Subsidiary group also under fire

The subsidiary organization Praxis has also been accused of overspending on the refurbishment of the offices of Doctors without Borders, and a lack of transparency in setting up and funding the Praxis group. In 1999, a construction firm won a 229-million-drachma contract, by means of a competition, to refurbish the building at 15 Xenias Street to house Doctors without Borders’ headquarters in Greece. The final cost of the refurbishment was double this amount, according to allegations. So far, no satisfactory explanations have been given. As for Doctors without Borders’ granting of funds to set up Praxis, those making the allegations wonder why the amount was paid in full and in advance and not in installments as is the custom with all subsidies, and why one single person was given responsibility for the organization. The chairman of the board explained that Praxis was founded to carry out the «Next Door» program (a medical center for immigrants) since the international organization does not include such activities in its program. So if the Greek branch is to fall into line with international practice, a new independent body has to be set up which would be required to file independent accredited accounts for which it would be accountable directly to Doctors without Borders.

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