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Abstract

At present, humanitarian demining in most affected areas begins with a United Nations(UN)-led emergency response, which is controlled by ex-pats, who usually have a military background and who are largely paid for by "ear-marked" donations from UN countries. Those donations sometimes take the form of staff and goods. At the same time, as the UN arrives (and sometimes before), the specialist charitably-funded clearance groups, which are funded by an individual government's aid budget or by trusts and donor charities, tend to move into the area. The HALO Trust makes a point of, whenever possible, being in dangerous areas first. The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) are widely represented around the world and probably have the highest profile of the other "charitable" clearance groups. Following the charitable groups come the commercial companies. Some of these companies are regionally based, as with MineTech and Mechem in Southern Africa. Other companies might appear to be regionally based, but they are actually initiated by profit-taking outsiders, as is increasingly the case in the former Yugoslavia (e.g., UXB International). A few organizations, such as the recently-suspended Afrovita in Mozambique, are locally based although they are sometimes run by outsiders. (It is reported that Afrovita has recently been suspended by the Mozambican National Demining Council for not delivering written statements of purpose for approval. However, this situation might be temporary.)

 

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