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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
May 17, 2002

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Women's Wellness Roundtable in Hungary
Budapest, Hungary

Thank you, and welcome to this forum on women's health and wellness.

Studies throughout the world show that women's health and the opportunities they have in life are directly related to the strength of a country's economy and of the level of education attained by its children. In Hungary, both women's health and quality of life are improving. However, much work remains to be done.

The United States is a partner in many efforts to support Hungarian communities, strengthen families, and improve women's health and welfare.

In fact, the United States is proud to announce its pledge of $500,000 dollars - or 1,340,482 forint - to establish a Women's Health Initiative in Hungary.

Through a USAID grant to the American International Health Alliance, communities in the United States and Hungary will be able to collaborate over the next two years in developing community-based programs that address the special needs of women. The grant will be further amplified by the voluntary resources of the American communities and health institutions that will be selected to work with their Hungarian counterparts in the coming months.

Since 1998, Hungary has been involved in the World Health Organization's Association of Healthy Cities; 23 Hungarian cities now belong to the Hungarian Association of Healthy Cities - united in their effort to promote comprehensive local strategies for health and sustainable development.

This involvement demonstrates your strong commitment to making life better for women.

With the support of their American counterparts, the Hungarian Association and its member cities will be able to further strengthen their capacity to mobilize local community resources. Community leaders from both countries--

health advocates, members of the clergy, counseling professionals, business people, and others -- will have a chance to work together to establish new programs that address the needs of women.

When I think of a partnership, I think of equals coming together to learn from each other, as we are today. Women everywhere need encouragement, guidance, support and access to important health information and resources. Most of all, they need to know they are not alone. I believe our united efforts will make a difference.

A round-table discussion is about listening - listening to other people's ideas, and being willing to learn. So that's what I'm going to do now.. listen and learn. Thank you.

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