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Harry S. Truman: 1945-53
Statement by the President on the 10th Anniversary of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs.
March 31st, 1952

TODAY, March 31st, 1952, the Institute of Inter-American Affairs celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Its 10 years of life have been 10 years of international cooperation in improving the living standards of the people of this hemisphere.

The climate of peace and prosperity among the American Republics is a great source of comfort and pride to us all. A real share of the credit for this achievement is due to the Institute of Inter-American Affairs.

The program of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs is one of the world's best examples of mutual effort by democratic nations to solve their most pressing economic and social problems. No other overseas Government program better fulfills the historic good-neighbor policy of the United States. The experience of the Institute shows us how technical assistance can be made available on a cooperative basis not only in the Western Hemisphere but also in other parts of the world under the point 4 concept.

The Institute undertakes its constructive work only at the invitation and with the participation of the countries concerned. Two-way cooperation is the reason for the Institute's success. Through the Institute our country works with the other American Republics as self-respecting nations, on an independent but cooperative basis.

Over the past decade the Institute's cooperative programs have touched directly or indirectly the lives of millions of people in Latin America on the farms, in the small towns, and in the big cities. Malaria and other dread diseases are being conquered. The capital of a leading Latin American country for the first time now has a safe system of water supply and sewage. Another nation is diversifying its basic agriculture in the first major program to change an uneconomic one-crop pattern established centuries ago.

In the Andes region, industrial safety experts provided by the Institute are serving as advisers on safety methods in mining. In the vast Amazon River Valley, health centers established with the help of the Institute and staffed by doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians, are wiping out diseases and providing preventive medical services for jungle dwellers who never before had medical attention.

These and other technical assistance projects are a notable contribution to the unity of the hemisphere and to its common determination to prove that the way of freedom is better than the way of communism.

There is still a great deal to do. In one of the leading Latin American nations, for example, productivity is only one-eighth of what it is in the United States, life expectancy is only 40 years, compared to about 68 for the United States; and scarcely one out of three children in rural areas can go to school. The need for further work is evident. The activities of the Institute must continue so that we can expand our efforts to fight hunger, poverty, disease, and illiteracy throughout the American Republics.

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