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2009-08-12 01:37 AM
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, who is now the U.N. special envoy
to Haiti, announced the appointment Tuesday of Harvard professor Paul
Farmer, a pioneer in community health treatment for the world's poor,
as his deputy.
Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, is a founding director
of Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization that
provides direct health care services and undertakes research and
advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in
poverty. He began working in Haiti in 1983 while still a student to
bring modern health care to the Western hemisphere's most impoverished
"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," Clinton said in a
statement. "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 improve health
care, strengthen education, and create economic opportunity."
Farmer said he was honored to be the U.N. deputy special envoy to
Haiti and looked forward to continuing his work with Clinton and the
Haitian government and people "as they implement their plans for a
Haitian President Rene Preval called Farmer "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," Preval said in a statement.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Clinton's appointment in May
to help the impoverished nation achieve some measure of stability
after devastating floods and other crises.
Clinton is working trying to encourage international investment in
Haiti and ensure that the world delivers on a $335 million pledge made
at a donor conference in Washington after four devastating tropical
storms killed some 800 people last fall, causing some $1 billion in
Farmer holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University where he is a
professor of social medicine, 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.