The Department of Defense has joined forces with the University of Georgia to
transport "aid for the mind" in the form of books to the National University of
Haiti. Nearly 20,000 volumes are expected to be shipped later this week from
Athens, Ga., to Port Au Prince.
"This shipment of books is a significant step towards reestablishing higher
education in Haiti," said Harlan Davis, Director of the University of Georgia's
Office of International Development. "In rebuilding the libraries that were
devastated during the civil unrest, we are helping to cultivate the
professional workers critically needed in Haiti's economic development."
Included in the shipment are medical references, pharmaceutical journals,
literary criticisms, science and history books, dictionaries, and
encyclopedias. The books were packaged by ROTC cadets and student volunteers
in more than 900 boxes weighing in at 36,000 pounds.
"Ideally, the University of Georgia would like to establish a long lasting
relationship with the University of Haiti," said Davis. "We have already
agreed to send a librarian to help organize the books and develop a catalogue
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 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. Over the past two years, more than 370
transportation missions have been accomplished to more than 50 countries.