US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA282


Identifier: 05NDJAMENA282
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA282 at
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-02-23 10:21:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PREF PHUM KAWC CD SU USAID Humanitarian Operations
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.

ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   CA-00    CIAE-00  INL-00   DODE-00  
      DS-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-00    H-00     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   M-00     AC-00    NEA-00   
      DCP-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-00   OMB-00   NIMA-00  EPAU-00  
      PA-00    PM-00    GIWI-00  PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     CFPP-00  
      SP-00    SS-00    TRSE-00  T-00     FMP-00   EPAE-00  IIP-00   
      SCRS-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00     SAS-00   
                  ------------------BD1D91  231028Z /38    
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PREF, PHUM, KAWC, CD, SU, USAID, Humanitarian Operations 
 1.  Summary. PRM/AFR Mary Lange and USAID/FFP (DART) Suzanne 
Poland traveled to the Adre region of Eastern Chad from 
February 16-18 to visit the refugee camps of Treguine, 
Bredjing, and Farchana and to meet with staff from UNHCR, 
WFP, IFRC, Chadian Red Cross, MSF, Secadev, CORD, and CARE. 
Camp population figures for the three camps are currently 
around 15,000 for Treguine, 33,000 for Bredjing and 20,000 
for Farchana; with the spontaneous arrival of refugees from 
the border, these numbers are expected to continue to slowly 
increase.  UNHCR has identified a potential new site (Gaga) 
between Abeche and Farchana to accommodate the overflow from 
Bredjing and Farchana and any subsequent new arrivals.  Basic 
assistance to refugees was proceeding smoothly in all camps, 
with NGO partners now capable of providing adequate (if not 
yet always up to SPHERE standards) health care, water, 
sanitation, and shelter to refugees.  Education and community 
services were slower to be implemented, but efforts are now 
being made to establish more comprehensive programs in these 
2.  The PRM/USAID team observed food distribution in all 
three camps.  Distributions were well organized in Treguine 
and Farchana (less so in Bredjing).  WFP only had sufficient 
stocks for a 15-day ration of cereals (30 days of all other 
commodities) but refugees seemed accepting of the shortfall 
with the understanding that another 15-day ration of cereal 
would be provided as soon as stocks arrived. WFP indicated 
that by mid-March, sufficient cereals would be in place to 
resume full rations.  Of concern to all agencies was the 
potential impact of drought in the border region and the need 
to stabilize Chadian populations in situ to avoid their 
coming to the camp and registering as refugees.  USAID Poland 
will send separate report at later date on recommendations 
for assistance to Chadian host-communities.  End Summary. 
Camp Numbers and Capacity Issues 
3.  UNHCR,s latest official statistics for the refugee 
camps, compiled by the Chadian National Commission for 
Assistance to Refugees (CNAR) indicate 13,928 refugees in 
Treguine Camp, 29,275 in Bredjing, and 18,914 in Farchana.  A 
new registration of refugees is planned for February 23-27 in 
all three camps which, if similar to the registration 
exercise in northern camps (septel), may eliminate some 
duplication/fraud and significantly reduce population 
figures.  In addition to official camp residents, a number of 
spontaneous refugees had arrived over the past month from 
border areas including an estimated 3,500 in Bredjing and up 
to 1,000 each in Treguine and Farchana.  While Treguine had 
the capacity to hold up to 15,000 refugees, both Bredjing and 
Farchana were far over capacity with increased numbers 
placing strain on available water, sanitation, and health 
4.  UNHCR reported that it had final approval from the GOC 
for a newly identified site (Gaga), about one hour from 
Abeche.  The camp is between Abeche and Farchana and could 
accommodate 8,000 refugees from Farchana, 10,000 from 
Bredjing, and up to 12,000 new arrivals as part of UNHCR,s 
contingency planning.  UNHCR has already contracted for the 
sinking of wells, and drilling was reportedly underway. 
UNHCR/Abeche and UNHCR/Ndjamena both expressed interest in 
asking Africare to assume the camp-management role for Gaga, 
and Africare staff in both Abeche and Ndjamena appear 
receptive to becoming more involved in both refugee 
assistance and more long term refugee and host community food 
security programs in the Adre region.  UNHCR currently 
anticipates providing Africare with around $250,000 in 2005, 
but significant additional support would be required from PRM 
(for Gaga camp) and potentially USAID (for host community 
assistance).  USAID/DCHA/FFP is already funding Africare's 
food security and nutrition education activities in the Adre 
area through a five-year Title II Development Assistance 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
Basic Assistance at Treguine:  Minimal but Meeting Needs 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
5.  The PRM/USAID team visited Treguine Camp on February 17, 
accompanied by IFRC and the Chadian Red Cross (CRC) which are 
responsible for camp management, health care, food and 
non-food distribution, education (with UNICEF), community 
services, shelter, and logistics.   Treguine is the newest 
camp in eastern Chad, having only opened in late September. 
Despite its newness, the PRM/USAID team was impressed with 
the work of IFRC/CRC in quickly establishing basic services 
for refugees.  The team toured the IFRC/CRC health center 
which appeared to be providing comprehensive services for 
refugees, including outreach through community health workers 
and traditional birth attendants.  No major medical concerns 
were reported, and IFRC,s vaccination campaign to contain 
meningitis (5 cases reported) in January appears to have been 
successful.  The vaccination campaign included local 
residents within an area of about 30 km radius from camp. 
Global malnutrition, based on a December WHO study, remains 
slightly high (11.3% according to WHO; 14% according to 
Action Against Hunger) but severe malnutrition was only 1.1%. 
 Latrine coverage is up to SPHERE standards (1 latrine per 20 
people) and water coverage (managed by OxFam) was reported at 
18 liters/person/day.  IFRC reported that both the education 
and community services sectors are lagging behind but will be 
a primary focus of efforts in 2005.  The team visited briefly 
the Treguine primary school, noting the intense desire for 
education among children as well as adult women.  UNICEF 
support, while minimal, had begun to arrive in the form of 
tents and basic school supplies.  With other basic services 
now relatively well-established, increased donor attention 
should be focused this year on primary, vocational, and adult 
6.  The PRM/USAID team also visited Bredjing Camp on February 
17 with IFRC delegates.  IFRC/CRC will be taking over camp 
management of Bredjing from CARE International at the end of 
February, per a recent agreement between UNHCR and IFRC.  The 
team sensed that very little planning had yet taken place for 
this transition.  IFRC staff were not yet very familiar with 
the camp and relied on OxFam to provide a general tour of 
Bredjing  IFRC also noted that CARE intended to take most of 
its staff with it, leaving IFRC to find new staff for 
critical activities such as food and non-food distribution. 
Health care in Bredjing will continue to be managed by 
MSF/Holland.  The team did not visit MSF,s health center, 
but UNHCR staff in Adre expressed no major concerns about 
health in the camp and WHO,s nutrition study showed 
malnutrition rates of only 8% global and 1.1% acute 
malnutrition.  The team, accompanied by OxFam, primarily 
focused on water and sanitation in Bredjing  Latrine coverage 
remains below standard at 1 latrine per 37 people, but OxFam 
noted plans to continue to build additional latrines.  Water 
coverage was also below standard (10 liters/person/day) and 
while OxFam reported no long lines for water this time of 
year, it was clear that the camp water system (intended for 
only 20,000) would come under increasing pressure as 
temperatures rose.  Camps services were also overtaxed by the 
spontaneous arrival of some 3,500 refugees from border areas 
in recent months.  Now residing on the outskirts of the camp, 
these new arrivals had been interviewed by CNAR and provided 
food rations.  However, UNHCR was reluctant to provide 
shelter materials until refugees can be moved to a more 
permanent location.  With these new arrivals and the camp 
already some 10,000-13,000 over capacity, the need for a new 
camp for refugees was very apparent. 
7.  The PRM/USAID team visited Farchana Camp on February 18. 
Farchana was the first camp established in eastern Chad for 
Sudanese refugees.  It was set up in December 2003. 
Originally intended for no more than 6,000 refugees, its 
population is now nearly 20,000 (including nearly 500 
spontaneous new arrivals).  The most pressing concern at 
Farchana continues to be water, with only 9 liters of water 
per person per day currently available.  Unlike other camps 
where water availability is also below standard, UNHCR 
reported problems of long lines and even fights over water in 
Farchana.  The planned movement of 8,000 refugees from 
Farchana to Gaga should help alleviate these problems. 
8.  Other sectors in Farchana appeared to be well covered. 
Secadev (Secours Catholique pour le Developpement) was 
responsible for camp management, food and non-food 
distribution, water and sanitation (with OxFam support), and 
education (with support from UNICEF and Jesuit Refugee 
Service).  MSF/Holland is responsible for health care, 
including community outreach and training of traditional 
birth attendants.   No major health problems were reported. 
CORD had begun to organize community services, including 
activities for youth and women.  CORD noted some reluctance 
on the part of community leaders (mainly men) to some of its 
proposed activities, including tree planting and 
income-generating activities for women, but was intent on 
pushing forward.  (Comment: We note that concerns over 
establishing activities that have "signs of permanence" 
continue.  End Comment.) 
9.  The PRM/USAID team had the opportunity to discuss with 
UNHCR and WFP the work of PRM-funded partners (IFRC/CRC and 
Secadev/CRS) in the camps.  While UNHCR felt strongly that 
neither had the capacity to take on camp management of the 
new Gaga camp, both UNHCR and WFP expressed satisfaction with 
the performances of IFRC and Secadev in terms of food 
distribution and other services.  IFRC appeared to have a 
strong expatriate team (5) to support the CRC.  Secadev as 
well was benefiting from on-the-ground support from Catholic 
Relief Services and Jesuit Refugee Service).  PRM should plan 
for continued support to both IFRC and CRS/Secadev in FY05. 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
Food Aid and Food Security:  Camps and Local Population 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
10.  The PRM/USAID team observed food distributions in all 
three camps.  The first blanket supplementary distribution 
was successfully conducted at Treguine Camp and in 
surrounding villages within 5 km of the camp on February 16. 
IFRC and WFP will use lessons learned in this exercise to 
fine tune the blanket supplemental distribution in the 
Bredjing and Farchana camps that are to take place the week 
of February 21.  The blanket distribution targets pregnant 
women (6-months or more along), lactating women and children 
under five years of age or under a predetermined size (height 
and weight) if age is unknown as recommended by the WFP 
11.  General food distributions were proceeding well in 
Treguine and Farchana camps with scooping method providing 
rations directly to individuals and families.  In Bredjing 
camp, the distribution was also going fine but the CARE team 
was still using the group distribution method in which 
representatives of each block collect the food for the 10 
families in that block and then divide the food among the 
families.  WFP and UNHCR have recommended that all 
distributions use the scooping method and this will be 
implemented in Bredjing camp when IFRC takes over the camp 
management. There have not been any complaints from the 
refugees in Bredjing camp about the group distribution 
method, but WFP and UNHCR see the scooping method as a means 
to avoid unfair division of commodities and to insure that 
women and children receive their fair share. 
12.  The ration received in this distribution was incomplete 
due to the fact that sufficient cereals had not yet arrived 
to cover 30-day ration amount for all 200,000 refugees and 
25,000 local beneficiaries in Eastern Chad.  Every 
beneficiary did receive a full 30-day complement of CSB, 
vegetable oil, pulses, sugar and salt and a 15-day quantity 
of cereal (sorghum).  WFP plans to provide the remaining 
15-day quantity of cereal as soon as the next convoy arrives 
from Benghazi, Libya, estimated for end Feb/early March. 
However, if there are delays in delivery, this would 
essentially coincide with the mid-March regular food 
distribution. The refugees at all three of the distributions 
seemed to understand the situation, and there were no 
apparent complaints or problems with the commodities and 
amounts received. 
13.  Several NGOs expressed concern that the refugees have 
not yet received in any distribution a full 2,100 kcal ration 
for 30-days but have received closer to 1800 kcal per day in 
15-day increments.  WFP plans that the pipeline will furnish 
sufficient commodities to provide a 30-day ration for 
distribution in mid-March and plans to work towards the 2,100 
kcal ration for the following months as the commodities 
already in port are delivered overland through Libya and 
14.  In all three camps, the presence of considerable number 
of livestock was noted.  The livestock that the refugees 
brought with them provide a supplement to the ration received 
from WFP and in a real sense this is part of the coping 
strategy to insure food security for the refugee families. 
IFRC census of livestock for Treguine camp, for example, 
indicates that the 13,928 refugees brought with them 3,000 
donkeys, 7,000 head of cattle, 3,000 goats and sheep and 
about 200 camels. The IFRC team indicated that there are 
regular slaughtering of animals including refugee-owned 
livestock in the nearby local meat market and that refugees 
often eat meat but had no specific data on how often or in 
what quantities. 
15.  A specific food security assessment of the local 
population was not carried out during this 3-day visit to 
camps. The interagency mission on food security among local 
populations that was conducted in November, 2004 reported 
that there are pockets of food insecurity in the areas 
surrounding these three camps.  There are recommendations and 
plans for Food for Work projects in the areas around these 
three camps.  The presence of large numbers of livestock is 
putting pressure on the local resources of water, firewood 
and pasture and this affects the food security and coping 
mechanisms of the local population which numbers about 
160,000 in the area surrounding the three camps. 
16.  The PRM/USAID team offer the following recommendations 
for consideration by PRM and USAID Washington: 
a.  With basic life-sustaining services fairly well 
established, the time has come to focus increased attention 
on education and community services.  Refugees are eager for 
both basic education and new vocational skills.  UNICEF, 
while slow to start, is now supporting NGOs working in the 
education sector.  PRM should consider funding for UNICEF in 
FY05, earmarked for education. 
b.  Continued PRM support is recommended for both IFRC/CRC 
Bredjing and Treguine) and CRS/Secadev (Farchana).  Both 
organizations are doing well and are a critical component of 
UNHCR's overall plan for assisting refugees in 2005. 
c.  IFRC and CARE need to quickly coordinate and plan for the 
IFRC takeover of Bredjing camp by end February.  Lack of 
advanced planning could lead to a very disorganized 
transitional period with negative ramifications on assistance 
to refugees. 
d.  Should UNHCR decide on Africare as its implementing 
partner for camp management in the new Gaga camp, PRM should 
consider co-funding for Africare both for Gaga camp and for 
agricultural/reforestation programs that could benefit both 
refugees and host communities. 
e.  Given the impact of refugees and their animals on the 
environment and host communities, UNHCR and partners will 
need to consider alternative fuels/firewood sources as well 
as water and forage options for livestock. Increased donor 
support for projects assisting local communities will also be 
17.  Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered. 

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