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9065: Pan American Health Organization Director Calls for Aid to Haiti (fwd)

From: MKarshan@aol.com

Pan American Health Organization Director Calls for Aid
Speaks of 'Collective Responsibility ... '  

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. George A.O. Alleyne, Director of the 
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), voiced his concern for the public 
health crisis today in a speech given at the Organization of American States 
to its Secretary General and an audience that included Mexican President 
Vicente Fox, the President of the Inter-American Bank, and members of the 
Permanent OAS Council.  While others speaking at the OAS today were 
petitioned to use the forum to raise awareness of Haiti's urgent need for 
international aid, only Alleyne took the opportunity.  Alleyne delivered a 
powerful plea for the international community to "make a special effort" now, 
to deal with Haiti's health and economic crises. 

While generally voicing optimism on the state of Health in the American 
continents, Dr. Alleyne spoke of his grave concern after a recent visit to 
Haiti: "I have decided that we must make a special effort in this area, and 
have the hope or dream that collective concern for health may form a platform 
for understanding among those who now manifest differences." 

Dr. Alleyene further stated that he believed that the countries and governing 
organizations of the share a collective responsibility for improving the 
health conditions in Haiti. "I have just returned from that country," he 
stated,  "and am convinced that we have a collective responsibility to assist 
in improving the health situation there." 

He called for an organized effort to relieve the devastation to Haiti's 
economy and the suffering of her people.  These abhorrent conditions have 
been exacerbated by the OAS' actions opposing the release of over $500 
million in aid to the country even as the government of Haiti President Jean 
Bertrand Arrested continues to move toward meeting all provisions agreed to 
for its release. 

"I am not insensitive to the political problems, but at the same time I am 
haunted by the fact that for every 1000 babies born, five mothers die.  That 
is about 100 times worse than the situation in the best of our countries, " 
he continued. Alleyene's comments reflect international concern over Haiti's 
economic and health problems, and a growing belief that the international 
community must act to release international aide. 



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