The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 22, 2008

Press Availability by Mrs. Bush and USAID Mission Director Paul Weisenfield After Tour of Adobe Housing Reconstruction Project
Adobe Housing Reconstruction Project
Pisco, Peru

November 21, 2008

5:07 P.M. (Local)

MRS. BUSH: I'm so happy to have had the chance to see this house that we just walked in with the new residents who are going to live here. The house is built so that it's earthquake-proof, earthquake-safe, and this is a wonderful model for houses that are being rebuilt all over this part of Peru that suffered devastation from the earthquake in 2007.

This is a great example of a program that is funded in some part by USAID, in other parts by donations from other parts of the world, CARE -- the NGO, CARE, has been really in charge of this project -- and then of course by the government of Peru. And we're hoping that all of these groups coming together can rebuild faster than any one group could do by itself.

And one of the things we want for these new nice houses is bathrooms, toilets, and fuel-efficient kitchens, and I got to see that in this house back in the back part of it. And that's part of the contribution from USAID.

So now I want to wish the new residents the very best. It's really a thrill to get to see them walk into their beautiful new house. And I want to encourage everybody here to keep working, keep rebuilding, use this good earthquake-proof house as a model, as you continue to rebuild.

So thank you all very much. Thanks a lot. I'm very happy to be here in Peru for the APEC meeting.

Q (As translated) Are you only doing work related to rebuilding houses or is it also educational assistance for children -- the victims, the children victims of this earthquake? Will there be any other kind of social assistance?

MRS. BUSH: Well, I'll have to ask the USAID person who's here with us about education. But when we were just at the health clinic, the center for health, some of those health workers were trained with funds from USAID. And I'm not really sure about the school help, the education help, but maybe you can answer that.

MR. WEISENFIELD: (As translated) At USAID we have programs related to education, health, alternative development, and the programs in education focus mostly in the areas of San Martin and Ucayali, working with regional and local governments to improve learning systems for children.

Q (As translated) What are your upcoming activities as far as APEC in Lima?

MRS. BUSH: I will be with all of the spouses of the leaders who have come for APEC. We have a spouses program that will be hosted by your First Lady, Mrs. Garcia, and we're going to tour and see some different things in Lima that I'm really looking forward to visiting -- an archaeological site and some other things. I think it'll really be a very interesting and fun conference. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q (As translated) This is your last trip to our country as First Lady. What is the impression that you have of this country now that your husband is leaving office?

MRS. BUSH: This is our last international trip, so Peru is the last country that we'll visit, George and me, as he's sitting President. And one of the things I'm struck with from all of my visits to Peru since George has been President is the warmth of the people of Peru. And I appreciate very much the way people welcomed me in the clinic, and on the streets, and waving to people. And I thank them very, very much for their very warm hospitality.

Thank you all. Muchas gracias. God bless you all.

END 5:14 P.M. (Local)

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