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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 313-95
June 07, 1995

DOD TO TRANSPORT HUMANITARIAN AID FOR THE MIND TO HAITI

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 system."

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.