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Release No: 593-95
November 06, 1995


The Department of Defense has joined forces with three fraternal and private relief organizations to move more than 34 tons of textbooks, bulk food, hospital and medical equipment to help the people on the Caribbean islands of Haiti and St. Kitts.

The textbooks, which comprise nearly three quarters of the load, are being donated by the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids, Mich., and will be shipped to the club's counterparts in the capital city of Baseterre, St. Kitts for distribution. The remaining food and medical items, collected by International Services of Hope, Waterville, Ohio, and International Lifeline, Oklahoma City, Okla., are destined for a hospital and international relief agency in the Haitian capital of Port Au Prince. All items will be airlifted to their destinations via C-5A aircraft assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 439th Operational Support Squadron, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

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.

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