FAO goodwill ambassador Carl Lewis to visit Dominican Republic, Haiti

Rome, Italy (PANA) - Olympic track star and FAO Goodwill Ambassador Carl Lewis, is to visit the Dominican Republic and Haiti, a news release issued by the food organisation said Wednesday.

In the Dominican Republic, Lewis will meet with President Leonel Fernández and the First Lady, FAO Extraordinary Ambassador, Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, while in Haiti, he will meet with President Michel Martelly.

Lewis, who won nine Olympic gold medals in four Olympic games, will arrive in the Dominican Republic on Friday, 10 June, where he will be the guest of the First Lady.

The athlete will highlight the International Year of Forests and a global campaign to end hunger, known as "The 1billionhungry project."

He will travel to Haiti on 13 June and leave the following day.

In Haiti, one of the most deforested countries in the world, with only two per cent of forest cover left, Lewis will visit an FAO watershed management project aimed at stabilizing the soil and reforestation in the mountains near the epicenter of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Lewis' trip comes right at the start of the hurricane season, with severe flooding reported in both countries which share the same island.

Deforestation in Haiti makes the country extremely vulnerable to flash floods and landslides.

Between 2004 and 2010, about 10,000 Haitians died because of severe flooding, while more than 200,000 people died in the 2010 earthquake.

Scheduled activities in the Dominican Republic and Haiti include visits to forestry and agricultural projects and meetings with school children and athletes.

In the Dominican Republic, capital of Santo Domingo, Carl Lewis will attend a joint press conference with the First Lady on 10 June.

In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the renowned athlete will hold another press conference on Tuesday, 14 June.
-0- PANA PR/BOS 9June2011

09 june 2011 15:57:20


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