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Public Papers - 1990 - December

White House Fact Sheet on the Medical Assistance Program for the Soviet Union

1990-12-12

The President has decided to establish a mixed public-private medical assistance effort to help the Soviet Union deal with acute, immediate shortages of pharmaceutical and basic medical supplies. The effort would rely on private voluntary organizations, with U.S. Government support, to provide and distribute medicines and medical supplies within the Soviet Union. At least initially, these medicines and supplies would be donated by U.S. firms.

A U.S. task force, with representatives from the U.S. Government and private voluntary organizations, will be set up to coordinate and facilitate the overall relief effort.

The Agency for International Development (AID) will contact private voluntary organizations and pharmaceutical firms to solicit donations. AID will provide financial assistance to participating private voluntary organizations.

U.S. private voluntary organizations will organize, deliver, and distribute privately donated medical and pharmaceutical supplies in the Soviet Union.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow, working with Soviet authorities in the central government and at the republic and city level, and with U.S. private voluntary organizations already in the Soviet Union, will work to identify specific needs and medical assistance priorities.

The magnitude of the program and the specific materials to be provided will depend on both this detailed assessment of needs and the extent of private interest in this effort.

Ideally, U.S. assistance will be targeted at specific groups in the population needing medical supplies (e.g., disposable syringes for infants, insulin for diabetics, drugs for those with leukemia, etc.).

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