PDT Research Analysts Joanna Buckley on Talk of the Nation
On Tuesday August 10, 2010 PDT Research Analyst Joanna Buckley was invited to speak on the National Public Radio (NPR) radio program Talk of the Nation with host Tony Cox. The focus of this Tuesday’s program was humanitarian workers who have lived and worked in Afghanistan ,the challenges they face and the daily dangers of working as a civilian caught between military forces and insurgents. The discussion is relevant in light of the 10 10 humanitarian workers killed last week in Afghanistan while on a medical mission. They were part of a nongovernmental organization (NGO) International Assistance Mission, one of many international NGOs providing assistance to the Afghan people.
Tony Cox asked Joanna about what she was working with in Afghanistan and how she interacted with the Afghan people in order to give the listeners a sense of her day-to-day activity. Joanna explained all about how PDT support private-sector business development through linking Afghan businessmen and women to international and national contracting opportunities. The Peace Dividend Marketplace team in Afghanistan work with over 6,000 Afghan businessmen and women. Mr. Cox was interested in PDT-A’s operations into remote areas. . PDT’s main office in Afghanistan is in the capital Kabul but there are also operations in in Mazar-e-Sharif in the north, one Jalalabad in the east as well as one in Helmand and one in Kandahar in the south.
Discussing the risk of working in Afghanistan is often the focus and during the interview Cox asked whether PDT were coordinating security through Afghan Nongovernemental Safety Organization (ANSO) and what the reaction was when Joanna heard about the International Assistance Members that was killed last week. Joanna commented that although it was a tragedy working in Afghanistan was immensely rewarding and that PDT has strong support from the business community which makes working there very worthwhile. On a day-to-day basis Joanna communicated that for PDT staff members risk is always very measured and that PDT adhere to movement plans and security briefs to ensure staff safety. No PDT staff member in Afghanistan has ever been hurt. Other NGO workers were invited to join the discussion in order to share their experiences and personal thoughts of how to best operate as an humanitarian worker in country.