Friday, 22 June 2007

Public, Private, Non-Profit?- Clear Path International Contracted by DynCorp as part of a US Department of State Contract

The non-profit Clear Path International (CPI) has just received a multi-year contract from DynCorp International to start a landmine survivor assistance program in Afghanistan on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. This is an excellent illustration of how complex working relationships have become in Afghansitan. The press release makes great pains to delineated the particular identities and characters of each group:

- Since 2000, Clear Path International has assisted nearly 4,000 survivors of accidental landmine and explosive remnants of war incidents in Vietnam, Cambodia and along the Thai-Burma border. It has also sent 65 containers of medical equipment and supplies to 25 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

- The Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement is one of the world's largest sponsors of mine clearance, risk reduction education and survivors assistance. It has directly funded Clear Path's programs in Vietnam and Cambodia and some of the organization's public awareness and fundraising efforts in the United States.

- DynCorp International is a U.S-based company that provides support services to military and civilian government institutions in such areas as aviation, infrastructure development, security and logistics.

Are there issues in such a blurred public-private-NGO relationship?
As we post on articles such as 'Under fire, aid workers face life as a soft target', and DynCorp staffers being similarly targeted, it does pose questions as to how some agencies are balancing risks and their presence in a context such as Afghanistan.

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