Cablegate: Tfha01: Brazil Active, Eager to Partner with Usg On Haiti Relief
OO RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS
DE RUEHBR #0044/01 0151334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 151330Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0300
INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000044
WHA FOR AMB. SHANNON, BSC, CAR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL BR MARR
SUBJECT: TFHA01: BRAZIL ACTIVE, EAGER TO PARTNER WITH USG ON HAITI RELIEF
REF: 09 BRASILIA 1428 Brazil Launches High-Energy Effort on Haiti 1
. (U) In the wake of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, the GOB has taken an unusually active role in assistance efforts, building on its leadership of MINUSTAH and recent rotation onto the UN Security Council. Brazilian actions to date include: * Sent by President Lula, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim made a January 13-14 visit to Haiti to assess needs. According to press reports, Jobim has defined Brazil's priorities as 1) burial of the dead; 2) medical assistance to the injured; 3) removal of debris; 4) reinforcement of security; and 5) distribution of supplies, principally water and food. *
The GOB has created a "crisis cabinet"under the direction of the Institutional Security Office (GSI) in the presidency to coordinate Brazil's humanitarian assistance.
* The GOB has made a commitment of USD 15 million to Haiti relief, the largest single assistance commitment Brazil has ever made.
* The GOB is sending of two planes with 14 tons each of foodstuffs, with an additional eight aircraft on standby for an "air bridge" to ferry additional supplies to Haiti as needed.
* The GOB sent January 14 two fire and rescue teams (one from Brasilia, one from Rio de Janeiro).
* The Brazilian military has established a field hospital in Port au Prince and will send two fully equipped field hospitals, one air force (already in process) and one naval (in the near future).
* The GOB has committed to sending an amphibious ship to arrive in Haiti in February. Brazilian Interest in Haiti Relief Opens New Avenue for Bilateral Cooperation
2. (SBU) The disaster has further energized Brazilian interest in partnering with the USG in Haiti in both the near and long term. President Lula is advocating a donors conference as soon as possible, and spoke with President Obama about it on January
13. Foreign Ministry officials have made clear their interest in cooperating with the USG on both immediate disaster relief and longer term recovery assistance. Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) officials, who recently participated in a joint USAID-ABC visit to Haiti aimed at defining areas for joint work there (reftel), are particularly interested in working with us to define where assistance can best be used. The Brazilian military reached out immediately after the quake to SOUTHCOM and is making every effort to coordinate its activities with the U.S. military.
3. (SBU) Comment: It is clear that Haiti remains a priority for the GOB and one in which it believes it can partner successfully with the United States, providing an opportunity for further expanding USG cooperation with the Brazilian military and ABC, and for demonstrating the potential of such partnerships to senior foreign ministry and presidency officials. End comment. Brazilian Press Coverage of U.S. Efforts Extensive and Favorable
4. (U) Brazilian broadcast, print and online media have all reported extensively on the U.S. commitment to Haiti. Media reported on statements made by President Obama, Secretary Clinton, releases by USAID/OFDA and SouthCom, the mobilization of U.S. rescue teams, and the deployment of aircraft carrier USS Vinson to Haiti. Television coverage by major stations, particularly TV Globo, regularly features footage of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and U.S. relief efforts. Media reported President Lula spoke by phone with President Obama about how to provide assistance through the United Nations, and the possibility of co-hosting a donor's conference as soon as possible. An editorial in Brazil's largest newspaper, "Folha de Sao Paulo," entitled "Tragedy and Example," said that only more joint initiatives may help to ease the despair caused by the earthquake in Haiti. Media noted President Obama's rapid response to the disaster.
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Status of Brazilians in Haiti
5. (U) The Foreign Ministry established a 24-hour hotline for those seeking information on family members in Haiti. The Foreign Ministry estimates over 1,300 Brazilians are resident in Haiti; Brazil's MINUSTAH contingent, consisting of 1,266 soldiers, is the largest segment. The GOB has confirmed 14 deaths among the Brazilian contingent, and expects additional deaths. It is already reportedly the largest loss for the Brazilian military in a single incident since 1945. MINUSTAH Deputy Special Representative Luiz Carlos da Costa is missing and presumed dead. One civilian death, that of prominent NGO head Zilda Arns, has also been confirmed. The wife of deputy foreign minister and former ambassador to the United States Antonio Patriota, stationed in Port au Prince with the UN, has been confirmed safe.