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Expert Alert

Cyclone-ravaged Myanmar refusing foreign aid, earthquake stricken China welcoming it

May 14, 2008

A cyclone in Myanmar and a massive earthquake in China have killed tens of thousands and left millions homeless, hungry and stranded. Massive international efforts to send food, medicine and aid workers are quickly finding their way to the nations, but, while China is accepting the help with open arms, the ruling military authorities in Myanmar are refusing almost all outside assistance. A University of Minnesota foreign policy and aid expert who can discuss the two different situations is:
J. Brian Atwood, dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
Atwood has extensive experience in the fields of foreign policy and aid and can explain why humanitarian efforts to Myanmar are facing such stiff roadblocks compared to Chinas. He can also give first-hand insight into the logistical and diplomatic process of coordinating aid work.
Before serving as dean, Atwood served for six years as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the administration of President Bill Clinton. He has led presidential delegations to Haiti, El Salvador and East Africa and was a special presidential envoy to Eastern Zaire during the exodus of refugees caused by the Rwandan genocide. He was the first American official to meet with Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, foreign minister Peres and chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasir Arafat, after Arafats return to Gaza and the West Bank in 1994. 
During the Kosovo Crisis he was President Clintons humanitarian relief coordinator.
To interview this expert, contact the University News Service,  (612) 624-5551.

Tags: Humphrey School of Public Affairs

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