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Cablegate: Estonian Support to Haitian Relief Efforts

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0032 0151607
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151606Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0348
INFO RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0008
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN

UNCLAS TALLINN 000032

SIPDIS
STATE FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE TASK FORCE
USAID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO MARR PREL PINR AMGT EN HA
SUBJECT: Estonian Support to Haitian Relief Efforts

1. One of the earliest EU members to come forward, Estonia has
pledged one million EEK (approximately USD 93,000) to support
Haitian relief efforts, to be distributed through the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Foreign
Minister Urmas Paet announced the commitment on Wednesday, January
13 while on an official visit to South Korea.

2. On Thursday, January 14, Gert Teder, the Chief of Estonia's
Search and Rescue (SAR) unit and a member of Estonia's Disaster
Relief Team (EDRT) traveled to Haiti as part of an EU team. Teder
has experience from two EDRT deployments to Pakistan in 2005 and
2006. The EU team's assessment will help to determine what other
needs may be met by additional EU resources. Estonia has a number
of SAR and other technical experts on standby as part of other EU
disaster relief teams. An Estonian IT Specialist is en route to
Haiti to provide communication support to a UN crisis team, and a
three-person logistics team will also be on their way to Haiti
within the next 24-48 hours as part of a Nordic team under the
International Humanitarian Partnership.

3. The call for private donations is also receiving wide spread
publicity in the Estonian media. The Estonian Red Cross and the
Estonian branch of UNICEF have begun informing the public how to
make donations. The Red Cross Director made an early appeal for
cash donations only, noting the difficulty and added expense of
transporting donated goods. Estonians are likely to respond very
positively to the calls for support since one of their own has been
featured prominently as a rescued survivor. Tarmo Joeveer, a
35-year-old Estonian working with the UN, was rescued by a SAR Team
from Fairfax, Virginia.

4. There has been no request from Estonia for USG assistance with
their relief efforts to date, but Estonia's Rescue Board meets
again on the evening of Friday, January 15 with their Nordic
counterparts to address the logistical needs for transporting the
Estonian logistics team via Sweden. Once we move beyond the
emergency relief and disaster recovery phase, the GOE is interested
in cooperating on long-term development projects in Haiti, such as
the establishment of a national ID card system, a project for which
Haitian officials visited Estonia in 2009.
POLT

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