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US State Department Funds Clear Path International Programs in Vietnam & Cambodia – Marler Clark Matches Grants

Sometimes when you do well, it is good to lend a hand.

The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal & Abatement has approved matching grants totaling $177,000 for Clear Path International’s humanitarian mine action programs in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The largest grant of $127,000 will be used to fund efforts that assist survivors of accidents with landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in central Vietnam. The second grant of $50,000 will be used for CPI’s rice mill enterprise for landmine survivors in Battambang, Cambodia, where its beneficiaries receive training, microcredit and crop processing services.

The two grants are matched by financial contributions from the private sector, including the McKnight Foundation of Minneapolis, the Johnson & Widdifield Charitable Trust, the Seattle-based law firm Marler Clark and the Dutch charity Stichting Mensenkinderen.

"At a time when it’s challenging to raise money from private-sector sponsors, the government’s steady and ongoing support of our work helps sustain vital survivor assistance programs," says Imbert Matthee, CPI’s executive director. "It also inspires private charities to keep giving despite the economic downturn."

At least 1,000 landmine accident survivors, their family members and disadvantaged members of their communities will benefit from the two grants in the remainder of 2009 and the first part of 2010, Matthee says.

In Vietnam, aid to survivors comes in the form of emergency medical care, prosthetics, physical rehabilitation, income-generating assistance, animal husbandry programs, scholarships and sports activities.

In Cambodia, CPI and its local partner, Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development, will expand the cooperative of amputee farmers, boost micro-credit lending, offer training, mill and sell their rice.