January 21, 2004

Virtue Foundation Presents Panel Discussion on Poverty, Hunger and Disease in the 21st Century

New York, NY – On Thursday, January 22nd at 7:30 p.m., Virtue Foundation, in collaboration with The Nour Foundation, will present a panel discussion at the Rockefeller University’s Caspary Auditorium entitled “Searching for a Window of Hope: Overcoming Poverty, Hunger, and Disease in the 21st Century.”

Faced with the stark reality that at the turn of the 21st century, millions of men, women, and children across the globe continue to be deprived of basic human necessities such as food, shelter, and clean water, a panel of experts gather to draw upon their personal experience to discuss the practical steps that can be taken to collectively realign our perspective so that these core issues are viewed as universal problems requiring universal solutions rather than humanitarian concerns for a few devoted but underfunded agencies.

Moderated by Dr. Ebby Elahi, an oculofacial and reconstructive surgeon and Director of International Affairs at the Virtue Foundation, the distinguished panelists will include Dr. Desmond Johns, Director of the UN Aids New York Office; Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani, Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations; Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of Harvard University’s Global Health Initiative; Dr. Agostino Paganini, Team Leader of Emergency Operations at UNICEF; and Nicholas De Torrente, Executive Director of Medecins sans Frontières in the United States.

Along with whether it is really feasible to speak of economic and social progress in our global village when more than 20,000 people are still dying of hunger everyday, the panel will examine the growing economic disparity between the western world and so-called third world countries, and in particular how to help overcome the endemic corruption, disease, and deprivation that plagues these underdeveloped nations.

Virtue Foundation is a public charity dedicated to raising awareness about prevalent global issues while initiating an open dialogue about our rights and responsibilities within the global community from an ethical, moral, and humanitarian perspective. The Foundation is also involved in various humanitarian endeavors such as the education and training of physicians and nurses, as well as the organization of medical expeditions to underprivileged regions of the world.