By any measure, 1994 has been an extraordinary year for The Carter Center. We've monitored elections in Panama and Mexico and are working with Ethiopia and Liberia to prepare for the day when we can monitor elections in those countries. We've helped to reduce the number of cases of Guinea Worm disease in Ghana and Nigeria by 90 percent since 1989 and administered 29 million Mectizan tablets to prevent River Blindness in 27 African countries. We've launched dozens of new initiatives in Atlanta Project neighborhoods, including a citywide anti-violence program called "TAP Into Peace" and a loan fund for small businesses.
We've looked at ways that mental health practitioners can work together to improve services for families and children. We've established a new human rights council, opened an office in Guyana, explored ways to peacefully resolve the conflict in Burma, and continued to work on more that 30 major projects throughout the world And, of course, President Carter's high-profile missions to North Korea, Haiti, and Bosnia have helped pave the way for a more peaceful and stable world.
None of these success stories would have been possible without support from our partners--other nonprofit organizations, the governments of developed and developing countries, business leaders in the United States and around the world, and those of you who read this newsletter and take an interest in our programs. In fact, partnerships form the foundation on which all of the Center's activities are built.
By drawing on the experience and participation of former President Jimmy Carter and other world leaders, fostering collaboration, and combining effective action plans with research and analysis, the Center has been able to achieve goals far beyond the reach of single individuals or organizations.
At the same time that we've implemented programs to resolve conflict, promote democracy and development, and fight hunger, poverty and disease, we've taken steps to guarantee that this vital work continues. Our goal is to make sure The Carter Center remains a strong and effective organization long after President and Mrs. Carter are no longer active (although we don't expect that to happen anytime soon!) On Sept. 1, the Center formalized an agreement to become a separately chartered, independently governed part of Emory University.
Although the Center has been linked with Emory since its inception in 1982, this agreement will ensure both the Center's ability to thrive and the University's ability to demonstrate how higher education can further contribute to the advancement of human welfare. Emory believes, as we do, that the Center's strengths, character and mission are unique, and that it will benefit both institutions to protect and preserve this distinctiveness.
With this new agreement comes the creation of a new Board of Trustees. This 22-member Board, chaired by President Carter and served by Mrs. Carter as vice chair, is responsible for overseeing the Center's assets and property and for promoting its objectives and goals. The Center's Board of Councilors and an expanded International Board of Advisors remain as advisory groups to the Center.
With this new infrastructure in place, we look forward to a productive and eventful 1995. So many of the issues we have chosen to tackle defy easy, or sometimes even evident, solutions. But as President Carter so often says to us, "The only failure would be not to try."