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Created
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05ROME1264
2005-04-14 11:03:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

A REPORT BY USUN ROME AMBASSADOR TONY HALL

Tags:   EAID  SENV  PGOV  KPAO  EAGR  ET  UG  UN 
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						UNCLAS  ROME 001264 

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

DCHA/AA WGARVELINK, DCHA/FFP LLANDIS, DCHA/OFDA
GGOTTLIEB,
AFR/AA LPIERSON, AFR/EA TSHORTLEY
STATE FOR A/S AF NEWMAN, AF/E (GAFFNEY AND SIMMONS),
AF/PDPA (SARTI), OES (DPAYNE), A/S PRM DEWEY, PRM
(MCKINLEY)
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, MCHAMBLISS, AND RTILSWORTH
NAIROBI FOR OFDA/ARO JMYER AND RFFPO, REDSO/ESA
BRUSSELS FOR USEU PLERNER
NSC FOR MMILLER, MMCLEAN, AND JMELINE
USEUCOM FOR ECJ4

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SENV PGOV KPAO EAGR ET UG UN
SUBJECT: A REPORT BY USUN ROME AMBASSADOR TONY HALL
ON HIS TRIP TO ETHIOPIA AND UGANDA

Ref: Addis Ababa 1271

Sensitive but unclassified please protect
accordingly. Not suitable for Internet posting.


UNCLAS ROME 001264

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

DCHA/AA WGARVELINK, DCHA/FFP LLANDIS, DCHA/OFDA
GGOTTLIEB,
AFR/AA LPIERSON, AFR/EA TSHORTLEY
STATE FOR A/S AF NEWMAN, AF/E (GAFFNEY AND SIMMONS),
AF/PDPA (SARTI), OES (DPAYNE), A/S PRM DEWEY, PRM
(MCKINLEY)
USDA/FAS FOR U/S PENN, MCHAMBLISS, AND RTILSWORTH
NAIROBI FOR OFDA/ARO JMYER AND RFFPO, REDSO/ESA
BRUSSELS FOR USEU PLERNER
NSC FOR MMILLER, MMCLEAN, AND JMELINE
USEUCOM FOR ECJ4

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SENV PGOV KPAO EAGR ET UG UN
SUBJECT: A REPORT BY USUN ROME AMBASSADOR TONY HALL
ON HIS TRIP TO ETHIOPIA AND UGANDA

Ref: Addis Ababa 1271

Sensitive but unclassified please protect
accordingly. Not suitable for Internet posting.



1. (U) SUMMARY: Ambassador Tony Hall, U.S. Mission to the
UN Agencies in Rome, traveled to Ethiopia and Uganda from
March 16 through 23, 2005, to investigate humanitarian
issues in both countries. In Ethiopia Ambassador Hall
visited USAID-funded projects for HIV/AIDS orphans and
mothers, observed school feeding, and met with
beneficiaries and government officials to discuss the
implementation of the Government of Ethiopia (GOE)
Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). The Ambassador also
met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to discuss his concern
that more people than the current GOE estimates of 7.3
million beneficiaries would require combined safety net and
emergency assistance this year (5.1 million under safety
nets and 2.2 million under the emergency appeal). In
Uganda, Hall witnessed the physical and psychological
devastation caused by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in
the northern areas: massive population displacement,
killings, abduction and enslavement of children, and
burning of villages. Despite the devastation, the
Ambassador found that the provisioning of first-rate
humanitarian and development assistance provides
encouragement to the thousands of IDPs who have been living
in camps for decades. In addition, he considers that the
Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) may
provide a roadmap for reconciliation and ending the
conflict. END SUMMARY.

--------------
Ethiopia
--------------


2. (U) Ambassador Hall's delegation included Mrs. Janet

Hall, Carla Benini, Public Affairs Officer, Philip Lamade,
Program Specialist, and John Nakamura, Personal Advisor to
Ambassador Hall. An ambitious itinerary developed in
coordination with USAID/Ethiopia, enabled the delegation to
visit many humanitarian assistance projects and
implementers.


3. (U) On March 17 the Ambassador's delegation visited
USAID and WFP sites in the Oromia Region. Highlights
included the high-risk corridor initiative and three
safety net sites. The high-risk corridor initiative
began implementation in 2001 through a USAID grant to
Save the Children/USA. As the program has evolved,
USAID and WFP have joined forces in some communities
to strengthen food and nutritional support for
HIV/AIDS infected and affected individuals and
households. The delegation visited a school feeding
program that stabilizes school attendance. The
program is funded under the President's Plan for AIDS
Relief (PEPFAR) and utilizes WFP food resources.


4. (U) The Ambassador and his delegation visited
USAID-funded Productive Safety Nets Programs (PSNPs)
in Arsi, Oromiya Region. These programs are designed
to manage the transition from an emergency response-
dominated program to one that builds capacity to
prevent famine and protect assets of the chronically
food insecure and facilitate participation in a larger
development agenda. At Bosset woreda the delegation
saw how WFP was working to implement the PSNP. Public


works had begun, and rock bunds were being built on an
eroded hillside. Most of the workers interviewed said
they had suffered a difficult cropping year in 2004
and were counting on PSNP assistance. Concerned with
reports about the exclusion of the landless from the
PSNP, the WFP Country Director asked for a show of
hands of those with and without land of their own.
About 50% reported they did not have land.


5. (U) Amb. Hall also visited Dorota Sire woreda where
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is helping to implement
the PSNP. Unlike Arsi, Dorota Sire has been suffering
from deteriorating humanitarian conditions and
requires urgent assistance. The government's Disaster
Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC) has not
provided emergency assistance to the woreda because no
emergency beneficiaries were identified in the 2005
humanitarian assistance appeal. The PSNP planned for
30,700 people to receive assistance, but woreda
officials reported that 58,000 actually require
assistance.


6. (U) Lunch with the UN team on March 18 provided a
further opportunity to discuss the PSNP as well as other UN
projects and initiatives.


7. (SBU) During a meeting that afternoon with Prime
Minister Meles Zenawi (see reftel which reports details),
Amb. Hall expressed concern that the GOE's beneficiary
estimates for the safety net and emergency programs may be
understated, i.e., more food aid than previously estimated
may be needed. PM Meles stood by the estimated beneficiary
number of 7.3 million, i.e., 5.1 million under safety nets
and 2.2 million under the emergency appeal. While PM Meles
recognized the lifesaving role that donors and partners
have played in providing food aid, he sees a need to reduce
the entitlement mindset and end dependency. Meles also
said that the safety net program is one way that the GOE
intends to provide communities with dignity and capacity
and thus address the difficult task of reducing food
dependency. GOE hopes that linking food and cash to
specific work projects will enable communities to fend for
themselves.


8. (SBU) PM Meles agreed that Ethiopia's appeal
requirements were not getting the kind of attention they
needed. Tsunami requirements, Amb. Hall noted, have
exhausted all donors. In addition, initial favorable crop
estimates for Ethiopia have been misleading. He added that
the GOE should exercise flexibility in applying the
contingency factor in the safety net program to ensure that
people needing assistance are not neglected. The
Ambassador also expressed concern that donors had not
responded adequately to Ethiopia's emergency needs, a
particularly troubling situation in this critical
transition year.

--------------
Uganda
--------------


9. (U) While food insecurity in Ethiopia is linked to poor
rainfall, Uganda has endured 19 years of conflict generated
by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which has caused food
insecurity and the displacement of nearly 1.4 million
people in northern Uganda. In Acholi land, 90% of IDPs
have no access to water, food, clothing, health care
services, adequate shelter or other basic amenities. WFP's


PRRO, running from April 2005 through March 2008, envisions
providing about 452,000 metric tons of food for about 2.6
million people at a cost of $263 million. Despite a recent
USAID/FFP pledge of $25.1 million, WFP expects a shortfall
of 54,000 metric tons through September 2005.


10. (U) Amb. Hall's destination in Uganda, Gulu district,
has disproportionately suffered the consequences of the
LRA. More than 90% of the population of Gulu is displaced
into 42 camps. Since November 2003, WFP food aid has been
programmed to cover 74% of the recommended daily allowance
in the camps. A nutrition assessment conducted by WFP,
UNICEF, and Miistry of Health (MOH) in September/October
2004 concluded that Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in the
camps ranged from 7.2% to 19.9%, significantly lower than
the limited MOH/WFP assessment results of 18.1% to 31.6% in
May 2003. Nevertheless, the Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) of
2.33/10,000 people/day still remains above the alert level
of more than 1 in 10,000 people/day.


11. (U) On March 21, 2005, Ambassador Hall's delegation,
along with UN and Embassy officials and journalists from
Reuters, NPR/CBC, Agence France-Presse and regional African
media, arrived in Gulu via a WFP charter flight. The
delegation met with local officials and then traveled to
Olwal IDP camp, home to more than 21,000 people. Although
the delegation's arrival brought the first rains of the
season, a good omen, WFP's implementing partner, the
Norwegian Refugee Council (NWC), was unable to distribute
food, normally done only once every other month. "Now
we'll have to stay overnight," said Jan Kolass, NWC's
project manager.


12. (U) Food aid encourages school attendance. The number
of children attending school is up from 1,474 to 1,760,
thanks to WFP's school feeding, but life in the camp is not
easy. Difficulties for the IDPs include shortages of
teachers, poor quality drinking water, little money for
school infrastructure, and a growing camp population. Nor
is it easy or without danger for NGOs and other aid
providers to provide humanitarian assistance in the camps.
When it rains, they must remain overnight to risk
encounters with the LRA.


13. (U) That afternoon the delegation visited the Gulu
Support the Children Organization (GUSCO) Reception Center,
organized in 1994 by three mothers to address problems
faced by formerly abducted children. Since 1994, GUSCO has
received, rehabilitated and reintegrated over 5,000
children. Through a USAID grant to Save the Children
Denmark, some children have been provided tools and
equipment, e.g., sewing machines, bicycle repair kits,
building and carpentry tools, while others have been
supported with seed money to start small enterprises.


14. (U) That night the delegation met and talked with some
of the "night commuters" at Noah's Ark, Gulu Hospital.
Night commuters are children who travel to the main towns
of northern Uganda on a nightly basis to seek refuge from
insecurity and abduction. There are about 12,000 children
commuting to Gulu each night; Noah's Ark provides a safe
haven for about 700.


15. (U) During the busy morning of March 22, visits were
made to the Gulu Orthopedic Workshop operated by the
Italian NGO AVSI, which provides trauma and job counseling
and assembles and fits prostheses to landmine victims; a
therapeutic feeding center run by Action Against Hunger; an


HIV/AIDS center run by The AIDS Support Organization
(TASO); the Unity Vocation Center run by World Vision,
which has enrolled more than 2,000 students in vocational
training and apprenticeship programs in tailoring, fabric
design and decoration, brick laying and masonry, and
carpentry; and a particularly impressive ACDI/VOCA project,
Rural Economy and Agricultural Production (REAP), which is
improving the food and livelihood security of about 17,000
residents of IDP camps in Gulu.


16. (U) In the afternoon Amb. Hall met with Acholi
Paramount Chief David Onen Acana, a 2004 participant in the
State Department's International Visitors' Program, and
also with Archbishop John Baptist Odama, the current chair
of the Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative, which
provides community-based mediation services, advocacy, and
peace-building activities. The Ambassador listened
attentively to both leaders, who were eloquent in
discussing the necessity and appropriateness for granting
amnesty to children abducted and later, sadly, often
engaged in committing atrocities.


17. (U) Comment from Ambassador Hall: I want to express my
appreciation to everyone who helped make my trip a success.
Support from the U.S. Embassy and USAID Mission Addis
Ababa, including Bill Hammink and Karen Freeman, was
terrific. I also thank Ambassador Jimmie Kolker for his
hospitality in Uganda, the support of U.S. Embassy Kampala,
and the excellent work done for my delegation by USAID's
Walter Welz.


18. (U) Addis Ababa has cleared this cable. Khartoum
minimize considered.
Hall


NNNN
2005ROME01264 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED