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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 502-95
September 14, 1995

DOD TO TRANSPORT HUMANITARIAN AID TO VIETNAM

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.