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Cablegate: Tfha1: Coordination of Belgian Assistance to Haiti

VZCZCXRO4340
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHBS #0075 0211708
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211708Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9933
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCQVAB/USCINCSOC INTEL OPS CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RUCQSAS/USCINCSOC FP MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS BRUSSELS 000075

SIPDIS

STATE FOR HAITI TASKFORCE ONE:MROSSER, WHA:SWILLIAMS AND
EUR/WE
STATE PASS USAID FOR MAURA O'NEILL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PGOV PREL PREF HA BE
SUBJECT: TFHA1: COORDINATION OF BELGIAN ASSISTANCE TO HAITI

REF: STATE 4854

1. Emboff talked to Geert Vansintjan, Director of the Office
of Humanitarian Aid, Food Aid and Rehabilition on January 21
to thank him for Belgium's contributions to Haiti earthquake
relief on January 20. Belgium has contributed a "B-fast"
team of up to 130 workers who focus on search and rescue
assisted by dogs and operating a field hospital and a water
purification unit (reftels). Over the weekend of January
15-16, the Embassy received a request from the Government of
Belgium for U.S. military protection for the Belgian workers.
The Embassy passed the requests to the State Department
operations center and ensured that security was provided as
requested. According to Vansintjan, the B-Fast team is
likely to stay in Haiti longer than foreseen. He described
the Haiti situation as the "biggest crisis Belgium has
confronted since B-Fast was set up." The field hospital is
to be extended and combined with a Red Cross hospital
operated by Germans.

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2. The arrival of the B-Fast team was coordinated through
the UN's OCHA and to some extent its operations are being
coordinated with U.S. forces on the ground in Haiti. Belgium
has also promised one million euros in response to the Flash
Appeal, which is earmarked for UNICEF, FAO and the Red Cross.
However, Belgium is relying on the UN for coordination of
its overall assistance effort more than on the United States.

GUTMAN

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