US embassy cable - 02ROME303

CONCERNS VOICED ON THE U.N. WORLD FOOD PROGRAM'S SOON TO BE RELEASED NEW EMERGENCY OPERATION FOR AFGHANISTAN

Identifier: 02ROME303
Wikileaks: View 02ROME303 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-01-21 10:49:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: EAID EAGR AORC PREF EU WFPO UN AFGHANISTAN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 000303 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FROM U.S. MISSION IN ROME 
 
ISLAMABAD FOR DART 
TASHKENT FOR DART 
ASHGABAT FOR DART 
GENEVA FOR RMA NANCE KYLOH 
USUN FOR LSHESTACK 
USEU FOR KFULLER AND KDEBLAU 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAID, EAGR, AORC, PREF, EU, WFPO, UN, AFGHANISTAN 
SUBJECT: CONCERNS VOICED ON THE U.N. WORLD FOOD 
PROGRAM'S SOON TO BE RELEASED NEW EMERGENCY OPERATION 
FOR AFGHANISTAN 
 
REF:  ROME 00001 
 
1.  SUMMARY.  U.S. MISSION/ROME OFFICERS MET ON 
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17 WITH THE U.N. WORLD FOOD PROGRAM 
(WFP) ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (AED) AND DIRECTOR 
OF OPERATIONS, MOHAMED ZEJJARI TO EXPRESS U.S. CONCERNS 
ABOUT THE SOON TO BE RELEASED NEW EMERGENCY OPERATION 
(EMOP) FOR AFGHANISTAN.  THE PRIMARY POINTS CENTERED 
AROUND A LACK OF SUPPORTING DATA FOR THE PROPOSED 
PROGRAMS AND THE NEED TO CONTINUALLY MONITOR THE 
EFFECTS OF FOOD AID AND MAKE NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS TO 
WFP PROGRAMS.  WFP INCORPORATED THE SUGGESTED ADDITIONS 
INTO THE EMOP WHICH IS TO BE RELEASED IN THE COMING 
DAYS.  WFP REPORTED THAT U.S. REQUESTED SPOT-CHECKS TO 
THE VAM FINDINGS ARE PLANNED FOR FEBRUARY.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
------------ 
BACKGROUND 
------------ 
 
2.  WFP PROVIDED THE U.S. MISSION/ROME AND 
USAID/DCHA/FOOD FOR PEACE OFFICE (FFP) WITH AN ADVANCE 
COPY OF WFP'S NEW EMOP, WHICH BEGINS ON APRIL 2002 AND 
ENDS DECEMBER 31, 2002.  THE VERSION PROVIDED WAS DATED 
JANUARY 8.  AFTER READING THE DOCUMENT, THE U.S. 
MISSION/ROME AND USAID/FFP HAD SOME CONCERNS.  ON 
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, U.S. MISSION/ROME OFFICERS 
LAVELLE AND DAVIS MET WITH WFP'S ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE 
DIRECTOR (AED) AND DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, MOHAMED 
ZEJJARI, AND WFP'S CHIEF OF THE OFFICE OF HUMANITARIAN 
AFFAIRS (OHA), FRANCESCO STRIPPOLI, TO REVIEW U.S. 
CONCERNS. 
 
------------------ 
CONCERNS VOICED 
------------------ 
 
3.  SENIOR EMERGENCY COORDINATOR (SEC) DAVIS RELAYED 
TWO PRIMARY CONCERNS AND LEFT BEHIND A MEMO THAT 
OUTLINED MORE DETAILED COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT EMOP.  THE 
PRIMARY POINTS WERE THE FOLLOWING: 
 
A.  WFP PROPOSES A VARIETY OF PROGRAMS IN THE NEW EMOP. 
SOME ARE REVIVED PROJECTS FROM PRE-SEPTEMBER 11; OTHERS 
ARE A CONTINUATION OF CURRENT RELIEF ACTIVITIES; AND 
SOME ARE COMPLETELY NEW.  THESE PROJECTS ARE OUTLINED, 
HOWEVER, WITH LITTLE TO NO SUPPORTING DATA TO JUSTIFY 
THE NEED.  STATEMENTS ARE MADE ABOUT HIGH MORTALITY 
RATES, HIGH MALNUTRITION RATES, AND THE NEED FOR 
CONTINUED FOOD AID, BUT NO ACTUAL DATA IS PROVIDED. 
ONE WOULD SURMISE FROM READING THE DOCUMENT THAT ONLY 
ANECDOTAL INFORMATION EXISTS. 
THE VULNERABILITY AND ANALYSIS MAPPING (VAM) UNIT HAS 
ACCUMULATED A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF DATA, AND EVEN 
THOUGH SEVERAL MONTHS OLD, NONE OF THAT DATA IS 
UTILIZED.  THE PROGRAMS MAY INDEED BE VERY MUCH NEEDED 
IN AFGHANISTAN, BUT THEY SHOULD BE SUBSTANTIATED. 
 
B.  THERE IS NO MENTION AS TO HOW THE AFGHANISTAN FOOD 
SECURITY UNIT (AFSU, FORMER VAM) FINDINGS WILL BE 
FOLDED INTO THE PROGRAMMATIC ACTIVITIES OR HOW PROGRAMS 
MAY BE ADJUSTED EACH MONTH ON THE BASIS OF THE AFSU'S 
FINDINGS.  AND NO MENTION IS MADE OF TRACKING THE 
IMPACT OF FOOD AID ON THE MARKETS TO ENSURE THAT FOOD 
AID IS NOT HAVING A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON THE ECONOMY. 
 
4.  ZEJJARI TOLD THE OFFICERS THAT MANY OF OUR DETAILED 
CONCERNS HAD ALSO BEEN SHARED BY HIM AND HE HAD TWICE 
REQUESTED RE-WRITES TO THE EMOP SINCE THE JANUARY 8 
VERSION.  ALTHOUGH HE DID NOT SHARE THE MOST-RECENT 
VERSION WITH THE OFFICERS, HE DID READ PARTS THAT 
CONFIRMED THAT SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES HAD TAKEN PLACE. 
 
5.  ZEJJARI WAS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF THE NEED TO ADD 
LANGUAGE TO THE EMOP ABOUT POINT B ABOVE, HOWEVER HE 
ARGUED THAT PROVIDING ALL THE DATA (POINT A) TO JUSTIFY 
WFP'S PROGRAMS WOULD MAKE THE EMOP DOCUMENT TOO LONG. 
THE SEC COUNTERED THAT THERE IS A HAPPY MEDIUM BETWEEN 
NO DATA AND AN OVERWHELMING QUANTITY.  COPIES OF THE 
MEMO WITH THE DETAILED POINTS WERE LEFT WITH HIM AND 
STRIPPOLI AND HAVE BEEN SENT TO USAID/FFP AND 
USAID/DART/ISLAMABAD. 
 
------------------------------- 
SPOT-CHECKING THE VAM RESULTS 
------------------------------- 
 
6.  AS RELAYED IN REF TEL, MISSION OFFICERS HAD 
ENCOURAGED WFP TO CONDUCT "SPOT-CHECKS" OF THE VAM 
RESULTS IN A FEW DISTRICTS OF AFGHANISTAN THAT ARE 
CURRENTLY ACCESSIBLE.  IN THE MEETING, THEY ASKED ABOUT 
THE PROGRESS OF THIS EFFORT. 
 
7.  ZEJJARI STATED THE VAM UNIT HAD RECENTLY BEEN 
EXPANDED BY THREE STAFF.  THE UNIT IS TAKING JANUARY TO 
PREPARE AND DO RESEARCH, AND IN FEBRUARY THE FIELD WORK 
WOULD BEGIN.  THE FIELD WORK IS TO INCLUDE THE 
REQUESTED SPOT CHECKS.  USAID/DART CONTINUES TO FOLLOW 
THIS ISSUE WITH WFP STAFF IN ISLAMABAD. 
 
--------------- 
PROGRESS MADE 
--------------- 
 
8.  ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, U.S. MISSION OFFICERS TALKED 
WITH ZEJJARI DURING THE LUNCH AT WFP WITH CONGRESSIONAL 
DELEGATION KOLBE.  HE SHOWED THE SEC WHERE WFP ALREADY 
HAD INCORPORATED THE PRIMARY CONCERNS INTO THE EMOP. 
WFP IS HOPING TO RELEASE THE NEW EMOP CONCURRENTLY WITH 
THE TOKYO PLEDGING CONFERENCE ON AFGHANISTAN. 
 
9.  MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.  HEILEMAN 
 

 2002ROME00303 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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