Concern for People

In my October 1969 speech I made it clear that our fundamental concern remains people:

... a dedication to improving the quality of life in this new world of oursto making people the center of our concerns, and to helping meet their economic, social, and human needs.

When a calamitous earthquake struck Peru last June the United States responded immediately with both public and private assistance. As a gesture of our concern, Mrs. Nixon visited Peru, bringing relief supplies to the victims of the tragedy. Her warm reception was tribute to the profound ties between the peoples of Peru and the United States.

Friendship with the peoples of Latin America transcends fluctuations in governmental relations. In this spirit we maintained our people-to-people programs in Chile despite the uncertainty of our official relations.

Our Latin American programs also look toward local efforts in social development. Government-to-government programs in this area have been hampered by their political sensitivity. The need is for innovative ideas and programs, particularly from nongovernmental sources, which are more directly responsive to social problems as perceived by the people of We region. To meet this need, we created in 1970 the Inter-American Social Development Institute. Directed by a bond with a majority from the private sector, the new institute will provide funds primarily to non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and Latin America-such as universities, credit unions, and foundations-to help them share their expertise.