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Cablegate: Chad Humanitarian Update: M&E Travel and Ngo News

VZCZCXRO9175
PP RUEHBC RUEHBZ RUEHDH RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHKUK RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNJ #0050/01 0271137
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271137Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7628
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0001
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 NDJAMENA 000050

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/C
STATE ALSO FOR S/USSES
STATE ALSO FOR PRM/AFR
NSC FOR GAVIN
GENEVA FOR RMA
LONDON FOR POL - LORD
PARIS FOR POL - BAIN AND KANEDA
ADDIS ABABA FOR AU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF ASEC PREL PHUM SU CD
SUBJECT: CHAD HUMANITARIAN UPDATE: M&E Travel and NGO News

1. (U) The following is an update of N'Djamena RefCoord's recent
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) travel and meetings with NGO
partners working in the Chad humanitarian response.

-----------------------
M&E TRAVEL: IRIBA AREA
REFUGEE CAMPS
-----------------------

2. (SBU) RefCoord spent the week of 07 to 12 December in the
Touloum, Iridimi, and Am Nabak refugee camps in the area around
Iriba, in the northern sector of humanitarian operations in eastern
Chad. RefCoord monitored activities of the NGO's International
Medical Corp (IMC), Comite d'Aide Medicale (CAM), the Refugee
Education Trust (RET), and InterNews Network in all camps where
operational, and in Iriba town.

3. (SBU) UNHCR provided compound housing and ground transport, per
Post's travel policy for eastern Chad. Mongolian troops deployed to
the MINURCAT force in Iriba and DIS police units alternated to
escort the daily 20-40 km drives between Iriba and the camps. There
were no security incidents during the visits, with the exception of
MINURCAT's controlled detonation of abandoned explosive remnants of
war (ERW).

4. (SBU) CAM, responsible for primary health care in Touloum and
Iridimi, was conducting bloc-by-bloc nutritional screenings in both
camps with children and pregnant women during RefCoord's visit.
Although medical consultation levels were generally up over the
previous month, and diarrhea cases on the rise, nutritional levels
were generally found to be responsive to quick intervention in the
nutrition center. Unfortunately, in the course of conducting a
screening, the CAM team discovered an adolescent girl who had
apparently committing suicide by drinking products used in the
application of henna skin markings. Though still alive when found,
the child succumbed some hours later at the referral hospital in
Iriba. Family members believed she objected to a marriage
arrangement that was under negotiation.

5. (SBU) RET's Secondary Education Distance Learning (SEDL) program
was getting underway in all three camps. Self Study manuals were
stocked and ready for shipment from the logistics hub in Abeche, a
marked improvement over 2008 when manuals arrived very late in the
academic year. The SEDL program was to restart in Am Nabak camp,
having been suspended in 2008 when UNHCR withdrew all services from
the camp in response to threats against staff attempting to conduct
a verification exercise. Students who had dropped out of secondary
education in Sudan to take flight some years prior were extremely
eager to begin their SEDL program, with the hope of earning a
Khartoum-approved Grade 11 leaver's certificate at the end of a year
of intensive self-study.

6. (SBU) UNHCR was conducting sensitization campaigns on refugee
Watch Committees' responsibilities to contribute to camp security in
Touloum camp, and against gender-based violence in Iridimi camp. The
lack of adequate water supplies in both the camps and the local
communities continues to be a constant source of tension between
these groups. Members of the host communities consistently block
attempts to develop more bore holes for camp supply. A member of
the area counsel who is also employed with CARE, the NGO currently
attempting to manage water supplies, informed RefCoord that the
local communities believe that UNHCR and CARE must first improve the
water supplies to the host communities, and prove that water
provided to the refugee camps will not deprive the host communities
of the precious commodity.

------------------------
M&E TRAVEL: ABECHE-BASED
NGOS AND UNHCR
------------------------

7. (SBU) RefCoord spend 18 to 20 January in Abeche, the humanitarian
hub for eastern Chad, for coordination discussions with NGO partners
finalizing sub-agreements with UNHCR, and to check on the status of
the UNHCR draw-down in the town. UNHCR began implementation in
September 2009 of a major reorganization at donors' behest,
dramatically increasing protection staff in the deep field, moving

NDJAMENA 00000050 002 OF 003


higher ranking and more experienced officers into four field offices
and several sub-delegations, and pulling program, technical, and
supervisory staff back to N'Djamena. Once the permanent location of
well over 100 professional staff and support personnel, UNHCR's
Abeche compound as of 18 January is the workplace of only 32
employees, entirely devoted to logistical operations. Guest houses,
a canteen, and several conference rooms will be maintained for field
staff accommodation and regional training purposes.

8. (SBU) RefCoord met with country directors and staff from partner
NGOs InterNews Network, Architectes d'Urgence (AU), AirServ,
Christian Outreach - Relief and Development (CORD), Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society (HIAS), and International Medical Corps (IMC).
Discussions with AU centered on the early termination of PRM's
cooperative agreement with the NGO to construct school buildings in
the Oure Cassoni camp in the far north of the humanitarian
operations area. Through no fault of AU, the uncertainty
surrounding the status of the Oure Cassoni camp, slated to move to a
not-yet-identified location, has meant that the NGO will not be able
to implement the project agreed with PRM. RefCoord asked that the
AU staff develop a close-down timeline for consideration in PRM.

9. (SBU) RefCoord discussed with InterNews, CORD, and HIAS their
efforts to re-structure their activities, either to come in line
with changes to UNHCR performance standards, or to accommodate
changes demanded under new UNHCR sub-agreements to be signed in the
course of January. In some cases, the new sub-agreements entail the
suspension of activities still covered under cooperative agreements
with PRM.

-----------------------
IMC'S GUEREDA HOSPITAL
UNDER THREAT
-----------------------

10. (SBU) RefCoord's meeting with IMC's Country Director was devoted
to the on-going tensions between UNHCR and IMC, on one hand, and a
host population family in the area of Guereda, on the other. IMC's
physician at the Guereda hospital, a Malian national, agreed under
some duress to do a non-essential surgical repair to a hare-lip on a
six-year-old child, on or about 14 December 2009. The child's
mother is reported to have been adamant that the surgery be done,
given the impact on the boy's future marriage prospects and ability
to command a substantial dowery should he grow up with the
deformity. The child suffered a reaction to the anesthetic used,
and died during surgery. Since then IMC's doctor has been
threatened, briefly imprisoned, and kept under virtual house arrest.
The family is insisting on wrongful death compensation under
customary law, in this case 100 camels or the monetary equivalent.
UNHCR is unwilling for such compensation to be paid. The
traditional Sultan, the sub-Prefect, the Prefect, and the Governor
have all engaged on the subject.

11. (SBU) UNHCR and local authorities consulted with the MINURCAT
Deputy SRSG, three regional Governors and the GoC Minister of the
Interior regarding the case on the margins of a grand conference on
conflict resolution held in Guereda on 19 January. IMC received
word on 23 January that the Prefect had contacted UNHCR staff in
Guereda that day and stated that compensation must be paid to the
family through the Prefect's good offices by Monday 25 January. If
not, the Prefect warned that he would be unable to guarantee the
safety of UNHCR or IMC staff. RefCoord ensured that UNHCR senior
leadership and IMC's country director were in consultation through
the weekend of 23-24 January. Although UNHCR is acting as a
facilitator in bringing the case to the attention of higher
authorities, they are also distancing the IO from IMC as regards
having any official role to play in resolving the conflict, per
elements apparently standard in their sub-agreements with their NGO
partners. That said, UNHCR has favored considering the suspension
of operations in Guereda until the Prefect and the family in
question can be calmed. Meanwhile, though there is another IMC
physician at the hospital, he is acting only to refer patients to
the Iriba reference hospital 80 kms away until the conflict is
resolved. Ethinc tensions may also be stirring around the case --
the dominant Tama population is upset at the hospital closure, while
the family involved and the Prefect is from the politically powerful
Zaghawa clan.

NDJAMENA 00000050 003 OF 003

---------------------------------
MSF-SUISSE CITES SECURITY,
CLOSES OPERATIONS EAST OF ABECHE
---------------------------------

13. (SBU) RefCoord met with the Country Director of MSF-CH at his
request to be informed of the NGO's closure of all activities in
support of the Assoungha Health District, including the hospital at
the Chad-Sudan border town of Adre. This implies the termination of
support to the hospital itself, as well as to two health centers in
Adre and Djoroko towns. MSF-CH has informed the GoC in writing at
all levels of this decision, and has shared their letter with all
donors and IOs in the humanitarian arena. The letter (provided to
PRM and AF/C by email) lists the sequence of increasingly worsening
security events in the Assoungha Health District that has led the
NGO to close down its activities. It states (in part): "MSF is a
medical organization in which volunteers accept to work in sometimes
extreme conditions. That said, it is the responsibility of the
headquarters in Geneva to constantly evaluate the level of risk.
These risks are judged to be too high to enable us to continue to
develop our assistance with the necessary independence and security
for our teams. Of particular concern is the risk of kidnapping
which expatriate and national staff face in the border area."
(RefCoord's informal translation from French.)

--------------------------
REVIVING THE BI-WEEKLY
SECURITY EXCHANGE MEETINGS
--------------------------

14. (SBU) IO, NGO, donor, and PKO representatives met on 05 January
for the first bi-weekly meeting on security matters of 2010.
Participants sought to revitalize the meetings, which have over time
been reduced to a UNDSS PowerPoint briefing itemizing the security
incidents of the previous two weeks, followed by a short speech from
either the MINURCAT Force Commander or Deputy Commander, and
occasionally another from the SRSG. NGO participants asked if a new
meeting format could be considered to allow for a greater exchange
on security, in particular more consultation between MINURCAT, UNDSS
and the DIS representatives and the humanitarian community they
purport to serve on how best to organize civilian-military relations
within the guidelines of the Interagency Steering Committee (IASC).
All participants agreed to the composition of a working group to
make recommendations on the matter. RefCoord joined an informal
meeting among donors ECHO, France, and Switzerland to come to a
joint position on the question. Donors agreed to support a meeting
agenda that establishes security reporting opportunities for
UNDSS/MINURCAT; the IASC chair (the OCHA Head of Office); and the
NGO Coordinating Committee. The goal is to develop an exchange and
dialogue, rather than a reiteration of known facts. UNDSS/MINURCAT
would be requested to describe trends and develop recommendations
from the incidents, rather than a simple cataloguing of events.
Last, a monthly meeting of IO and NGO security officers with UNDSS
for more confidential briefings was suggested.

NIGRO

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