Leaders in the Natural Resources Industry Convene in Toronto to Make Commitments to Alleviate Poverty and Invest in Sustainable Development.
President Bill Clinton tonight will announce the first round of projects being undertaken by the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI), a new initiative of the William J. Clinton Foundation that seeks to transform the way that business is done in the developing world.
Working in partnership with governments, communities, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, CGSGI’s first round of projects will commence in Latin America, in areas of significant need in Colombia and Peru, with a focus on sustainable, market-driven economic development that creates jobs and increases incomes, and on enabling issues such as health and education.
“In a world where the differences between rich and poor are enormous, we all share a responsibility to ensure that every community has access to education, quality health care, and economic opportunity,” President Clinton said. “Working with a variety of partners, CGSGI is addressing poverty and social challenges in an entrepreneurial way, and these first projects will help to create jobs, increase incomes, and improve thousands of lives in many poor communities.”
Launched by President Clinton and Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra in June 2007, CGSGI is beginning its work in partnership with an industry that has a truly global reach: the natural resources sector. By increasing the scope, scale, impact, and sustainability of social and economic development efforts in communities where the natural resource industries are an important part of the economy, CGSGI hopes to develop a model for how all corporate sectors can spur sustainable social and economic development as an integral part of their operations in the developing world.
To expand the number of partners in the natural resources industry, President Clinton will announce the new CGSGI projects during a special event at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, on the eve of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto, drawing hundreds of companies from around the world. CGSGI already has received the generous backing of Carlos Slim and Lundin for Africa, as well as financial support and endorsements from numerous companies in the natural resources and affiliated sectors. During the event, several additional business leaders in the natural resources industry will commit to advance the work and mission of CGSGI.
“I am proud to partner with the Clinton Foundation and my fellow business leaders in the natural resources industry for such an ambitious and worthy cause,” Frank Giustra said. “Together, we will build long-term partnerships with communities to ensure that our programs can change countless lives for the better.”
CGSGI is building on the successful, ongoing, and nonpartisan efforts of other Clinton Foundation efforts, including the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, Clinton Climate Initiative, and Clinton Global Initiative, to transform the marketplace for HIV/AIDS treatment, energy efficiency products, and philanthropy – together impacting millions of lives around the world.
Description of Projects
CGSGI will commence work with several projects in Colombia and Peru, where the natural resources industry has a significant presence, and where the disparity between rich and poor is especially large.
Initial projects in Colombia will focus on expanding health services, education, and economic opportunity. These projects are long-term commitments that will develop and expand over the next several years.
- CGSGI is partnering with the NGO Angelitos de Luz to support medical missions that will deliver much-needed health services to people in rural areas who lack regular access to health care. In 2008, CGSGI will leverage private sector commitments to support eight missions that are expected to reach over 16,000 people. Pediatricians, ophthalmologists, gynecologists, and orthopedic surgeons will volunteer their time and services. CGSGI hopes to expand these missions in the following year to reach 60,000 people in Colombia who currently do not have regular access to health care. Private sector partners include Coalcorp, Pacific Rubiales, and B2 Gold.
- CGSGI, Shakira’s Pies Descalzos Foundation, and the Government of Colombia are implementing a two-year, $4 million initiative that will cover child nutrition, education, vocational training and support for microenterprise development in Bogota, Quibdo, and Barranquilla. Through highly-acclaimed Pies Descalzos public schools, this project is expected to positively impact 4,000 vulnerable students and their families. Graduates and their parents also will be assisted with the creation of sustainable and market-driven small businesses. Partners include Coalcorp, Pacific Rubiales, and B2 Gold.
- CGSGI will launch a $5 million commitment to develop sustainable, market-driven businesses in some of the poorest areas of Colombia with support from Coalcorp and Pacific Rubiales. The first project will scale up a promising organic spice business in Choco, helping local producers to connect with markets and obtain international organic certification, with the potential to directly impact over 5,000 people. CGSGI will also invest $500,000, matched dollar for dollar by the Colombian Government of Choco, to organize a group of 150 fisherman and their wives into a sustainable cooperative building on efforts by the Government of Choco to enable residents of a small town ravaged by a 2002 tsunami to improve their incomes through fishing.
Initial projects in Peru will focus on child nutrition and enterprise development.
- CGSGI will make a three-year commitment of $6 million toward the reduction of chronic child malnutrition in the Ancash and Cajamarca regions of Peru. This funding will leverage and complement existing commitments of $5.25 million already made over the same time-span by our corporate partners, Barrick Gold Corporation, and Newmont Mining Corporation through its Minera Yanacocha joint venture.
- CGSGI will commit $4 million over three years to the expansion of existing efforts to spur market-driven economic development in the Ancash, Cajamarca, and La Libertad regions of Peru, with an emphasis on diversifying and enhancing sustainable economic activities relating to agriculture, agri-business, and tourism. This will augment commitments of $7.875 million already made by our corporate partners Barrick Gold Corporation, and Newmont Mining Corporation through its Minera Yanacocha joint venture, for the same purpose.
- CGSGI is developing additional programs with Carlos Slim and the Carso Foundation in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia.
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