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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

18. Humanitarian Response


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The American people, in both their opinions and behavior, believe that they and their government should be leaders in helping those suffering from conflict or natural disasters even when there may be no threat to U.S. security interests.  The following three papers articulate the Department's report on how it addressed the strategic goal of "preventing or minimizing the human cost of conflict and natural disasters" in 2001.

The Department of State takes the lead in diplomatic efforts bilaterally and multilaterally to prevent or minimize conflict through negotiated settlement.  State, because of its extensive diplomatic influence and reporting capacity even in the most remote parts of the world, provides early warning about evolving situations that could lead to humanitarian crises. When humanitarian crises occur, the Department of State helps to urge and coordinate responses by other donor countries and international organizations, and often plays a key role in implementation in the field.

The Department of State actively participates in international forums that define and protect the rights of refugees and conflict victims, and engages in bilateral and multilateral advocacy and public diplomacy on behalf of these rights.  State is responsible for financial support to international assistance efforts for refugees and conflict victims, and works closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development and other humanitarian assistance programs.

The Department of State works with governing bodies of relevant international organizations to urge them to maintain fully developed emergency response plans.  State directly funds selected capacity-building programs for international organizations and nongovernmental organizations.  It supports UN information collection and dissemination activities and assistance programs related to complex humanitarian emergencies.

The Department of State coordinates, funds, and manages overseas refugee admissions programs as both a means of protecting refugees and seeking durable solutions.  The Department of State advises the Department of Justice on asylum cases and on the granting of Temporary Protected Status.

The National Security Council chairs the Policy Coordinating Committee (PCC) on Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations, which, among other things, sets U.S. humanitarian demining policy and decides which nations will receive U.S. assistance.  The Department of State works through the PCC Subgroup on Humanitarian Demining with the Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development and other PCC members to coordinate U.S. assistance and ensure the development of humanitarian demining programs.

The Department of State leads the Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN), an international body, in partnership with the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank, and other international organizations, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private entities.  GDIN is an effort to streamline the use of remote sensing and mapping technologies and disaster information in general for use in disaster mitigation and response. 


National Interest

Humanitarian Response

Performance Goal #

HA-01

Strategic Goal

Prevent or minimize the human costs of conflicts and natural disasters.

Outcome Desired

Effective protection and assistance to refugees and conflict victims, provided efficiently and in accordance with established standards of care, and implementation of durable solutions, including resettlement.

Performance Goal

Promote equal access to effective protection and assistance for refugees and conflict victims.

Maintain multilaterally coordinated mechanisms for effective and efficient humanitarian response according to internationally accepted standards.

Support voluntary repatriation and sustainable reintegration of refugees in the country of origin. 

Provide U.S. resettlement opportunities to refugees who need it and encourage other countries to do so.

FY '01 RESULTS AS OF 9/30/01

         The Department responded to emergency refugee crises as they emerged throughout the year, while supporting ongoing programs to provide effective protection and assistance for the nearly 23 million refugees and "persons of concern" to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and to conflict victims. 

         Most of our work was accomplished through contributions to our major multilateral humanitarian partners—including UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the World Food Program (WFP), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM)—as well as numerous nongovernmental organizations.  Our contributions were followed up with solid leadership in and promotion of coordination among these organizations.  One important initiative was establishment of an annual "Framework for Cooperation" with UNHCR, which defines our key objectives with this organization and the strategies for meeting them.

         The Department has been successful in its support for "durable solutions" for many refugee populations over the past year, especially for the most-favored solution—voluntary repatriation.   We supported repatriation and reintegration programs for persons from Eritrea, Somalia, Sierra Leone, East Timor, and various countries in the Balkans.  As the situation inside Afghanistan improves in 2002, we anticipate the repatriation of significant numbers of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran.  The Department will closely follow these movements and support the return and reintegration process.

         Data collection mechanisms for crude mortality rate (CMR) estimates were strengthened through joint initiatives by State/PRM and USAID.  The results of these initiatives are a more reliable and comprehensive data set with which to measure and track CMR in key geographic areas.  These efforts also created tools that U.S.-funded international organizations can use to monitor and improve performance.  Next steps will include strategies for using these new tools to improve timeliness and quality of responses.

         No extraordinary suffering for prolonged periods was reported among refugee populations, as measured by crude mortality rates (CMR).  However, internally displaced persons in some situations (notably Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola) experienced periods where CMRs exceeded 1 per 10,000 per day.  Some measures have been taken to address these concerns, especially through better planning and coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Yet, conditions of these IDPs remain a concern.

FY '01 RESULTS AS OF 9/30/01 (cont'd)

         The Department organized and assisted the resettlement of more than 69,000 refugees into U.S. communities in FY '01.  To ensure quality in these reception and placement programs, PRM initiated a program with private voluntary organizations to develop and implement well-defined "standards of care" for resettled refugees.  These measures have increased program quality.

         The State Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted an evaluation of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration's (PRM) assistance programs for refugee women in 2001.  The report concluded that our strategies were well-targeted and that implementation was generally effective.  Some recommendations suggested the need for better followup, tracking, and evaluation of performance, and PRM is working on developing these mechanisms, including a database.

         The Department expects to perform at similarly successful levels in FY '02.  Barring unforeseen emergencies, the Department expects that assistance and protection programs for refugees will continue to meet basic needs.  A major program focus of the next year will likely be the return and reintegration of Afghan refugees.  Because of restrictions placed on the refugee admissions and resettlement program in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, we face significant challenges in reaching the President's ceiling of 70,000.


Indicator

FY '99 Baseline

FY '00 Actual

FY '01 Target

FY '01 Actual

Crude Mortality Rates (CMR)

No extraordinary suffering reported among refugee populations.

No extraordinary suffering reported among refugee populations.

Crises do not exceed a crude mortality rate of > 1 per 10,000 people/day for an extended period.  Establish links to existing data collection and analysis efforts, e.g., U.S. Agency for International Development's pilot countries for data collection, to monitor mortality rates and nutritional status and take measures to address any problems of excess mortality.  Evaluate the need for additional data collection mechanisms.

No extraordinary suffering for prolonged periods was reported among refugee populations. 

Internally displaced persons in some situations (notably Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo,  Sierra Leone, and Angola) did experience some periods where CMRs exceeded 1 per 10,000 per day.  Measures were taken to address these concerns, yet Individual Development Plan conditions remain a concern.

Data collection mechanisms for Crude Mortality Rates estimates were strengthened through joint initiatives by State/PRM and USAID.  The results of these initiatives are a more reliable and comprehensive data set with which to measure and track CMR in key geographic areas.  These efforts are also creating tools that U.S.-funded international organizations can use to monitor and improve performance. Proper utilization of these tools to improve timeliness and effectiveness of responses is a next step.

Verification

Source: Reports from WHO, OCHA, WFP, UNHCR, and nongovernmental organizations

Storage:  U.S. Agency for International Development, PRM

Validation: Crude mortality rates and nutritional status in refugee populations are accepted indicators of the extent to which the international community is meeting minimum standards of care (see www.sphereproject.org).  The Department does not regularly collect and maintain mortality rate and nutritional status information, but relies on reports when excessive mortality rates threatens to become a problem. PRM is working with U.S. Agency for International Development in piloting standardized reporting of CMR in 8 sites in 8 countries and nutritional status in 13 sites in 8 countries.


Indicator

FY '99 Baseline

FY '00 Actual

FY '01 Target

FY '01 Actual

Number of UNHCR repatriation programs ended 2 years after a majority of refugees return or find other durable solutions.

Both Guatemala and Mali repatriations were concluded in 1999, but only after extensions that served to pull UNHCR further into reintegration and development than is preferred.

Refugee repatriation and reintegration programs in Kosovo and East Timor are phasing out.

Successful:  conclusion of at least one-third of the repatriation programs where the majority of refugees have been home for 2 years or more.

Minimally Effective:  conclusion of less than one-third, but still a decrease in the number of repatriation programs for which funding has been required for more than 2 years.

Unsuccessful:   no decrease in the number of repatriation programs for which funding has been required for more than 2 years.

Successful.  UNHCR's repatriation programs for East Timorese refugees are almost over and are being turned over to development agencies.  UNHCR currently is planning for FY '02 a 1-year program to facilitate the local integration or repatriation of the remaining East Timorese in West Timor. 

Repatriation programs for Kosovar Albanians have concluded and continuing reintegration needs are being turned over to development agencies. UNHCR has completed most of its assistance programs for refugee returnees, but continues to provide protection and assistance to some 220,000 minority IDP populations in Kosovo and Serbia.  Returns of IDPs Serbs to Kosovo have just begun.

UNHCR repatriation programs are underway for Eritrean, Sierra Leonean, and Somali refugees and will be the subject of future evaluations.

A major repatriation program for Afghan refugees is likely to be initiated in the spring of 2002 and will also be an important subject of future evaluation.

Verification

Source:  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees planning documents and reports of repatriation programs

Storage:  Department of State/PRM

Validation:  repatriation is one of the three "durable solutions" for refugees.  The conclusion of such programs indicates "success" because refugees have returned to their homes and the international community can devote scarce resources to other refugee needs.


Countries

Global

Complementary U.S. Government Activities (Non-Department of State)

U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Geologic Survey, CIA, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SICA, Federal Emergency Management Administration


Lead Agency

Department of State: PRM with IO, PM, regional bureaus

Partners

International organization partners:  U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Food Program (WFP), and other relevant international organizations providing humanitarian assistance

Nongovernmental organization partners:  more than 25 funded nongovernment organization partners, including International Rescue Committee (IRC), Mercy Corps International (MCI), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), American Refugee Committee (ARC), and International Medical Corps (IMC) (5 receiving largest funding in FY '00)



National Interest

Humanitarian Response

Performance Goal #

HA-02

Strategic Goal

Prevent or minimize the human costs of conflicts and natural disasters.

Outcome Desired

Conflict and natural disasters are mitigated through preparedness and multilateral coordination.

Performance Goal

The international community - including United Nations agencies - is prepared to respond more efficiently and effectively to humanitarian crises by using vulnerability mitigation and early warning mechanisms.

FY '01 RESULTS AS OF 9/30/01

         The international community over FY '01 has been drawing closer together on an integrated approach to disaster mitigation, response, and recovery.   In the context of natural disasters, many efforts are done in a public and private context, and nearly all lead to Yokohama Plus Ten, the Ministerial in 2004.  The Ministerial is to be led by Japan and will craft a broad international view on the topic of natural disaster management.  The organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is also crafting a Ministerial paper to define in 2003 how OECD members should collaborate on various natural disaster elements, and met on several occasions in FY '01 to achieve that goal.  

         GDIN (Global Disaster Information Network) is a body of experts from all sectors who use their unique forum for cross-sectoral discussions on fresh solutions to disaster information problems.  The Europeans and the UN are pushing for adoption of the Tampere Convention, which should make safer and easier the provision of emergency telecommuncations.  The governments that provide Urban Search and Rescue experts crafted a draft plan in FY '01 to more fully integrate disaster-prone nations in a global approach to the quick, safe entry of SAR (Urban Search and Rescue) experts needed to rescue victims from collapsed structures, caused by earthquakes or acts of terrorism.  The plan should be finished in FY '02. 

         The European Commission developed a plan in FY '01 for sharing satellite images to governments in need.  The UN and the entire disaster community wants to spread the use of the Internet, so relevant disaster information can reach those who need it, and through ReliefWeb, the UN IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Network) program, GDIN and other programs are developing approaches on format and procedures.  Most striking is recent UN General Assembly recognition of the value of bilateral and regional approaches to disaster management, even with non-UN entities.

         The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the U.S. Government, the UN and many other governments and nongovernmental organizations are reviewing international humanitarian response law, with a portion reserved for natural disasters.   This will result in a clearer identification of the security and border crossing needs of all relief workers, and then an approach to meeting those needs.  The effort will be complicated and does have the potential for clashes over national sovereignty; but, the discussion is very worthwhile. 

         Finally, information for disaster relief is too often only available when purchased.  Not all disaster managers can afford the information needed to save lives.  Even when information is affordable, too often access is restricted.  The U.S. Government has signaled that this is an important unmet need; but one that also has to take into account national sovereignty and industry's right to an appropriate return on their investments.


FY '01 RESULTS AS OF 9/30/01 (cont'd)

         Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN): Although our FY '01 target was "Legally binding information-sharing agreements are established among data-sharing partners," after a careful discussion at the annual conference of GDIN partners in Australia in March, the partners decided to delay those goals in lieu of other preliminary goals, which were to develop specific GDIN services, conduct a needs survey, and an incorporation plan.  The FY '01 target will now be a primary goal for FY '02.  The goals set in Australia were met, which will also allow the current FY '02 goal to be met; specifically "an international agreement on GDIN infrastructure."

         OECD System Risks Project: The OECD Project met twice in FY '01 and nearly completed its initial draft on how OECD members should collaborate on natural disaster mitigation and response.  The drafting effort should be complete in FY '02, when the text will be distributed for final clearance with member governments.

         Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Tools Initiative (REMAPS): Through GDIN and normal interaction with ReliefWeb and UNHCR, as well as the UN General Assembly, the Department of State in FY '01 successfully convinced UN entities of the need for using modern mapping techniques.  ReliefWeb launched a new mapping service, and the UNGA urged all members and relief agencies to take advantage of these technologies.  In FY '02, the Department will continue this process.

         Tampere Convention on Emergency Telecommunications and the UN Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET): The WGET met several times in FY '01 to broaden industry, UN, and government support for the Tampere Convention and develop new emergency telecommunications techniques for use in disasters.  The EC agreed that members could sign, and the Convention will be on the agenda of various important telecommunications conferences in FY '02.  In FY '02, the Convention will likely be presented to the Senate for ratification.  We also anticipate broader acceptance of the Convention, which will be fostered by both the WGET and State in meetings in Africa and Europe.

         Urge governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the international banking community to develop natural disaster mitigation programs: In FY '01 through the UNGA, GDIN, and other channels, the Department of State worked to support the goal, and to foster the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).  All contacts agreed to collaborate.  This is part of a larger effort to prepare for a Summit on Disaster Reduction to take place in Yokohama in 2004.  The Department of State's Bureau of International Organization Affairs will be leading an interagency preparation effort in FY '02.


Performance Indicator

FY '99 Baseline

FY '00 Actual

FY '01 Target

FY '01 Actual

Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN) membership

Network still in early stages of testing and development.

Partners report that GDIN products and "ad hoc" services are timely and valuable tools worth further investment.

Legally binding information-sharing agreements are established among data-sharing partners.

Although our FY' '01 target was "Legally binding information-sharing agreements are established among data-sharing partners," after a careful discussion at the annual conference of GDIN partners in Australia in March, the partners decided to delay those goals in lieu of other preliminary goals, which were to develop specific GDIN services, conduct a needs survey, and an incorporation plan.  The FY '01 target will now be a primary goal for
FY '02.  The goals set in Australia were met, which will also allow the current FY '02 goal to be met; specifically "an international agreement on GDIN infrastructure."

Verification

Source: reports from Department of State/IO Bureau, OCHA, UNHCR, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and industry

Storage:  IO

Validation:  These organizations are the prime participants and users of the information collected by GDIN


Countries

Worldwide

Complementary U.S. Government Activities (Non-Department of State)

U.S. Agency for International Development, USDA, Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, NOAA, USGS, CIA, NIMA, CDC, SICA, FEMA

Lead Agency

Department of State/IO with INR, OES, PRM, and Regional Bureaus

Partners

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), United Nations World Food Program (WFP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), International Organization for Migration (IOM),  Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Defense, Commerce, AID, USGS, FEMA, the Governments of Australia, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, as well the European Commission, the American Red Cross, and various corporations and nongovernmental organizations


National Interest

Humanitarian Response

Performance Goal #

HA-03

Strategic Goal

Prevent or minimize the human costs of conflicts and natural disasters - humanitarian demining

Outcome Desired

Elimination of uncleared landmines that threaten civilian populations by the year 2010. 

A ban on antipersonnel landmines consistent with U.S. national security interests. 

Performance Goals

Increase adherence to the Amended Mines Protocol of the Convention on Conventional Weapons by countries that have resisted controls on antipersonnel landmines and to promote adoption of further improvements to the Protocol at the Review Conference in 2001. 

Support a Quick Reaction Demining Force ability to respond to international demining emergencies.

Allow refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes free from fear of landmines

FY '01 RESULTS AS OF 9/30/01

         Department of State humanitarian mine action (HMA) assistance helped reduce landmine deaths and injuries, assisted refugees and internally displaced persons return to their homes, and paved the way for significant social rehabilitation and economic reconstruction in mine-affected countries.

         Our assistance helped several countries develop and/or strengthen an indigenous capability for mine-awareness programs and mine clearance operations, and enabled other countries to reach for a date in the near future when they will be able to declare themselves to be mine-safe.  Other countries are soon to reach a program objective of sustainment—the point at which a country has the indigenous capability to plan, manage, and execute its national humanitarian mine action (HMA) efforts with diminishing assistance from the United States.

         State Department assistance (as well as funds from DOD and USAID) reaffirmed the position of the United States as a world leader in humanitarian mine action.

         On Anti-Personnel Landmine (APL) policy, PM has supported coordinated Department efforts to work with the international community to strengthen the Amended Mines Protocol for the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) treaty with the ultimate goal of minimizing the dangers of landmine use to innocent civilians.

         The strategies for FY '01 were successfully implemented and goals achieved.

         State contributed $40 million NADR in FY '01 to humanitarian mine action (HMA) programs in 31 countries and for cross-cutting initiatives in support of bilateral and multilateral HMA objectives.

         State coordinated oversight of U.S. Government funds to five programs supported through the Slovenian International Trust Fund (ITF) and six programs through the OAS.

         A Quick Reaction Demining Force (QRDF) is now in place, allowing greater USDG flexibility for response to post-conflict emergency demining needs.

         State provided support and leadership for the development of public-private partnerships to raise awareness and funds for HMA initiatives.

FY '01 RESULTS AS OF 9/30/01 (cont'd)

         On APL policy, State developed five proposals for the next CCW Review Conference designed to further strengthen prohibitions on antivehicle landmines, to extend the scope of the convention to include civil wars and internal conflicts, and to add a compliance mechanism for handling questions/complaints.

1.       One country (Moldova) declared itself mine-safe.  Another country (Namibia) could be considered mine-safe, except for nuisance mining along one stretch of border, caused by periodic incursion of insurgents from another nation.  Successful programs in other countries will allow for declarations of mine-safe status in FY '02 with more to follow in FY '03.  Additionally, other countries will soon reach program sustainment—the capability to manage their programs independent of U.S. Government direction but with diminishing U.S. Government support.  In addition, 2 new programs began in FY '01, and more are likely as part of Coalition Support efforts in FY '02.

         DOS (PM/HDP) was a cochair of the Interagency Working Group on Humanitarian Demining (now known as the Policy Coordinating Committee on Humanitarian Mine Action).  The Department of State worked closely with DOD, NSC, USAID, and the CIA for a coordinated U.S. Government approach to HMA efforts, for information-sharing and for ensuring that U.S. Government assistance from different agencies are complementary and synergistic and not at cross-purposes.  In addition to the partners listed below, the Department of State also worked in close cooperation with the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining, James Madison University, Norwegian People's Aid, Landmine Survivors Network, United Nations Association of the United States, Handicap International, Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, and HALO Trust USA.

         Assuming that budget levels remain relatively the same, the Department anticipates that additional countries will declare themselves mine-safe in the coming year, that others will achieve sustainment status and that new programs will come on-line.  Budget requirements are expected to remain the same, unless funding support for the ITF diminishes, which will then squeeze NADR funds.


Performance Indicator

FY '99 Baseline

FY '00 Actual

FY '01 Target

FY '01 Actual

Number of country programs funded by U.S. appropriations, including NADR

31

37

40

Successful:  The following 40 programs were supported:

31 Active NADR-direct Programs

5 Programs, Active U.S. contribution through ITF

1 Program "graduated" to "Mine-safe" status (Moldova)

5 Programs Supported via the OAS

2 Programs, DOD-funded

Number of U.S.-funded host nation programs achieving mine-safe status

0

1

2

Successful: Two countries achieved mine-safe status:

-Moldova

-Namibia, but current incursions by UNITA result in "nuisance mining"


Performance Indicator

FY '99 Baseline

FY '00 Actual

FY '01 Target

FY '01 Actual

Reduction of civilian casualties in countries where Humanitarian Demining programs exist

No data

5%

7%

Successful: Current reports (DOS - Hidden Killers, 2001 and Landmine Monitor Report 2001) indicate significant declines in casualties in recent years, from an estimated 26,000 per year to 10,000 - 15,000.

Credited: Mine-awareness programs, successful mine clearance efforts, and more accurate reporting of injuries/deaths.

Hectares/square kilometers of land (parklands, agricultural fields, etc.) returned to productive use; kilometers of road cleared

No data

3,000 sq km

3,500 sq km

Successful: An estimated 3,500+ sq km were cleared based on periodic information and reports from the field—overseas Missions, nongovernmental organizations, UN organizations, contractors, news articles, governmental press releases.  There is no report or tracking mechanism that collects, tracks, or summarizes worldwide data.

Number of landmines and amount of unexploded ordnance removed

No data

10,000

20,000

Successful: An estimated 20,000+ landmines were cleared.  This is based on periodic information and reports from the field—overseas Missions, nongovernmental organizations, UN organizations, contractors, news articles, governmental press releases.  There is no report or tracking mechanism that collects, tracks, or summarizes worldwide data.

Verification

Source:  Mission reporting, PM/HDP site visits, nongovernmental organizations and United Nations Mine Action Service

Storage:  PM/HDP Database

Validation:  The presence of mines obstructs a country's economic and social productivity. These indicators measure the extent to which the Department of State is assisting in removing these obstructions to development.


Countries

Worldwide

Complementary U.S. Government Activities (Non-Dept of State)

Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development

Lead Agency

Department of State/ PM with IO, PRM, AC, and L

Partners

International partners:  United Nations, Organization of American States, Slovenian International Trust Fund, SADC.

Nongovernmental organization partners:  HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group, Marshall Legacy Institute, RONCO Consulting, World Rehabilitation Fund



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