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Cablegate: Humanitarian Coordinator Lanzer Urges Shift From Relief To

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O R 241432Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0057
INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000128

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DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV PREL SU
SUBJECT: HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR LANZER URGES SHIFT FROM RELIEF TO
RECOVERY IN DARFUR

1. (SBU) Summary: In a January 20 meeting with CDA, UN Deputy
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer urged that the
international community start shifting its focus in Darfur from
humanitarian relief to recovery efforts. Noting the decrease in
overall violence in Darfur over the past several years, he asserted
that development planning must commence immediately if a "peace
dividend" from an eventual political settlement is to be realized.
End Summary.

2. (SBU) On January 20, CDA met with Toby Lanzer, UN Deputy
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for northern Sudan. Citing
monthly statistics compiled by the African Union High Level Panel
on Darfur (AUPD), Lanzer described the dramatic decrease in both
the volume and volatility of fatalities there. While acknowledging
that the security situation remains unpredictable, he argued that
the international community ought to make use of these improved
conditions to begin planning for development. "If and when a peace
deal is reached, the people will look to the UN and international
community for a peace dividend," he said. If the rewards of peace
are to be quickly realized, planning must begin now, he added.

3. (SBU) When planning for recovery efforts in Darfur, Lanzer urged
that the donor community work closely with Darfur's three state
governments to better understand their capabilities and coordinate
development efforts. Such engagement would dispel the Government of
Sudan (GOS)'s notion that the international community is focused
solely on humanitarian relief, he said, noting that "if we show the
GOS some goodwill on the planning stages for recovery, I believe
they will take it seriously." A commitment to development could
leverage the GOS to take control of the security situation, commit
funding and resources towards development, and decentralize power
over regional and local issues, he said.

4. (SBU) One of the largest challenges to relief and recovery
efforts in Darfur is the proliferation of its Internally Displaced
Persons (IDP) camps, said Lanzer. Most camps are now "peri-urban"
with electricity, water and sanitation, schools and jobs, giving
little disincentive for IDPs to return to remote villages which
have none of those services. "It's very difficult for me to
envision more than one third of IDPs returning home," he said. "I'm
afraid we created a generation of dependency that is
unsustainable."

5. (SBU) In order to wean IDP residents from a lifetime of
dependency, Lanzer listed a number of small steps to be taken
without forcing the IDPs out of camps. Noting that over 70% of all
inflow to Darfur is food or food-related, Lanzer urged that the
World Food Programme (WFP) change its profile: instead of
continually providing handouts with no strings attached, he urged
that WFP instead explore food for work programs, food plus vouchers
that could be used on the local economy, or other such variations.
The donor community cannot provide handouts forever, he said.

6. (SBU) Comment: While the security situation remains
unpredictable, there is no doubt that violence in Darfur has abated
significantly. Furthermore, the humanitarian disaster that many
predicted following the March 2009 expulsion of thirteen of the
largest INGOs failed to materialize, as Lanzer pointed out. As the
world focuses attention on the tragedy unfolding in Haiti, where
humanitarian aid is a matter of life and death, improvements on the
ground in Darfur may permit gradual movement in the opposite
direction, moving from humanitarian relief to early recovery
efforts that may offer the best hope for transforming this
beleaguered region. End Comment.
WHITEHEAD

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