FORMER US PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON APPOINTS Harvard's Dr. Paul farmer as DEPUTY SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HAITI
New York, 3 August 2009 – Continuing his efforts as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, President Clinton today appointed Dr. Paul Farmer as the Deputy UN Special Envoy for Haiti. Dr. Farmer will support President Clinton and be responsible for advancing their work on a day-to-day basis.
“Paul’s selfless commitment to building health systems in the poor Haitian communities over the last 20 years has given millions of people hope for a brighter future for Haiti,” President Clinton said. “His credibility both among the people of Haiti and in the international community will be a tremendous asset to our efforts as we work with the government and people of Haiti to even more to improve health care, strengthen education, and create economic opportunity.”
The Office of the UN Special Envoy for Haiti was created in June 2009 to help advance economic development in Haiti and assist the Haitian Government in implementing its priorities. While announcing President Clinton’s appointment as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, UN Secretary-General Ban stated that “no one is better placed for this mission. He knows the country. He loves the people. They love him. This is the strong wish of the Haitian people and the Haitian Government and myself, as Secretary-General.”
“I am honored to serve as the UN’s Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti,” said Dr. Farmer. “President Clinton’s dedication to improve the lives of Haitians for so many years has been inspiring to me. Since 2005, we have worked together with local governments on the very successful Rural African Initiative which has developed health care systems in Africa. I look forward to working with him and with the Haitian Government and people as they implement their plans for a better future.”
“In Haiti, we welcome the appointment of Paul Farmer as the UN’s Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti,” said President Preval. “Dr. Farmer has been a good friend to the Haitian people for many years. I look forward to working with President Clinton, Dr. Farmer, and all friends of Haiti on our efforts to create new jobs, strengthen essential services, build infrastructure, and enhance the prosperity of all Haitian households.”
Medical anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world's poorest people and has pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies and successfully shown that quality health care can be delivered in resource-poor settings. He is a founding director of Partners In Health (1987), an international non-profit organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer began his lifelong commitment to Haiti in 1983 when still a student, working with villages in Haiti’s Central Plateau, determined to bring modern health care to the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. Starting with a one-building clinic in the village of Cange, Farmer’s project has grown to a multi-service health complex that includes a primary school, an infirmary, a surgery wing, a training program for health outreach workers, a 104-bed hospital, a women’s clinic, and a pediatric care facility. Over the past twenty years, Dr. Farmer and Partners In Health have expanded their operations to ten sites throughout the Haiti. His work has become a model for health care for poor communities worldwide with Partners In Health now working in ten countries around the globe.
Dr Farmer holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is a professor of Social Medicine and the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is a widely published author of numerous books and articles on health and human rights and social inequality. He is subject of Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder's best seller Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, which chronicles the development of Dr. Farmer's work in Haiti and beyond.
Dr. Farmer is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award from the American Medical Association and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "genius award." He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has recently been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
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