January 30, 2019
Jan 30

President Clinton, Secretary Clinton Announce 39 New Hurricane Recovery Projects at CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery Meeting in Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Press Release

For immediate release: January 30, 2019
Contact: [email protected]

President Clinton, Secretary Clinton Announce 39 New Hurricane Recovery Projects at CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery Meeting in Puerto Rico

At the third CGI Action Network meeting in San Juan, President Clinton and Secretary Clinton announced 39 Commitments to Action including a wide range of solar installation projects; new job and skills training programs across the Caribbean; and programs to fight the opioid epidemic in Puerto Rico.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – This week, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton convened over 550 leaders from across the Caribbean from government, business, and civil society at the third meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery. At the meeting, participants discussed the current recovery efforts in the region, progress to date, ongoing challenges, and announced new projects that address critical issues such as food security, access to health care, small business support, sustainable tourism, and renewable energy.

This meeting concludes a week of activity in Puerto Rico. On Sunday, the Clinton Foundation helped organize an airlift of 30,000 pounds of requested medical supplies with the Afya Foundation and a number of partners, including the Greater New York Hospital Association, Swift Air, StratAir, and Jan Soderberg of Pearl Aircraft. On Monday, President Clinton and Secretary Clinton visited several CGI Action Network projects that are already helping people on the ground:

  • A model farm where World Central Kitchen is helping smallholder farmers learn sustainable agriculture practices with innovative technology;
  • A number of small businesses that are receiving financial support and financial management skills training from the Foundation for Puerto Rico; and
  • A nursery where Para la Naturaleza is growing trees endemic to Puerto Rico to reforest and help recover the vital ecosystems of the island that were decimated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“We’ve seen the incredible strength and resilience of people throughout the region, working together to help their neighbors,” said President Clinton. “There’s been great success from the Commitments to Action that have been made already but there is still more to do. We are committed to helping as long as it takes to make the region safer, stronger, more prosperous, inclusive, and more resilient.”

“It’s critical that we reinforce the social and economic safety nets that can help empower young people to envision and create communities that are viable, prosperous, and more inclusive,” said Secretary Clinton. “From solarizing schools, to teaching students to code, the members of this Action Network are working hard to ensure that these storms don’t leave our children and young people behind.”

Featured participants at this week’s meeting included President Bill Clinton, founder and board chair of the Clinton Foundation; Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton; Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Barbados; Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Puerto Rico; Governor Albert Bryan, U.S. Virgin Islands; Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón, Puerto Rico; Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, San Juan; Mayor María Meléndez Altieri, Ponce; Mayor Jesús “Gardy” Colón Berlingeri, Orocovis; Mayor Carmen Maldonado, Morovis; Mayor Julia Nazario, Loíza; Mayor Ernesto Irizarry Salvá, Utuado; Mayor Lornna Soto, Canóvanas; Mayor Nelson Torres Yordán, Guayanilla; Patricia Scotland, Secretary General, The Commonwealth of Nations; Minister Francine Baron, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth of Dominica; Carolyn Miles, president and CEO, Save the Children; José Andrés, chef and founder, World Central Kitchen; Richard Carrión, executive chairman, Banco Popular; Kenneth Cole, chairman and founder, Kenneth Cole Productions; MC González Noguera, SVP, Public Affairs, The Estée Lauder Companies; Nathalie Molina Niño, founder, Brava Investments; Denis O’Brien, executive chairman, Digicel; Mark Okerstrom, CEO, Expedia Group; Eric Smith, CEO, Swiss Re Americas; Paula Vlamings, CEO, Tourism Cares; Grace Yoon, CMO and COO Strategy, Rockefeller Capital Management; among others.

The Action Network, along with Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), 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.

The Clinton Foundation is grateful for the generous support of lead partners IBM and InterEnergy as well as sponsors: Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, Banco Popular, First Bank, Grupo Ferré Rangel, and Swiss Re.

At the meeting, President Clinton and Secretary Clinton announced new Commitments to Action – solutions that are new, specific, and measurable. A summary of the 39 commitments announced at today’s meeting is below. For more details on any of these commitments, or to be put in touch with any of these organizations or their partners, please e-mail [email protected].

  • Afya Foundation and its partners committed to deliver 30,000 pounds of medical supplies and equipment to home care providers and three Federally Qualified Health Care Centers. Partners Greater New York Hospital Association, Pearl Aircraft, Swift Air, and StratAir will work to coordinate and fund the transportation of the supplies and equipment. Accion Social will distribute the materials to home care providers that service over 1,000 older adults throughout the 76 municipalities, and to Federally Qualified Health Centers in Hatillo, Arecibo, and Utuado that care for over 16,000 patients per year.
  • World Ocean School (WOS) committed to launch a Maritime Academy Pilot Program, working with industry partners to provide a secondary education and job training program for 20 students in St. Croix. Upon completion of the Maritime Academy Pilot Program, which will include off-campus skill development and in-class theory, students will earn two high school credits and obtain Standards of Training and Certification of Watchkeeping Coast Guard Certification. Furthermore, WOS will facilitate job and/or internship placement for students and expects 80% of students to be placed in industry jobs or further training within three months of program completion.
  • The Cathexis Project committed to launch an 18-month pilot training program to strengthen the mental well-being and business skills of small business owners in Puerto Rico. The Cathexis Project will offer an innovative, blended curriculum of entrepreneurship education and mental health support to 240 small business owners on the island. Training will include business resiliency and elements of performance coaching while introducing mindfulness techniques to mitigate the effects of trauma.
  • Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), Expedia Cares, and Kindustry commit to create a sustainable, progressive, and globally competitive regional branding and marketing strategy for the Caribbean. These partners will form the Caribbean Coalition for Tourism (CCT), a public-private sector organization that will develop a comprehensive marketing brand based on data, best practices, and lessons learned as well as research and input from critical tourism stakeholders. This project aims to showcase the geographic, historical, and ecological diversity of the region and to strengthen tourism, by re-branding the experience and making the market more resilient to future disasters.
  • Direct Relief committed to address the growing opioid crisis in Puerto Rico by building the capacity of local organizations to treat opioid addiction and prevent fatal overdoses on the island. With partners including the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the Puerto Rico Hospital Association, the Primary Care Association of Puerto Rico, Intercambios Puerto Rico, Hogar del Buen Pastor, Pfizer, and BD, Direct Relief will take a multi-pronged approach to address this issue by funding research to fill data gaps on the prevalence of opioid addiction on the island; providing health care providers with doses of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses; and building the capacity and scale of existing substance misuse programs, such as needle exchange programs.
  • Keystone Policy Center committed to working with the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) to recruit employers who will design and offer work-based learning (WBL) opportunities to high school students. Through this one-year commitment, Keystone will work with PRDE to create a WBL Hub of cross-sector leaders to recruit 50 regional employers that will provide 2,000 high school students with WBL opportunities. Keystone will also help employers build the capacity to participate in this program. Together, partners will launch a web portal to share available opportunities and provide resources.
  • Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) committed to launch a holistic women's empowerment initiative in the Dominican Republic that will support 125 Batey women in adopting market-oriented strategies in agriculture and livestock production and enhance their social well-being through providing health care services. With their partners, BRA will provide technical assistance, inputs, and small loans to help women sustain their agricultural enterprises and increase household income. BRA will also provide participants with health care and nutritional assistance including maternal-child health services, clean drinking water, multivitamins, antiworm drugs, and nutritional supplements.
  • Voz Activa and partners committed to support women leaders in Puerto Rico by transforming their community kitchens (fogones) into place-based social enterprises. Voz Activa aims to support each of the fogones in formally registering as a legal entity, providing an opportunity for 20 local women leaders to earn income where they had not previously. Voz Activa and partners aim to create a locally-based solution to malnutrition and unemployment that generates economic activity, unlike the traditional charity-driven models, while empowering women.
  • In 2019, The San Juan Bay National Estuary Program (Estuario) and its partners committed to create a watershed mitigation plan to guide eight municipalities in rebuilding a resilient watershed system by analyzing its current state and identifying long-term strategies for risk reduction that are aligned with community objectives and funding opportunities. Estuario will convene five working groups made up of stakeholders and experts that will analyze the watershed area and provide specific mitigation steps.
  • World Central Kitchen (WCK) committed to expand its Plow to Plate initiative from 2021 to 2023. Plow to Plate aims to support over 200 farms and food enterprises increase the net volume of produce grown, farm revenue generated, jobs created, and acres farmed, ultimately growing their participation in, and support of, the local food economy. Plow to Plate incorporates three strategies. The first pillar is a grant program that will offer approximately 213 grants valued at 3.19M to farmers and small enterprises to underwrite substantive investments in critical infrastructure. The second pillar offers the grantees access to agricultural and business skills workshops led by experts in disciplines such as agriculture, hydroponics, entrepreneurship, finance, and sales. Lastly, the third pillar connects grantees with tourists who wish to volunteer at farms. This expansion will provide grantees with access to training and consulting services ultimately fostering their participation in, and support of, the local food economy.
  • The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) committed to partner with Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands (LSSVI) to increase solar energy capacity and energy efficiency at the campus of the Queen Louise Home for Children on St. Croix, USVI. CFVI will help fund the installation of a 70kW solar PV system on the facility, which is expected to result in LSSVI’s essential operating costs and programming to generate monthly savings of $3,200. These savings will be reinvested in youth living at the home and families in the Early Head Start program.
  • The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), in partnership with Marriott International, Avendra/Aramark, and Walmart, committed to conducting a market and value chain assessment to determine the viability of a smallholder sourced agribusiness for selected target crops in Puerto Rico. This commitment will cover the first of CGEP’s three-phased agribusiness building process which includes the market and value chain analysis and the building of the business case for high-quality local sourcing in Puerto Rico.
  • Libraries Without Borders (LWB) committed to working with Hivecube and partners to bring the first hurricane-resistant, solar-powered, pop-up library (Ideas Box) and makerspace in the world to Loíza, Puerto Rico. LWB will involve residents in the design of the Ideas Box, and train eight community members to lead workshops, providing access to space, books, and digital tools. LWB anticipates offering two workshops per week, on topics such as blockchain technology, coding, and virtual reality, ultimately delivering 48 workshops and reaching 120 residents. By the end of the commitment, a trained community leader will be hired to manage programming for the community.
  • Deux Mains committed to addressing the lack of formal job opportunities for disadvantaged women in Haiti by scaling up the economic opportunities at its footwear manufacturing center in Haiti over the next two years. Specifically, Deux Mains will impact the lives of more than 150 vulnerable women and youth, who will earn an income through employment at Deux Mains or through the collecting and recycling of inner tubes and tires, the raw materials for deux mains’ footwear. In partnership with REBUILD globally, Deux Mains will train at least 100 disadvantaged people in the community with skills such as entrepreneurship, mid-level computer skills, and advanced sewing.
  • Habitat for Humanity Haiti (HFHH) committed to help formalize the land rights of families living informally on public land and improve public processes related to land ownership. HFHH will train 200 government and community leaders in processes for recognizing land rights and creating registries, have partners introduce new technological tools to improve land surveying practices, and conduct participatory land parcel mapping of three municipalities in partnership with government agencies. As a result of this commitment, more than 12,000 households in Haiti will formalize their land rights.
  • Hands Across the Sea committed to restore the libraries of two schools in Dominica’s northeast villages of Vieille Case and Woodford Hill. In addition to setting up the libraries and providing new books, Hands Across the Sea will train ten students to be librarians and reconvene a teacher-led library committee. This commitment will give 160 school children and youth and 15 teachers access to library resources, including 1,875 new books, ultimately promoting literacy and learning in the region.
  • My Brother’s Workshop (MBW) in partnership with Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands committed to expand their efforts in supporting youth by creating a marine vocational program in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). MBW will train at least 12 students per year and provide them with access to educational services to receive a high school diploma, mental health services, and career counseling and job placement. Students will learn skills in fiber glassing, structural repair, rigging, mechanical repair, electrical systems, plumbing, refrigeration, finish work, carpentry, and welding. After the program, MBW aims to place least eight students in jobs at local marinas and will monitor and support students’ progression.
  • International Medical Corps (IMC) committed to train health care partners in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) to provide mental health care to older adults. IMC will train 255 staff at partner organizations to provide mental health care to older adults. In addition, they will work with health care partners to offer mental health promotion activities to community members, focused on topics such as stress and positive coping mechanisms. Through this commitment, 15 community health centers across 15 different communities will increase their capacity to provide psychosocial support for this population.
  • Good360, All Hands and Hearts, and the Good360 Disaster Recovery Council (GDRC), which includes UPS Foundation, United Airlines, Restoration Hardware, CVS Health, Ecolab, Dollar Days, and Wrangler, among others committed to educate 100 leaders from top Fortune 500 companies on adopting a proactive, needs-based, resilient, and transparent long-term approach to disaster giving. Good360 and the GDRC will develop a curriculum on optimizing disaster giving and deliver it to 100 corporate leaders through advisory sessions with each company and two city-wide forums. With Good360 and the GDRC’s support, companies will pledge to utilize a more effective approach to maximize impact, building stronger communities that can better withstand future disasters.
  • World Hope International (WHI) committed to prepare five Fresh Water Production Teams (FWPTs), for deployment to the Caribbean region to provide clean water in the event of a natural disaster. WHI will assemble and train 80 individuals in five FWPTs to deploy within 24 hours of when a disaster strikes, setting up and managing water filtration and distribution systems of up to 1,362 liters of fresh water per day. Five teams will be equipped to be deployed simultaneously, with remaining teams providing relief and ensure access to clean water for more than 900 individuals.
  • Solar Electric Fund (SELF) committed to expand upon their current solar PV training program by developing advanced and short-course curricula. SELF and Haiti Tec will develop and promote advanced and short-course solar PV curricula. First, the partners will create a second-year professional PV training degree program at Haiti Tec for 25 students, with a hands-on learning lab that has a functional solar PV installation that provides energy to the facility.
  • Inclusiv committed to expand and transform the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) sector in Puerto Rico by supporting local financial cooperatives with the submission of at least ten CDFI certification applications and ten applications for Technical Assistance and/or Financial Assistance grants by the end of the year. Inclusiv will provide CDFI expertise to 50 financial cooperatives and will engage funders to establish a loan-loss reserve fund, enabling financial cooperatives to scale lending in high impact areas, including small business, resiliency financing, and affordable housing.
  • The Puerto Rico Disability Community Relief Network (PRDCRN) committed to train organizations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to better meet the needs of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in disaster preparedness and response. PRDCRN members, including La Defensoría de las Personas con Impedimentos, Movimiento para el Alcance de Vida Independiente, Puerto Rico Council in Developmental Disability, Puerto Rico Assistive Technology Program, and the University Center for Education on Development Deficiencies, have developed an extensive capacity building program to ensure the integration of PWD into emergency preparedness. They will extend this training to 8,000 individuals over the next four years, holding 200 workshops per year.
  • Saint Croix Foundation (SCF) in partnership with Sustainable Systems and Design International (SSDI), Lions Den Solar, and the VI Workforce Investment Board committed to install solar-PV systems at four community centers and implement a youth workforce skills program to assist with the installation. SCF will provide instruction and on-the-job training to at least 40 students on fiber optics installation, core construction, and solar installation. At the end of the program, students will earn a certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research.
  • Putnam Bridge Funding (PBF) committed investing a portion of the energy cost savings generated from its transition of the Marina Puerto Del Rey to solar power into the Padre Rufo School, a leading public school in San Juan that serves 269 students. Through this initiative, PBF commits to re-investing $100,000 of energy savings annually, for three years, into the Padre Rufo School.
  • Footprint Project committed to design and fund a containerized emergency command center for the Vieques Emergency Management Office, to be powered by solar and storage and located at the primary community emergency shelter for the island. The new emergency command center will feature resilient 20kW solar array and a 20 kWh battery bank to power essential loads including radio dispatch, communications, refrigeration, and lighting.
  • IsraAID committed to provide secure, clean drinking water to the community of El Real in Patillas, Puerto Rico through the construction of a slow-sand, gravity-based filtration system. Constructed in partnership with the Inter American University of Puerto Rico (IAUPR) and the El Real Water Committee, the new filtration system will provide more than 1,000 community members with clean water.
  • Tourism Cares committed to facilitate partnerships between tourism companies and micro, small, and social enterprises in Puerto Rico, to better integrate local products into corporate supply chains and inspire investment. Tourism Cares will bring together more than 100 tourism executives and more than 50 leaders of micro, small, and social enterprises in Puerto Rico to train on capacity building, sustainability, and hospitality preparedness, and develop projects that support local enterprises and conduct follow up on their progress.
  • Sun Buckets in partnership with Acceso Peanut Company committed to research the causes and extent of post-harvest peanut loss in Haiti and design, build, and field test a prototype crop dryer utilizing solar thermal storage, a product that can also be used for household cooking. Sun Buckets will create a prototype storage container that collects, stores, and recovers solar thermal energy to not only heat air and product, but also move air as needed for a dryer.
  • Solar Libre committed to create a six-month solar workforce apprenticeship program for 20 women, giving them the academic and technical skills to engage in the solar workforce in Puerto Rico. Solar Libre will deliver a two-part curriculum involving classroom training leading to NABCEP certification as well as hands-on training through installation brigades. These brigades aim to install solar systems on 100 community facilities by the end of 2019, bolstering the resilience of communities across the island.
  • Expedia Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Tom Secunda, Construction for Change, Sextant Foundation, and the Clinton Climate Initiative committed to install solar systems at two schools in St. John, and a community center in St. Thomas. Newly-installed solar systems will provide reliable, sustainable sources of clean energy while reducing costs that will be reallocated to facility operations. In the event of a natural disaster, battery installations will help keep the facilities open with power for lights, refrigeration, phones, and other communication tools.
  • The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their partners committed to expand their Spayathon program in Puerto Rico. The Spayathon program provides animals with free high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations to address pet overpopulation and support the local veterinary workforce by providing training and equipment. Through this commitment, HSUS will expand their program to reach new, underserved communities, increase the capacity and accessibility of services, provide additional training and equipment to local veterinarians, and distribute human relief supplies at Spayathon sites.
  • Hispanic Federation committed to fund the development, implementation, and evaluation of a two-year interdisciplinary mental health pilot program in Puerto Rico. In partnership with the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, 100 graduate students in interdisciplinary teams will train to become experts in disaster mental health through a new curriculum and service model, while offering direct services to impacted communities across 12 geographically diverse municipalities. This program will not only serve to build disaster mental health expertise in Puerto Rico, but will also mitigate against the dearth of mental health services currently available outside the San Juan metropolitan area.
  • IBM in partnership with Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) committed to engage university students to develop solutions for disaster response and resilience challenges around the world. In partnership with ten universities across the United States, IBM will host both in-person and virtual codeathons specifically addressing technology needs around natural disaster preparedness and response. IBM aims to engage more than 5,000 students globally by the end of 2019. Students will harness modern, emerging, and open source technologies and IBM technical experts will engage students to bring their ideas to life and support submissions for coding challenges.
  • IsraAID Dominica (IsraAID) and partners committed to work with partners to support 25 young entrepreneurs in Dominica in developing, operating, and sustaining local business enterprises. The program will equip entrepreneurs with the skills needed to develop climate resilient viable businesses. IsraAID will provide participants with mentoring opportunities, and 12 workshops along with $20,000 in seed funding from the Beverly Foundation to support four groups of students with their businesses. IsraAID aims to enable these entrepreneurs to generate income and enhance the local job market, whilst effecting social change in their communities.
  • The University of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Green Technology Center (CGTC) committed to build two Zero-Energy Houses as learning labs for new academic and workforce training offerings in renewable energy. CGTC is developing new coursework and a new Associates Degree program in Renewable Energy. Additionally, CGTC will collaborate with experts to design and build two Zero-Energy Houses, equipped with solar, batteries, and other renewable infrastructure.
  • Hispanic Federation (HF) committed to fund and launch a comprehensive housing and community development initiative in Puerto Rico. In partnership with Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico and Fundación Fondo de Acceso a la Justicia, HF will invest over $3 million in a three-part, integrated strategy, focused on home repairs, advocacy, and community lawyering. Ten local nonprofits will receive funding for home repairs for a minimum of 150 families. Further, the program will initiate and support a civil society collective of 20 nonprofits who will identify and advocate for solutions to the most pressing housing and community issues. Finally, the program will match all 20 nonprofits to legal support to defend community interests and support housing priorities.
  • VOCES committed to launch an in-home therapy pilot program to build the psychological resilience of children, youth, and their families in Santurce, Puerto Rico. VOCES will train mental health counselors to provide in-home therapy to at-risk children/youth and their families, empowering them to understand and manage emotions and their families to cope with daily stressors and conflicts and build resilience in order to manage a future disaster or life change. At the same time, this work will allow these counselors to fulfill the work hours needed to obtain their licenses in Puerto Rico, eliminating the need for them to leave the island for professional opportunities.
  • Anguilla United Relief Fund (AURF) committed to create the West End Anguillan Made Arts & Craft Center, a studio and showcase space for local artists in Anguilla, to support art making and artisan entrepreneurial activity on the island. The space will accommodate up to five artists at a time to display their work. The building will be located in proximity to major hotels and will serve to support culture and, in turn, bolster tourism.

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