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Presidents of DR, Costa Rica and Panama Urge Immediate Action on Haitian Crisis

Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 22, the Presidents of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama signed a communique announcing the creation of an informal alliance among them, titled the {Alliance for Democratic Institutionality,} which calls on the international community to act swiftly to address the crisis in Haiti. In the communique, Dominican President Luis Abinader, Costa Rican Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Panama’s Laurentino Cortizo Cohen express their “deep concern over the Haitian crisis and its growing impact on the region, particularly its grave migratory consequences.” They have “instructed their foreign ministers to, in alliance with strategic partners such as the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and other friendly countries, immediately devise concrete, comprehensive and sustainable solutions in the framework of respect for [human] dignity and human rights for the purpose of taking on the alarming situation in Haiti.”

All three nations are struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-triggered economic crisis, made more difficult in the recent period by having to contend with large flows of migrants, largely from Haiti. In a document produced as a result of their meeting, in addition to the communique, the three leaders stress their shared values and “consider it of the utmost importance the exchange of opinions on the challenges our region faces to retake the path of post-pandemic development,” including proposing “joint initiatives that result in the prosperity, sustainable development and the reactivation of our economies.” They stress the importance of reviving regional integration, mentioning “strategic partners” without naming them — all three nations have diplomatic ties with China; and make an obligatory reference to the “green development paradigm.” 

They will benefit from learning about the Schiller Institute’s development program for Haiti, the Caribbean and Central American region to be published in the upcoming {EIR}, which was presented in the Sept. 25 Manhattan Project Meeting, “Reconstructing Haiti is America’s Way Out of the `Global Britain’ Trap.”

Spanish-language communique and document available here.


Schiller Institute Internet Dialogue — ‘Need Creative Genius of the World to Bear on Haiti and Afghanistan’

Sept. 25 (EIRNS)—Today the Schiller Institute held an international webinar titled, “Reconstructing Haiti—America’s Way Out of the ‘Global Britain’ Trap. The two-and-a-half-hour discussion featured elements of a proposed development outline for Haiti, as well as immediate emergency action required, and brought together experts, with ties to Haiti, in engineering, medicine and development policy. Today’s deliberations stand in stark contrast to the events of the week, which included the U.S. forced deportation of thousands of displaced Haitians from the Texas-Mexico border, back to Haiti, to disaster conditions from the August earthquake and before.  

The six panelists were Richard Freeman, co-author of “The Schiller Institute Plan To Develop Haiti,” which EIR will publish this week for its Oct. 1 issue; Eric Walcott, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Institute of Caribbean Studies; Firmin Backer, co-founder and President of the Haiti Renewal Alliance; Joel DeJean, engineer and Texas activist with The LaRouche Organization; Dr. Walter Faggett, MD, based in Washington, D.C., where he is former Chief Medical Officer of the District of Columbia, and currently Co-Chairman of the Health Council of D.C.’s Ward 8, and an international leader with the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites; and moderator Dennis Speed of the Schiller Institute. 

Freeman presented both the dimensions of both the extreme underdevelopment forced for decades on Haiti, and also the essentials of a development program for that nation, in the context of development of all the Island of Hispaniola, and the Caribbean. He presented a map of proposed rail, nuclear power sites, safe water systems and other vital infrastructure. He showed maps of proposals that Chinese firms had made in recent years, but which fell into abeyance.

Firmin Backer pointed out that the USAID has spent $5.1 billion in Haiti over the 11 years since the 2010 earthquake, but what is there to show for it? Now, with the latest earthquake on Aug. 14, we can’t even get aid into the stricken zones, because there is no airport nor port in southern Haiti to serve the stricken people. We should reassess how wrongly the U.S. funding was spent. Firmin reported how Haiti was given some debt cancellation by the IMF years back, but then disallowed from seeking foreign credit! 

Eric Walcott was adamant, “We need the creative genius of the world to bear on Haiti and Afghanistan.” He said, “leverage the diaspora” to develop Haiti. There are more Haitian medics in New York and Miami than all of Haiti. He stressed that Haiti is not poor; the conditions are what is poor. But the population has pride, talent and resourcefulness. Walcott made a special point about elections in Haiti. He said, “Elections are a process,” not an event. He has experience. From 1998 to 2000, Walcott served as the lead observer for the OAS, for elections in Haiti. 

Joel DeJean, an American of Haitian lineage, was forceful about the need to aim for the highest level in that nation, for example, leapfrog from charcoal to nuclear power. He advised, “give China the opportunity” to deploy the very latest nuclear technology in Haiti—the pebble-bed gas cooled modular reactor. We “don’t need more nuclear submarines, we need nuclear technology!” He called for the establishment of a development bank in Haiti, and other specifics. 

Dr. Faggett summed up at many points, with the widest viewpoint and encouragement of action. He served in the U.S. military’s “Caribbean Peace-Keeping Force,” and was emphatic about taking action not only in Haiti, but worldwide. He referenced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, saying that “you can tell a lot about people, by how they take care of the health of their people.” He reported that, at present, aid workers in Haiti, are having to shelter in place, because of the terrible conditions. 

But, he said, we should mobilize. Have “vaccine diplomacy,” and work to build a health platform in Haiti, and a health care delivery system the world over. He is “excited about realizing Helga’s mission,” referring to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, who issued a call in June 2020, for a world health security platform. At that time, she and Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, formed the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites


Two Former US Surgeons-General Respond to Helga Zepp-LaRouche Afghanistan Initiative

Two former Surgeon Generals of the United States responded to Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s initiative on Afghanistan.

Dr. David Satcher, who served as surgeon general from 1998 to 2002, had the following to say:

“Dr. William Foege, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1977-1983), in his book, House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox, about the successful effort to eradicate smallpox disease, describes how relationships were prioritized, including assuring that credit for successful interventions was appropriately shared. On the other hand, when we came close to eradicating polio in the last decade of the 20th Century, it was the fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan which prevented our success in eliminating polio in those countries, and thus eradicating it in the world. In other words, we were not willing to allow the immunization of children in Pakistan and Afghanistan to take priority over the killing of people and the winning of the war. But, in fact, nobody won the war in Afghanistan, and we failed to eradicate polio.

“Ultimately, we will eradicate polio, but unfortunately it will be after many lives have been lost and trillions of dollars have been spent.

“We can do better! We can invest in lives rather than deaths! We can bring new thinking into our relationships. We can care about each other and value lives beyond our own and beyond our own culture. We can work to make science work for us and for future generations.

“I am impressed with the idea and the statement. We’re talking about a whole new definition of winning and what it means to win, especially winning together, and supporting the healthy development of children as a priority. What is needed is a new paradigm, relative to what we value and what we are willing to do to bring it about.”

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who served as surgeon general from 1993 to 1994, responded:

“I agree with Dr. David Satcher’s response to Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s statement regarding the needed approach to the dire health and humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan and many other nations around the world. When we speak about the need for basic necessities for life, such as healthcare, food and water, that is the same for people everywhere, regardless of where you are or what type of government you have.

“The COVID pandemic is exasperating the crises in previously food and health-deprived countries. It is clear that the only way this will be defeated is with a modern healthcare system, in every nation. The Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites has emphasized the need for comprehensive, not piecemeal solutions. Infrastructure, food, energy, and clean water are crucial, combined with modern hospitals and trained personnel. I have long championed the training and deployment of community health care workers, especially recruited from among the young, to augment the resources of trained medical personnel. These workers would now be invaluable in assisting in this effort. Also, here is where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), a branch of the uniformed services of the U.S. which does not bear arms, and which I and my colleague Dr. Satcher directed, could play an important role.

“Now is the time for us to end confrontation and engage in cooperation to address the basic needs of humanity.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

For more on The Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites — founded by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and Dr. Jocelyn Elders — and the need for a world health platform – see the Founding Statement:

See the most recent statement by Helga Zepp-LaRouche on the need for food and public health in Afghanistan, and a policy of Peace through Development:

Global Health Security Requires Medical Infrastructure in Every Country:


World Food Program’s Beasley in Haiti: ‘We’ve Got to Help These People’

Sept. 18 (EIRNS)–The Executive Director of the World Food Program’s David Beasley has been in Haiti for several days to work with aid teams and publicize the need to take action. On Sept. 16, he sent a video tweet from Maniche, showing how “house, after house, after house, after house in Maniche was completely destroyed… you can see how bad it is, and we’ve got to help these people.” There have been four weeks of clean-up, but there is destruction all over the place. He wrote, “This is why these families need our support to recover and rebuild.” On Sept. 17, he visited a cooked-meals operation run by the World Central Kitchen.


China to Donate Vaccines, Medical Aid To Afghanistan; Stresses Need for Regional Cooperation and Coordination

China to Donate Vaccines, Medical Aid To Afghanistan; Stresses Need for Regional Cooperation and Coordination

Sept. 9, 2021 (EIRNS)–Yesterday’s mini-summit among China, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, called to discuss how to address the challenges posed by the Afghan situation, announced a humanitarian aid package of $31 million, including food, water, three million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and other medical supplies. The meeting was chaired by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who had just completed a tour of Afghanistan’s neighbors 10 days earlier. The three million COVID vaccine doses reportedly represent only a first batch, with more to come. Xinhua reports that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China is prepared to offer more anti-epidemic and emergency materials to Afghanistan under the China-South Asian Countries Emergency Supplies Reserve.

Today, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian offered more details on yesterday’s meeting, stressing that it is the first attempt by Afghanistan’s neighbors “to work closely in response to the evolving situation in the country,” and to specifically establish “a coordination and cooperation mechanism.” He explained that this mechanism should be able to work smoothly with other existing multilateral mechanisms on Afghanistan “and can complement each other and form synergy. All participating parties support the continued operation of this unique mechanism so that countries can share policy propositions, coordinate positions, and jointly address challenges through this platform. The hope to host the second conference has already been expressed,” he reported. 


Hunger, Sanitation, COVID–Top Concerns in Haiti

Sept. 1 (EIRNS)—A focus of humanitarian aid to Haiti right now is to get food, water, tarps, tents and medical supplies into those remote rural areas in the mountainous Southern peninsula, only accessible by helicopter. Partnering with USAID or with other Haitian or foreign charities, eight military aircraft from the U.S. Southern Command are carrying supplies to these small communities to meet their immediate needs and stock them with supplies to face the months ahead. Multiple trips are made daily from the Port-au-Prince airport. Residents of these communities have lost everything– crops, livestock and even the ability to leave, as roads have been destroyed by the earthquake or mudslides caused by Tropical Storm Grace.

Food is urgently needed. According to the World Food Program, in the three most severely-affected departments, Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes, the number of people in need of urgent food assistance has increased by one-third since the quake, from 138,000 to 215,000. A year ago, the UN had warned that 4.4 million Haitians (42% of the population) faced acute food insecurity; and the country ranked 104th out of 107 on the Global Hunger Index. Now, Lola Castro, WFP’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in a statement that “the earthquake rattled people who were already struggling to feed their families. The compound effects of multiple crises are devastating communities in the south faced with some of the highest levels of food insecurity in the country,” News Americas reported her saying Aug. 30.

The WFP is committed to providing food, shelter and medical aid to 215,000 people in the three southern departments—although the need extends well beyond those three. The UN’s Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched an appeal for $187.3 million in order to reach 500,000 affected people, although the agency’s Aug. 31 report indicated that at least 650,000 are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. The World Bank’s sustainable development and infrastructure program did an initial damage assessment of $1 billion but this is expected to increase with more extensive assessments.

In its Aug. 31 report, OCHA also pointed to the growing risk of a major COVID-19 outbreak. Such preventative measures as mask wearing and social distancing are “compromised due to the current operational context,” OCHA notes, adding that less than 1% of Haiti’s 11 million inhabitants has been vaccinated. Nor are there vaccines! The country has received only 500,000 doses through the COVAX facility. PPE is scarce. Poverty, poor sanitation, lack of clean water and the fact that people are gathering in close quarters seeking food assistance and shelter are all risk factors. Argentina’s Telam news agency quoted OCHA warning that the possibility of “new and more contagious and dangerous variants reaching the island is particularly worrisome during the weeks and months following the earthquake as the country’s healthcare system lacks the ability to respond to a COVID outbreak.” Detailed OCHA fact sheet is here.


World Food Program’s Beasley Met With Taliban in Afghanistan on Continuity of UN Relief

World Food Program’s Beasley Met With Taliban in Afghanistan on Continuity of UN Relief

Sep. 1 (EIRNS)–David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, was in Afghanistan last week, during the evacuation period, to personally see to arrangements to continue and step-up food and humanitarian relief in these very hard times. He met with Taliban leaders on plans. Then, back in his home state of South Carolina, he was interviewed by local TV WBTW, in a video now in circulation, stressing the need for resources and action in Afghanistan. The interview can be seen here.

Overall, 18 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian relief—half the population, with over 500,000 displaced. Four million are near death this year from starvation, without reliable food relief, Beasley said.

He stressed, on his operating approach, “We have to negotiate, work with whoever controls an area. That’s why we’re in war zones. We work with both sides. We have no choice, because we’re trying to reach the innocent victims in the conflict. ” He said of his visit, “We’ve had very frank conversations and so far, quite shockingly, the Taliban has said to us, ‘We want you to do what you do. We don’t want to interfere.’ They’ve actually provided protection and warehouses and some of our supply chain and our routes.”

The World Food Program is appealing for an additional $200 million over the next 45-day period, in order to obtain and pre-stage food for the coming Winter months. Beasley is also mobilizing WFP workers to man the front lines to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in poor countries. The WFP is the UN logistics and travel service for all purposes, not just food.

Today, UN representative in Afghanistan Isabelle Moussard Carlsen gave an interview to CGTN on the dimensions of need for aid in Afghanistan. Since May, 80,000 more people have been displaced, above the 500,000, and more of this is taking place. Of the children under five years old, 60% are suffering from acute, severe malnutrition.


Epidemiologists’ `Math’ Says Vaccinate More Before Any Boosters

Epidemiologists’ `Math’ Says Vaccinate More Before Any Boosters

Aug. 22 (EIRNS) — A low-key op-ed by two epidemiologists, “Boosters won’t stop the Delta variant: Here’s the math”, was published back on Aug. 15 in the Washington Post. While focused on the United States, if applied to the entire world’s population it appears to provide substantiation for focusing all available and contracted vaccine supplies on the basic vaccination of citizens before giving any booster shots. The premise of their analysis: “Many vaccinated people are asking whether it’s time to get a booster dose. But the math behind the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19 can help us see that it’s not.”

The argument: The basic reproductive number R0 or the original virus in this pandemic — the number of people likely to be infected by each infectious person if there is no immunity in the population — was 3; of the Delta variant, it is estimated at 6-9. Re is the effective reproductive number, which is R0 multiplied by the share of the population which is susceptible to the disease, and which must be kept at 1 or lower to keep the epidemic from spreading. The susceptible portion of the population can be expressed by [1-xv], where 1 is the whole population (or adult population), x is the percentage of people fully vaccinated and v is the vaccines’ effectiveness. Then the effective reproductive number of the virus, Re, is R0 times [1-xv]. This Re is a direct measure of how fast and how far the Delta variant infections, hospitalizations and deaths spread.

Taking the Delta variant’s R0 as 8 and the vaccine effectiveness as 85%, Re would be just 1.2 if the entire target population were fully vaccinated. At 52% fully vaccinated (where the United States is now), Re for Delta is about 4, worse than the original virus variant when no one at all was immune. If a booster shot is assumed to raise vaccine effectiveness to 95%, then Re with the currently vaccinated population, if they were all to be boosted, is still about 4.

But if 75% of the target population were to become fully vaccinated, the Re number drops below 3. If 85% were vaccinated, with no boosters, Re would be about 2.4, even having assumed an R0 value which is near the top of the range for the Delta variant.

In other words, there is a huge field for increasing x, the proportion of people vaccinated; relative to the small range for increasing v, the vaccines’ effectiveness, by booster shots; and this determines how the spread of the Delta variant of COVID can be arrested. It would seem to apply to the population of all the world’s nations, as well as to that of Americans.

The authors are Prof. Eleanor Murray, Boston Univ. School of Public Health; and her doctoral student Ruby Barnard-Mayers.


China Announces Two Billion COVID-19 Vaccines to Be Exported in 2021

China Announces Two Billion COVID-19 Vaccines to Be Exported in 2021

Aug. 6 (EIRNS)–President Xi Jinping announced today that China will export two billion COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. The massive expansion of production capacity this year has allowed China to export between 600 to 750 million doses so far, while also applying over 1.7 billion doses within China. The track record of Sinovac and Sinopharm so far indicates that they will produce almost 5 billion doses this year, and Tao Lina, a vaccine expert in Shanghai confirms this. Otherwise, China is presently vaccinating their population at the rate of 17.9 million shots a day, which is seven times the rate of the European Union, and 30 times that of the United States.

President Xi sent a written message today to the International Forum on Covid-19 Vaccine Cooperation, hosted by China Central Television and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang-Yi. He described the vaccine as a “global public good,” and stressed common action on world health as part of building a community with a shared future for mankind. He recognized the problem with the resurgences of the coronavirus allowing for the proliferation of mutations and variant strains. Besides exporting vaccines, he described China’s work with countries to develop and produce vaccines, with joint production already begun in the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan and Mexico — a new capacity of over 200 million doses, which needs further expansion.


World Health Organization: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout To Accelerate in Africa

World Health Organization: COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout To Accelerate in Africa

Aug. 5, 2021 (EIRNS) – A World Health Organization article published in Consortium News July 30 reports on the 520 million vaccine doses that will be shipped to Africa by the end of 2021 by COVAX. Can they be administered in that 4-plus-month time frame by the public health systems of the African countries? That is a vital question.

Ethiopian biologist Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said that poorer countries worldwide have administered, on average, 1.5 shots per 100 people, while developed countries have administered 100 shots for 100 people, on average.

Up to the present, only 79 million COVID doses have arrived in Africa, and 21 million people, or just (1.6 percent) of Africa’s population are fully vaccinated.


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