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Anonymous grant expands Haiti salt program

| Friday, August 29, 2014

In spring 2014, Notre Dame’s Haiti Program, whose purpose is to fight neglected tropical diseases, received a $375,000 grant from an anonymous donor to support the growth of its salt program, and which will create the largest growth in the program’s history, according to a press release.

Earl Carter, managing director of the Haiti Program, said the grant is from a long-time supporter of the Haiti Program. The money will be used to expand the salt program, which is produces salt that will also serve as a drug to fight disease.

“The Notre Dame Haiti Program, working through several local organizations in Haiti, provides the nation’s first supply of purified, iodized salt that is also fortified with a drug that kills the mosquito-borne parasite which causes lymphatic filariasis (LF), or elephantiasis,” Carter said.

Carter said the salt program has had two major advances in the past year.

“We entered into a partnership with Carribex, S.A., the nation’s largest producer and distributor of branded food products, which distributes to approximately 99 percent of food outlets in Haiti,” Carter said, “And because of the significant increase in potential demand for this important product, we have procured new facilities, and are in the process of outfitting them so that we can increase our salt fortification capability by almost an order of magnitude over that of the recent past.  We currently produce over 40 metric tons of purified, iodized salt per month.”

Carter said this salt production helps Haitians in a number of different ways, particularly through its disease-fighting capabilities.

“The purified, iodized salt improves intellectual capability of the population, and it also acts to eliminate the dreaded, disfiguring disease lymphatic filariasis,” he said. “The new processing capacity and capabilities will also provide a new market outlet for Haitian raw salt producers, a positive factor for the local economy.”

Carter said the Haiti Program is immensely thankful for the donation and for the support of the entire Notre Dame community.

“We are deeply grateful for the sustained support of this benefactor, and other supporters of our Program,” he said. “While from our earliest discussions, we were hopeful for a grant of this magnitude, we were nevertheless thrilled to see it finalized.”

Carter said students can get involved in the work being done in Haiti in various ways.

“Students can also tell their families and friends of the important work that the University has led in Haiti for some two decades, through the selfless example and leadership of the Program’s founder, Rev. Thomas Streit, CSC.  We encourage students to track new program developments at www.haiti.nd.edu and www.BonSelDayiti.com, or follow us on Facebook.”

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