Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07NDJAMENA625
2007-07-30 16:18:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

EASTERN CHAD - IDP NEEDS BEING MET

Tags:  EAID PGOV PHUM SOCI PREF PREL CD 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6142
RR RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0625/01 2111618
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301618Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5577
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0741
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0045
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 NDJAMENA 000625 

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

USAID/DCHA FOR MHESS, GGOTTLIEB, SBRADLEY
DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU, AFERRARA, ACONVERY, DLILLIE, AMALLEY
DCHA/FFP FOR WHAMMINK, JDWORKEN
USAID/AFR/EA FOR BDUNFORD
NAIROBI/ECARO FOR JMYER; FFP FOR NESTES
STATE FOR AF/C, AFR/WA, AF/EPS, EB, CRS, AND PRM
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER
USEUCOM FOR USAID WANDERSON
KHARTOUM/USAID FOR EKERST, JMARKS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
ROME FOR RNEWBERG, HSPANOS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV PHUM SOCI PREF PREL CD

SUBJECT: EASTERN CHAD - IDP NEEDS BEING MET

NDJAMENA 00000625 001.2 OF 004


SUMMARY
-------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 NDJAMENA 000625

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

USAID/DCHA FOR MHESS, GGOTTLIEB, SBRADLEY
DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU, AFERRARA, ACONVERY, DLILLIE, AMALLEY
DCHA/FFP FOR WHAMMINK, JDWORKEN
USAID/AFR/EA FOR BDUNFORD
NAIROBI/ECARO FOR JMYER; FFP FOR NESTES
STATE FOR AF/C, AFR/WA, AF/EPS, EB, CRS, AND PRM
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER
USEUCOM FOR USAID WANDERSON
KHARTOUM/USAID FOR EKERST, JMARKS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
ROME FOR RNEWBERG, HSPANOS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV PHUM SOCI PREF PREL CD

SUBJECT: EASTERN CHAD - IDP NEEDS BEING MET

NDJAMENA 00000625 001.2 OF 004


SUMMARY
--------------


1. Most of the estimated 173,000 internally displaced people (IDPs)
in eastern Chad are now receiving assistance from humanitarian
organizations. USAID/OFDA's partners and other humanitarian
organizations are providing services to the IDPs in the
water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH),health/nutrition, shelter and
protection sectors, although important gaps remain in protection and
site management/IDP registration. End summary.


2. Nairobi-based USAID/OFDA Principal Regional Advisor (PRA) Jack
Myer visited Chad July 2-16. While there he traveled in eastern
Chad with USAID Field Officer Stan Stalla, visiting the towns of
Abeche, Farchana, Adre, and Goz Beida. The objectives of his trip
were to track the evolution of the humanitarian situation affecting
IDPs and consider further funding options.


3. This is the second of two cables on the IDP situation, and will
report on specific IDP conditions. The first cable reported on the
general IDP situation, discussed some issues and provided
recommendations.

MOST IDP NEEDS BEING MET
--------------


4. About 173,000 IDPs now live in sites and host villages in Dar
Sila (120,000),Dar Assongha (40,000) and neighboring Departments
(13,000) in eastern Chad, according to the UN. Their immediate
needs are now largely being met by UN agencies and international
NGOs in almost all sites. In the last few months new NGOs have
arrived in Chad, including Mentor, World Concern, Islamic Relief,
Save the Children/US and Concern, and have begun filling
programmatic gaps in health, site management, protection and other
sectors.



5. The Red Cross family is also represented in Chad, with the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),the International
Federation of the Red Cross, the Chadian Red Cross and several other
national Red Crosses active in the IDP sites, implementing WASH,
health, shelter and other activities.


6. All the major UN operational agencies are implementing programs
for IDPs, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
the World Food Program (WFP),the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF),the
World Health Organization (WHO),the Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO).


7. The arrival of several new NGOs and increased donor funding have
caused some strains within the humanitarian operation. Competition
for scarce qualified Chadian staff, housing and other procurement
has created inflation in some areas (notably Goz Beida) and tension
between NGOs. Secondly, the capacity of humanitarian air transport
is now stretched to the limit. Thirdly, the new NGOs sometimes
arrive with erroneous assumptions and pre-determined approaches that
do not make sense in the Chadian context. Finally, coordination of
the increasing number of actors has challenged the limited capacity
of OCHA in Chad.


8. The start of the annual three-month rainy season in eastern Chad
further complicates relief efforts, but also stabilizes the security
situation to a degree. Most observers are confident that there will
be no major attacks by ethnic militia, rebels or bandits during the
rainy season as movement is heavily curtailed due to flooding in the
wadis that criss-cross the region. IDPs will probably stay where
they are, although many have temporarily sent family members back to
their original lands to plant the cereal crop.


9. Rains also hinder truck traffic to the extent that WFP has had
to stockpile three months worth of food for the refugees in the
camps, and just completed a food distribution to the IDPs that
should see them through the end of the rains in September. Even
four-wheel drive vehicle traffic is impossible on some routes,

NDJAMENA 00000625 002.2 OF 004


placing increased strain on the humanitarian air service, which also
faces some flooded runways.


10. A good rainy season, of course, would be a boon for farmers
cultivating the annual sorghum and millet crop, and would
significantly enhance food security in the region in general.

ASSISTANCE SECTORS
--------------


11. The WASH sector appears to be relatively well covered. In Dar
Sila, Oxfam and Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF - present in several
national branches) have put in boreholes, shallow wells and other
water infrastructure for most IDP sites, while in Dar Assongha, MSF,
the ICRC and others have done similar work in the sites and areas
where IDPs are. UNICEF estimates that the average availability of
potable water in the sites is between five and ten
liters/person/day.


12. A large scale latrine building program is beginning to provide
good coverage in most sites, but Dogdore in Dar Sila remains a
concern, due to problems with the soil. There is concern that the
rains will raise the risk of water-borne diseases, especially in
areas where people continue to rely on surface water for household
purposes. Most IDPs have received jerry cans and receive basic
hygiene messages from health workers.


13. The health/nutrition sector has also received substantial
attention from the humanitarian community. The sector/cluster is
being well-coordinated and activities supported by WHO and UNICEF,
according to the NGOs, and no major gaps were noted. In Dar Sila
MSF and COOPI are providing most health services, with Action
against Hunger (ACF) and MSF working on malnutrition. USAID-partner
the International Medical Corps (IMC) is also providing some
services via mobile clinics to IDPs and local people in Dar Sila.
In Dar Assongha, MSF, the ICRC, and Premier Urgence are implementing
health activities. Aid organizations were able to stockpile
medicine and health supplies for the rainy season and are
comfortable with stock levels.


14. Recent media and other reports have highlighted the
malnutrition situation, especially in the Dar Sila sites. A survey
by MSF in June found global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates of 20
percent in some sites, well above the standard emergency threshold
of 15 percent. The NGO COOPI, long present in the Goz Beida area,
disagreed with these figures and a public spat ensued. UNICEF and
WHO have undertaken efforts both to resolve the NGOs' differences,
and independently survey the situation, and believe that the MSF
figures are accurate. Agencies are now working on the assumption
that the 20 percent figure is correct.


15. The NGOs, with material and technical support from WHO and
UNICEF are responding, and are beginning to look at the root causes,
which may be linked to inadequate clean water supply, eating habits
and lack of adequate nourishment. WFP IDP rations at present are
about 1800 kilocalories (KC) per person per day, below the minimum
requirement of 2100 KC/day, and not every IDP receives food and
those that do, do not always get a full ration due to the lack of
registration of IDPs and distribution relying on village leaders.
WFP plans to increase the ration to 2100 KC/person/day and increase
the amount of Corn-Soya Blend in the distribution. With NGOs set to
begin site management activities, which include headcounts and
registration, and the establishment by MSF and COOPI of nutritional
treatment facilities, it is hoped GAM rates will go down.


16. Ongoing challenges in the health sector include outbreaks of
Hepatitis A, B and E, diarrhea, high malnutrition and weak GOC
capacity. With support from WHO and UNICEF, NGOs are addressing
these problems. With the onset of the rainy season there is concern
that malaria may emerge, as it usually does in this region.
OFDA-partner MENTOR and others are distributing mosquito nets and
making other preparations for outbreaks.


17. The Chadian Ministry of Health (MOH) is reported to be fairly

NDJAMENA 00000625 003.2 OF 004


weak in the region. It does manage some health centers and
hospitals and provides guidance on policy matters, but has little
capacity to provide services or coordinate health activities and is
under-staffed. In most areas where there are refugees and/or IDPs,
NGOs are essentially managing the health facilities on behalf of the
MOH.


18. UNHCR is the sector lead for shelter and non-food items (NFI).
Unfortunately, it is not able to provide a complete picture of the
coverage and gaps at present. It says there are numerous new NGOs
bringing in supplies, as well as non-coordinated GOC efforts, so it
has lost track of the situation. However, at present, it says it is
not aware of any major gaps, and promises a full report by late
July. Most actors the team met agreed with this general assessment,
which assumes no new displacement.


19. An emerging gap in eastern Chad at present, in part linked to
the debate over standards of service delivery, the permanence of the
sites and funding, is site management. With the increase in IDP
numbers, in NGOs assisting them and in the general level of interest
and activity in the sites, it is becoming urgent that a single NGO
be in charge of each site. The role of the site manager NGO would
be to count and register the IDP population, coordinate all
activities at the site and work closely with cluster leads to ensure
needs are covered and duplication avoided.


20. A disturbing problem cited by most contacts is in the area of
protection, especially of women and children. With hurried
displacement, crowded camp conditions, frustration in the camps,
breakdown of social networks, the need to find firewood in the bush
and the presence of marauding bandits and unpaid soldiers, the
potential for child abuse and rape has increased. NGOs are
beginning to address these problems, and the ICRC has been
implementing protection activities in its areas of operation since
the beginning of the IDP crisis. Nevertheless, more work needs to
be done in this area.

COORDINATION
--------------


21. The UN country team is using the cluster system on a de facto
basis, awaiting official word from UN New York to implement it
officially. OCHA is in principle the overall coordinator for IDPs,
but due to continuing major capacity problems with support,
leadership, vision and staffing, is still not able to fully take on
its role (although several secondments from the UK's Department for
International Development - DFiD - are providing vital surge
capacity). UNHCR as the largest of the agencies in the east has
thus far been taking on the role, but is eager to hand it over to
OCHA when the latter is ready (septel will provide more detail of
OCHA's weaknesses in Chad).


22. Humanitarian coordination of activities for the IDPs is so far
a mixed bag. On the one hand, the response benefited from the
presence of a relatively large scale and mature program for refugees
in the region, vastly reducing startup times and costs for IDP
activities by aid organizations, and the time needed to establish
inter-agency contacts and coordination mechanisms. On the other
hand, these same organizations are stretched with providing for the
needs of the 220,000 refugees in eastern Chad, and had to struggle
to increase capacity to handle the IDP caseload as it grew to the
current number, as well as the needs of many vulnerable villagers.
The result at first was an ad hoc and poorly coordinated response.



23. The use of the cluster system in eastern Chad, representing a
retro-fit of formalized coordination structure, will be difficult
for the same reasons it is in other countries in the region.
Because its being introduced into an ongoing emergency response,
habits set over the last four years will need to be changed. The
roles and responsibilities for cluster leads and participants will
need to be carefully explained to avoid confusion, stress and
conflict. The role of the GOC will need to be clarified,
communicated and supported.

NDJAMENA 00000625 004.2 OF 004




24. The good news in Abeche is that both UNICEF and WHO are getting
positive reviews from NGOs for their leadership in the health (WHO)
and nutrition, child protection and WASH (UNICEF) sectors. Both
have fielded experienced emergency officers and appear to have the
full support of their Ndjamena offices. UNHCR is getting a handle
on its coordination of shelter, and has ensured there are no major
gaps, and is getting NGOs on board for site management. There do
not appear to be any major complaints in the food sector,
coordinated by WFP, aside from the malnutrition problems being
addressed. The major problem in logistics (WFP and UNHCR) is
inadequate passenger air transport capacity, and a recently ended
strike by UNHCR's logistics partner GTZ which almost paralyzed
operations in some camps.

CONCLUSION
--------------


25. With most sectors of humanitarian response for IDPs in eastern
Chad covered, the challenge facing the humanitarian community will
be improving standards, sustaining the effort and ensuring strong
coordination of the increasingly complex program.

TAMLYN