The Department of Defense, working in concert with the private relief
organization, Medical Assistance Programs International, announces plans to
move more than 60,000 pounds of pharmaceuticals and medical consumables to help
the people of Vietnam. The supplies will be airlifted via Charleston AFB,
S.C., from Brunswick, Ga., to the capital city of Hanoi by September 30. This
will be the Department's first humanitarian relief effort to this nation since
the normalization of relations on July 11, 1995.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Humanitarian and Refugee Affairs
(HRA) Patricia L. Irvin said the Department, in cooperation with other
government agencies and within the limits of its resources, understands and
strives to fulfill its responsibility to help alleviate suffering throughout
the world. She said the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) is often the
most economical means available to local charitable organizations to transport
donated goods to foreign countries for humanitarian purposes.
Under the 1986 DOD Authorization Act, HRA is authorized to transport non-lethal
excess property, relief supplies and privately donated cargo to meet
humanitarian needs worldwide. In fiscal year 1994, HAP completed 72
humanitarian shipments to more than 39 countries with an estimated acquisition
value of $66.5 million.