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Cablegate: Ambassador Launches "Espoir" Program To

VZCZCXRO7183
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1160/01 3631431
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291431Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0522
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1334
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 2989
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001160

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, G/IWI, DRL, IIP, ECA, USAID FOR DCHA, AFR, GH, NSC
E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN KPAO PGOV PHUM PREL CG
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR LAUNCHES "ESPOIR" PROGRAM TO
HIGHLIGHT USG COMMITMENT TO COMBATING SGBV

REF: STATE 120322

1. Summary: On December 10 Ambassador Garvelink, together with
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Gender Issues, launched
USAID's "ESPOIR" project as the main event of the UN's 16 Days of
Activism to Combat Violence Against Women. Linked to Secretary
Clintn's announcement to provide $17 million to assist survivors of
sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), the event attracted wide
media coverage in Kinshasa and the eastern Kivu provinces. Embassy
Kinshasa will sustain the effort to highlight the U.S. commitment to
combating SGBV through a variety of outreach activities. End
summary.

ESPOIR launch
-------------

2. Ambassador Garvelink presided over the December 10 to launch
"ESPOIR," $7 million USAID project to assist survivors of Sexual and
Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the Eastern provinces of the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Deputy Prime Minister Emile
Bongeli and Marie-Ange Lukiana, Minister of Gender, Children and
Family Issues, also participated in the event. In his remarks,
Bongeli noted that "Violence against women and girls in the DRC has
not only been used as a weapon of war by armed groups, but also as a
real obstacle to peace and security in the country." Ambassador
Garvelink noted to the audience (which consisted of GDRC and
international officials, NGO representatives, and press) that nearly
15,000 vulnerable girls and women will receive assistance in the
provinces of North and South Kivu.

3. Note: ESPOIR, French for "hope," is the acronym for Ending
Sexual Violence by Promoting Individual Rights. Implemented by the
International Rescue Committee, the project includes support for
clinics, hospitals, community centers for women and children, and
mental health services through its partnerships with seven Congolese
NGOs and 65 health facilities in North and South Kivu provinces. A
total of 45 community-based groups in the targeted provinces will
also receive assistance to help individuals and families regain
their livelihoods. It was announced by Secretary Clinton during her
August 10-11 trip to the DRC. End note.

4. The announcement of the ESPOIR project received wide attention
in the local press. USAID Mission Director Stephen Haykin's
interview with Radio Okapi was aired several times. The newspapers
L'Avenir, La Prosperite, La Reference Plus, and Le Potentiel all ran
articles based on the Embassy's press release. In Goma and Bukavu,
Assistant Public Affairs Officer Satrajit Sardar provided Embassy's
press release to local and regional media outlets (in VOA, RTNC's
Goma office, and Digital Congo's Goma Bukavu office) on December 10,
which promptly reported the press release to local audiences. Post
also highlighted the ESPOIR project in a December 23 op-ed -- under
the Ambassador's byline -- that addressed the issue of SGBV in the
specific context of the DRC. Three key pro-government newspapers
published the op-ed, which used reftel's proposed language.

Other planned outreach activities
---------------------------------

5. As UNICEF has indicated they will continue promotion of the 16
days of activism following December 10, Embassy Kinshasa will
support this effort by highlighting the U.S. commitment to combating
Qsupport this effort by highlighting the U.S. commitment to combating
SGBV in the DRC and women's empowerment. PAS Kinshasa will use the
American Corner at the Protestant University of Congo (UPC) to
program activities that raise awareness of SGBV, as was done on
November 25, when American Corner staff showed Lisa Jackson's "The
Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo" to UPC students. PAS Kinshasa
is also finalizing the list of candidates to participate in Post's
International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on SGBV. Embassy
Kinshasa plans to send GDRC officials and civil society leaders on a
three-week program to the United States to consult with U.S.
counterparts and visit victim care facilities and local judicial
institutions. Post will also use their weekly PEPFAR-funded
television behavior change communication platform Rien Que La Verite
as part of a larger awareness campaign nationwide.

6. In addition, Post will continue to publicly highlight the launch
of additional assistance efforts that constitute the Secretary's
pledge in August to provide $17 million in assistance to the DRC.
Given questions among local audiences on how the $17 million will be
disbursed, it will be critical to effectively explain the nature of
the assistance, and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to this effort.
Embassy Kinshasa sections and agencies will work together to
publicize this assistance program and address any questions or

KINSHASA 00001160 002 OF 002


concern that emanate from local audiences.

7. Finally, Embassy will continue to promote its programs that
focus on underlying factors of SGBV and the broader issue of gender
empowerment. We plan to highlight the benefits of the Ambassador's
Girls Scholarship Program (AGSP), as well as the Embassy's Access
micro-scholarship program, by publicizing individual students who
have benefited from the program. We also plan to highlight HIV/AIDS
prevention, care and treatment programs that assist women and
children. Post will continue to highlight Department of Defense
(DOD) programs combating impunity among the ranks of the DRC armed
forces (FARDC) through military justice and rule of law programs and
rehabilitating institutions that treat SGBV victims.

GARVELINK

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