces. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaisance
assets are on station providing intelligence with attack
weapons teams providing overwatch. U.S. forces are willing to
support further support if requested by the GOI.

-----------------------------
Hospitals, Medicines on Track
------------------------------

4. (SBU) The Ministry of Health (MOH) officially reported 63
deaths and 479 injured as of December 8 based on hospital
reports, while the press has reported much higher figures of
127 and 504, respectively. We expect these figures to
increase as recovery efforts continue. MOH reported that the
deceased and injured were taken to five hospitals throughout
Baghdad, including the Ministry of Defense hospital, which
itself sustained minor damages. The Deputy Minister of Health
told us that the MOH procedures worked smoothly and it did
not require USG assistance. The International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) head of delegation told us it has
received no requests for medicine or supplies. Several
hospitals still have the War Wounded Kits ICRC provided
following the October bombs.

------------------------
Karkh Courthouse Damages
------------------------

5. (SBU) The Higher Judicial Council (HJC) has fielded
engineer and security staff to the Karkh Courthouse where it
had set up temporary work space following damage to its
offices in the October bombing. Staff are securing the area
and assessing damages. HJC officials told us 160 recent law
school graduates had been invited to Karkh Courthouse for
interviews on the day of the bombing; many were injured and
unaccounted for. Ten HJC officials are believed dead. HJC has
requested that INL postpone its security training planned for
Qrequested that INL postpone its security training planned for
this week in order to conduct recovery activity. INL is
continuing to work with HJC to equip additional
administration space due to damage from the October attacks
through QRF funds. INL will meet with HJC engineers on
December 10 to obtain damage assessments and complete site
surveys. INL is separately meeting with both the Judicial
Development Institute's Director and Director General for
Finance and Planning on its assessment of building damages
and injured staff.

---------------------------
Ministry of Finance Damages
---------------------------

6. (SBU) MOF staff are continuing work at its old

headquarters in Adnon Palace, but the new building for the
MOF sustained serious damage and will impact some ministerial
functions, including year-end closeout processes. MOF
officials told us distribution of funds to various ministries
will also be challenging once the Council of Representatives
passes the budget. Minister of Finance Jabr and his budget
director were in Erbil at the time of the attack and returned
to Baghdad on December 9. Jabr reported that the Deputy
Budget Director, Deputy DG of Accounting, and Deputy of
Public Finance were all seriously injured. Jabr will convene
a meeting with his DGs on December 10 to assess recovery
efforts and will respond with any assistance requests. The
World Bank representative told us it is helping the MOF
re-establish internect connection, at the MOF's request. It
is also providing some computers and printers to the MOF's
Accounting and Budget Office.

-------------------------------------
USACE Structural Assessments Continue
-------------------------------------

7. (SBU) In response to GOI requests following the August
and October bombings, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
continues its structural assessments and preliminary
recommendations to the MOF, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry
of Foreign Affairs (MFA). MFA is proceeding with blast
protection measures, including a reinforced composite wall
that could potentially impede blast dissipation efforts.
USACE is urging the MFA to complete a building assessment and
await USACE's full set of recommendations before taking
further measures. Post is also in contact with NEA/I on
ascertaining funds for mylar protection at key ministries.
HILL

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