INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Baghdad Bombings: Usg Assistance Coordination

Published: Wed 28 Oct 2009 04:36 PM
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB
DE RUEHGB #2889/01 3011636
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281636Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5259
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002889
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ASEC PGOV PTER IZ
SUBJECT: BAGHDAD BOMBINGS: USG ASSISTANCE COORDINATION
WORKING GROUP - OCTOBER 28 UPDATE
REF: A. A) BAGHDAD 2877
B. B) BAGHDAD 2883 C) BAGHDAD 2884
1. (SBU) Summary: Post's USG Assistance Coordination Working
Group has identified areas of immediate need following the
October 25 bombings in response to GOI requests. We are
providing vehicles, office equipment, and generators to the
affected government offices, and continuing to support
forensic and explosive analyses. Although still in recovery
and assessment mode, the GOI has taken steps to find
temporary work space for some government staff, assess and
renovate damaged offices, and re-link electricity grids.
Ministry of Justice (MOJ) officials informed us that the
Council of Ministers has provided $8 million to assist in
renovating the MOJ building. Several international
organizations are providing some medical supplies to
hospitals. Donor countries say they have no assistance plans
but remain on standby to help if the GOI asks. End Summary.
USG coordination efforts
--------------------------
2. (SBU) Post's USG Assistance Coordination Working Group
has identified areas of immediate need following the October
25 bombings in response to GOI requests. The Higher Judicial
Council (HJC) and the MOJ have asked us to provide a
structural safety assessment of the building they share. Iraq
Transition Assistance Office (ITAO) has identified funds
available for this activity and believes it can work with the
Army Corps of Engineers to quickly carry out this assessment.
ITAO also recently completed an infrastructure security
assessment of the Ministry of Electricity and may be able to
fund security improvements for other essential service
ministries, including the Ministry of Municipalities and
Public Works (MMPW). USAID has identified computers, other IT
equipment and two vehicles for the MMPW and has identified
four generators in country to support the recovery effort.
INL has signed a loan agreement to quickly deliver 12
vehicles, cubicles, office furniture, and twenty laptops to
the HJC, which would then be converted to grant items.
Vehicle delivery is pending the Ministry of Interior's
approval of registration. INL has begun coordinating limited
occupancy of the HJC's INL-funded $12 million Judicial
Development Institute (JDI) campus (which has not officially
opened yet) as interim office space. Agreement from the Army
Corps of Engineers is required before that can occur. We are
also seeking resources to provide additional equipment and
furnishings.
3. (SBU) Baghdad PRT is working with MND-Baghdad to deploy
cadaver dogs to assist the Iraqi Civil Defense Directorate
(ICDD) in recovering bodies and has already delivered crates
of water to the ICDD emergency crews. Per reftel C,
explosive and forensic expert analysts are continuing to
collect evidence and liaise with the GOI to provide technical
support as requested. Post's Constitutional and Legislative
Affairs Office had already planned to provide $1.3 million in
equipment and computers to the Shura Council (which falls
under the MOJ) which could be expedited if necessary. At the
GOI's request, we are not publicizing our assistance efforts.
GOI Taking Steps
----------------
4. (SBU) The GOI and various ministries are also taking
initiatives to address immediate and long term capacity
needs, but recovery and damage assessments are still ongoing.
MOJ is seeking to temporarily relocate, possibly using the
Old National Council Building. MOJ Deputy Minister informed
us that the Council of Ministers has provided $8 million to
Qus that the Council of Ministers has provided $8 million to
assist in renovating the MOJ building. The building recently
constructed for the MMPW was heavily damaged but remains
structurally sound. Ministry staff have been called to return
to work for cleanup, but ongoing recovery of bodies has
hampered this effort. MMPW has already contacted the Turkish
construction company that formerly worked on the new building
to begin the renovation process, estimated to take 2-3
months. In the meantime, employees are using their former
facilities on the Mansour compound.
5. (SBU) The Baghdad Governor and Provincial Council (PC)
chairman have not requested assistance but we have heard
unofficially they may seek office equipment once they are
able to return to their building and assess their needs, in
approximately 3-4 weeks. We have identified Quick Response
Funds (QRF) that can be utilized for this effort. Engineers
hired by the local government are evaluating the Baghdad
Governorate and Provincial Council Building. The Director
General for Electricity has also begun evaluating
reconnecting the building to the grid. The Governor has moved
back into his office and one floor remains functional. The
Governorate's engineering office is off site and will be
hiring contractors to assist with the work. The PC chairman
and other council members are also continuing their work at
various local council halls throughout Baghdad. With the last
tranche of the investment budget released yesterday by the
Ministry of Finance, no major delays are expected in the
implementation of projects for provincial offices. Assistance
can also be provided through USAID's Local Governance Project
III if necessary.
International Organizations Providing Some Assistance
--------------------------------------------- --------
6. (U) Several international organizations have responded to
calls for immediate medical supplies. International Medical
Corps (IMC), a USAID implementing partner, provided large
quantities of gauze, bandages, syringes, and antiseptic
materials in response to a request directly from Medical City
Hospital. International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC)
sent two war-wounded kits to Baghdad Teaching Hospital, which
received the largest majority of injured and dead. Each kit
includes one ton of medical and surgical supplies to treat up
to 50 trauma cases. MND-Baghdad provided approximately 420
boxes of gauze and 100 boxes of other bandages to the
Director General of Health of Karkh district. They also
delivered medical supplies to Yarmouk General Hospital on
October 26. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO)
is processing procurement of additional anesthetics for the
Ministry of Health (MOH) at MOH's request.
7. (U) Other donor countries we have contacted say they have
no plans for any assistance. European Community reps told us
they may consider assistance if asked by the GOI but so far
have not received any requests.
HILL
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