November 19, 2018
Nov 19

President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton to Host CGI Meeting on Disaster Recovery in San Juan, January 29-30, 2019

New York, NY
Press Release

The third meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery will address ongoing hurricane recovery needs facing Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda

New York, NY – In the network’s first meeting in Puerto Rico, President Bill Clinton and Clinton Foundation Vice-Chair Chelsea Clinton will convene the third meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery in San Juan next January. The Action Network brings together leaders in government, business, and civil society to discuss and develop solutions that address hurricane recovery needs facing the region, while laying the foundation for a more resilient and prosperous future.

“For over a year, the people of the Caribbean have proven their determination and resiliency in the face of incredible challenges building back after the devastating hurricanes of 2017,” said President Bill Clinton. “We remain committed to the long-term success and sustainability of the region. I look forward to hosting this meeting in San Juan in January, to bring leaders from philanthropy, business, and government together to continue to act on our commitment.”

“Communities face great and complex challenges in the wake of hurricanes like Irma and Maria. And all too often, their needs go unmet,” said Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton. “That is why I am grateful to join hundreds of leaders in San Juan who are coming together to develop and implement projects that will address immediate needs while building resilient solutions and creating long-term sustainability in the region.”

At the meeting, participants will work toward CGI Commitments to Action – specific and measurable projects that address critical issues such as health care, economic development, housing, clean energy, education, disaster preparedness and response, and climate resiliency to assist with immediate needs as well as the long-term recovery in the region. Since its launch in January 2018, the CGI Action Network has resulted in Commitments to Action focusing on a wide range of issues, including mental health training for health workers in Puerto Rico; restoring school and housing infrastructure in Dominica; improving technology and communications infrastructure across the Caribbean; and distributing critical modules and packs containing basic medical supplies to disaster-prone areas. To date, members of the CGI community have made 18 commitments that are addressing critical needs in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda.

The Action Network, along with Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU), follows the success of CGI and its Commitment to Action model.  Over the years, CGI and its successors have brought together leaders from across sectors to improve the lives of more than 430 million people in 180 countries worldwide.

Many of the commitments made through the Action Network have already made an impact in the region, and some are reporting strong progress as they are implemented. These commitments include:

  • Habitat: Launched by Para la Naturaleza, is a comprehensive reforestation and habitat restoration program aimed at recovering vital ecosystems of Puerto Rico that were decimated by Hurricane Maria. Investments in reforestation not only ensure sustainability of bio-diversity, but they underscore sound environmental practices that are crucial in light of climate change. Since January 2018, the program has planted over 13,000 trees, created 24 new jobs, and recruited over 4,500 volunteers to support the work.
  • Solar Saves Lives: A partnership between Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, The Solar Foundation, and others. The commitment aims to install solar energy systems in at least 12 primary care clinics in Puerto Rico. To date, 9 systems have been installed, leading to an 1,875-metric ton reduction in CO2 emissions. Health clinics were acutely affected by Hurricane Maria, suffering from prolonged power outages causing loss of medicine and compromising clinics’ ability to provide care.
  • Children’s School Clinic Mission to the U.S. Virgin Islands: Partnering with Airlink and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, the American Federation of Teachers successfully completed a deployment of 24 school nurses to the U.S. Virgin Islands for one week, screening over half of the youth population.
  • Healing for Health Workers: Americares committed to support health workers, emergency responders, and social service providers in Puerto Rico to address mental health challenges in the wake of Hurricane Maria. As of November 2018, Americares has trained more than 2,000 care providers across Puerto Rico, teaching resiliency and coping skills to manage stress and trauma as well as psychological first aid.
  • Restoring School Infrastructure and Housing in Dominica: Digicel committed to repair or rebuild seven schools and 360 homes in Dominica that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria. To date, three schools and more than 100 homes have been rebuilt or repaired.
  • Solight Design, Empowering Puerto Rico with Solar Lights: After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s energy system, Solight Design, in partnership with the Hispanic Federation, committed to donate and distribute 50,000 SolarPuffs (durable, collapsible solar lanterns) to communities without reliable access to grid power in Puerto Rico. As of October 2018, the partnership has fulfilled the commitment to distribute 50,000 SolarPuffs to communities in the Puerto Rican cities of Ciales, Canovanas, San Juan, and Yabucoa.
  • Solarizing Schools in Dominica: Expedia Group, Construction for Change, and the Sextant Foundation committed to install solar systems at six primary schools in Dominica after Hurricane Maria forced almost all schools to close temporarily. To date, Construction for Change and the Sextant Foundation have completed design and preconstruction phases of the six school solar projects on Dominica in partnership with Expedia Group and Digicel (Dominica) Ltd.

# # #

About the Clinton Foundation
Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.

As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.

We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.