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Cablegate: Darfur - One Year After the Humanitarian Organization

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INFO IGAD COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000326

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DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU
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UN ROME FOR HSPANOS
NEW YORK FOR DMERCADO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI SMIG UN SU
SUBJECT: Darfur - One Year After the Humanitarian Organization
Expulsions

1. (SBU) Summary:C,B Nearly one year after the
Government of National Unity (GNU)-mandated expulsion of 13
international humanitarian organizations and three local aid
agencies, the structure of humanitarian assistance provision in
Darfur has been significantly altered.C,B Following the expulsions,
the UN, the GNU, and donors prioritized provision of food aid,
primary health care, and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.C,
Remaining relief agencies responded through program expansion in
priority sectors in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis in
Darfur.C,B The GNU elected to support provision of safe drinking
water and primary health care, but has lacked the capacity and
resolve necessary to provide services at pre-expulsion levels.C,B In
addition, service provision in many other humanitarian sectors
remains challenging.C,B The presence of international humanitarian
staff in field locations has declined significantly due to
insecurity and bureaucratic impediments resulting in access
limitations.C,B End summary.

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POST-EXPULSION HUMANIARIAN PROFILE
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2.C,B (SBU) Following the expulsions, the UN, donors, and the GNU
prioritized basic life-saving services comprising food aid, health,
and water, sanitation, and hygiene provision.C,B Post-expulsion
humanitarian gap-filling strategies focused on UN agencies' role as
the provider of last resort to support government line-ministries
in the provision of humanitarian assistance. However, relief
agencies note that post-expulsion gap-filling activities, including
line-ministry support, have increased the cost of humanitarian
programs in Darfur and raised questions regarding the quality of
services.

3.C,B (SBU) The GNU has made considerable efforts to provide water
and health services in areas affected by the expulsions; however,
UN agencies note that line- ministries operate near the limit of
their current capacity.C,B Logistical and human resource systems have
not yet developed to match service provision requirements and the
ministries' expanded activities.

4. (SBU) Lack of government resources or GNU opposition to
programming in some sectors has resulted in limited coverage of key
sectors following the expulsions.C,B Significantly, and for the first
time in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, Sudanese
government line-ministries, with support from the UN, have provided
safe drinking water and health care services to replace the work of
expelled NGOs. However, the Sudanese government has not supported
sanitation and hygiene activities and nutrition services that
relief agencies covering corresponding sectors would typically
provide.C,B As part of UN efforts to fill post-expulsion nutrition
service interruptions, UNICEF agreed with the GNU Ministry of
Health (MoH) to temporarily support MoH nutrition staff salaries
previously maintained by expelled NGOs; however, UNICEF terminated
support on December 31, 2009.C,B UN agencies have encouraged the
Sudanese government to increase support for neglected sector
activities, but has not been successful in this effort to date.

5. (SBU) Several expelled NGOs had conducted camp management and
protection activities; however, remaining NGOs were apprehensive to
take over services without GNU authorization.C,B Following the
expulsions, the UN advocated for formal GNU acceptance of the
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN
agency mandated under the global humanitarian cluster system to
lead camp management and coordination, as well as protection
activities.C,B To date, the GNU continues to prohibit UNHCR from
leading protection and camp management and coordination
activities.C,B (Note: The GNU has authorized UNHCR to provide refugee
support services in West Darfur, but the organization remains
unable to conduct additional activities in the three Darfur States.
End note.)C,B Remaining NGOs that previously provided protection
support have continued to conduct protection activities, including
support for victims of gender-based violence and development of
child-friendly spaces. However, open dialogue about protection
issues remains difficult and NGOs are compelled to conceal
humanitarian protection programming.C,

6. (SBU) Following the expulsions, USAID's Office of US Foreign
Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) redistributed funds already
planned for Darfur to support expansion of UN and NGO partner
activities providing services previously conducted by expelled

KHARTOUM 00000326 002 OF 002


NGOs.C,B Activities currently conducted through expanded programs
include health provision, shelter and settlements support,
agriculture and food security support, logistics and relief
commodities support, and water, sanitation, and hygiene provision.C,
In addition, the US Government negotiated admittance of
international affiliate organizations of three expelled NGOs.C,
USAID/OFDA continues to monitor the progress of affiliate
organizations in obtaining seized assets and operationalizing
provision of necessary humanitarian services.C,

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HUMANITARIAN ACCESS AND PROGRAM MONITORING
------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) NGOs remaining after the expulsions have faced declining
security, including increased incidence of hostage-taking, as well
as some remaining bureaucratic impediments and access restrictions
causing organizations to reduce international staff presence and
hire an increased proportion of national staff to implement field
activities.C,B International staff presence has declined most
significantly in deep field locations.C,B According to the UN, in
mid-February 2009, 30 international staff members worked in six
deep field locations in North Darfur and by mid-February 2010, the
number had declined to two international staff covering two deep
field locations in the state.C,B Many NGOs are establishing remote
management and monitoring systems in response to increased access
limitations and insecurity.C,B In addition, humanitarian
organizations have raised concerns regarding post-expulsion
emergency program quality, but due to reduced access organizations
lack the ability to adequately assess programs.

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COMMENT
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8. (SBU) Subsequent to the expulsions, humanitarian organizations
in Darfur, and to some extent Sudanese government line-ministries,
adapted to ensure delivery of life-saving assistance and
successfully averted a humanitarian crisis in Darfur.C,B Nearly
twelve months following the expulsions the humanitarian situation
no longer warrants focus on post-expulsion gap filling, but rather
requires evaluation of program quality and continued planning for
aid delivery within the existing humanitarian context.C,B The GNU has
demonstrated a willingness to support some humanitarian needs
through primary health care service delivery and safe drinking
water provision.C,B However, government efforts reveal the
limitations of line-ministries to absorb even well-developed
humanitarian programs.C,B UN agencies continue to support ministry
capacity building, but the process requires additional time and
resources.C,B As other critical needs remain, including nutrition,
food security, and humanitarian protection, additional GNU
engagement and support will be required.C,B USAID/OFDA continues to
support the UN in advocating for improved GNU engagement in all
humanitarian sectors.
ASQUINO

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