February 19, 2020
Feb 19

President Clinton, Secretary Clinton Launch Dozens of New Disaster Recovery Projects at CGI Action Network Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 19, 2020
Contact: [email protected]


President Clinton, Secretary Clinton Launch Dozens of New Disaster Recovery Projects at CGI Action Network Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico


At the fifth Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network meeting in San Juan, President Clinton and Secretary Clinton announced 28 Commitments to Action designed to promote response, recovery, and resilience in the region


San Juan, Puerto Rico – This week, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton convened over 500 leaders from across the Caribbean from government, business, and civil society at the fifth 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, and solar energy.


In the last two years, the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery has launched 114 commitments to action made by members of the CGI Action Network. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will have an estimated $386 million in impact, including:

  • 27 million trees planted to support environmental sustainability and resilience;
  • Over 250,000 training opportunities across topic areas including disaster preparedness, environmental sustainability, agriculture, community health, and women’s empowerment;
  • $100 million invested into supporting business growth in Puerto Rico;
  • $75 million invested into green construction and building;
  • $5.9 million distributed to entrepreneurs and SMEs in the region;
  • 10,000 well-child exams administered to children to support their socio-emotional and physical recovery from disaster trauma
  • 840 housing units constructed, repaired, or preserved
  • 248 community facilities built or renovated, with most involving solar PV installations


This meeting follows two days of visits by President Clinton and Secretary Clinton to advance recovery projects across Puerto Rico. On Monday and Tuesday before convening the meeting, President Clinton and Secretary Clinton visited several CGI Action Network projects that are promoting economic recovery, improving response to natural disasters, and providing mental health care. President Clinton and Secretary Clinton were able to see the positive impact of these commitments, and encourage continued engagement.


“When we started the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network, we wanted to be helpful and flexible so that we could both address immediate needs and also advance long-term recovery and resilience for inevitable future disasters,” said President Clinton. “I’m grateful for the work members of this Action Network have done to respond, particularly the heroic work that the grassroots community leaders and networks have done to put the lessons learned from Maria to work for their neighbors.”


“The last six months have provided more evidence of the urgency of the challenges being faced in the Caribbean. The series of earthquakes in Puerto Rico and elsewhere have reinforced the need for recovery plans that focus on long-term resilience and sustainability,” said Secretary Clinton. “The reality is that hurricanes and other disasters caused or exacerbated by climate change are only going to grow in frequency and severity, and we have to be prepared for the impact that will continue to make on communities.”


Featured participants at this week’s meeting included President Bill Clinton, founder and board chair, Clinton Foundation; former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (U.S. Virgin Islands); Chief Lorenzo Sanford, Kalinago; Varelie Croes, Chief Innovation Officer, Government of Aruba; José Andrés, Founder and Chef, World Central Kitchen; Omar Ishrak, Chairman and CEO, Medtronic; Frankie Miranda, President, Hispanic Federation; Luis Alberto Moreno, President, InterAmerican Development Bank; Eric Smith, President & CEO, Americas, Swiss Re; Ignacio Álvarez, President & CEO, Popular; Pepukaye Bardouille, CEO, Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD); Damian Blackburn, Chief Aliv Officer, Aliv; Lucy Crespo, CEO, Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust; Magalie Dresse, CEO & Founder, Caribbean Craft; Luis Alberto Ferré Rangel, Chief Social Innovation Officer, Grupo Ferré Rangel; Hugh Locke, Co-founder & President, Smallholder Farmers Alliance; Annie Mayol, President & COO, Foundation for Puerto Rico; Nancy Negrón, Vice President, Hispanics in Philanthropy; Christine Nieves, Co-Founder and President, Emerge Puerto Rico; Betzaida Ramos, Executive Director, Movimiento Para el Alcance de Vida Independiente (MAVI); Denise Santos, President, Banco de Alimentos Puerto Rico; Katherine Smith, Managing Director, Bahama Disaster Reconstruction Authority; Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Global Health Innovation; 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 work of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative would not be possible without the support of our year-round partners, The Arthur M. Blank Foundation, InterEnergy, LesLois Shaw Foundation, Swiss Re, and Tarsadia Foundation, as well as our meeting sponsors, Banco Popular, Caliber Home Loans, FirstBank, and the Island Spirit Fund.


At the meeting, President Clinton and Secretary Clinton announced new Commitments to Action – solutions that are new, specific, and measurable. A summary of the 28 commitments announced at this week’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].


  • Friends of Puerto Rico committed to broaden entrepreneurship opportunities for women and girls through expanding their innovative agricultural-focused entrepreneurship program to reach 500 girls and 500 women across nine municipalities in Puerto Rico.
  • Comic Relief USA, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Puerto Rico, committed $1 million to support the launch of the Vimenti Project, a comprehensive program to address generational poverty.
  • Reach Within committed to establish a regional Caribbean Center of Excellence in Child Development in Grenada to improve childhood outcomes through caregiver capacity building.
  • The Flamboyan Arts Fund and CERF+ committed to supporting the arts and culture economy of Puerto Rico in the wake of natural disasters. CERF+ will expand two existing programs in Puerto Rico focused on disaster relief and preparedness to provide financial assistance to 48 artists and artisans throughout the island.
  • The LesLois Shaw Foundation, alongside the Hospital for Sick Children, the Barbados Ministry of Health, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the University of the West Indies committed to establish the Shaw Paediatric Centre for Excellence in Barbados.
  • Fondation Enfant Jesus committed to establishing a children's medical unit focused on the treatment of HIV and malnutrition.
  • World Central Kitchen committed to lead the development of a 21 Day Plan for disaster response in the Caribbean, which will provide a critical framework to be utilized by nonprofit organizations, private sector companies, and government bodies throughout the region to improve coordination and response efforts in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters.
  • The LASCO Chin Foundation and their partners committed to addressing youth gang violence by piloting a series of school-based Gang Alternative Programs at one high school in Jamaica from September 2020 to August 2022.
  • International Medical Corps committed to build the capacity of health and social workers on Grand Bahama Island to provide mental health and psychosocial support to communities impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
  • Community Organized Relief Effort committed to support the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island in their immediate relief and rebuilding efforts by repairing 300 homes, completing full muck outs and debris removal for 35 sites (totaling 21,000 cubic meters of debris), and providing 20 solar streetlights to neighborhoods that lack electricity.
  • AZ Engineering, Solar Energy International, North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and Solar One along with local partners committed to engage the larger Puerto Rican solar energy industry in improving the career pathways for individuals working in the sector in Puerto Rico, to increase safety for installers, safeguard quality of projects, and to create more accessibility for people entering the industry.
  • Americares committed to increase access to health services for Hurricane Dorian survivors in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas in partnership with the Bahamas Ministry of Health.
  • The Community Development Venture Capital Alliance committed to investing $100 million to contribute to a thriving business finance ecosystem and grow the economy in Puerto Rico.
  • MPC Capital AG committed to engage U.S.-based impact investors, institutional investors, and foundations to raise and invest $90,000,000 USD in 10-15 renewable energy projects in the Caribbean over the next two years.
  • The Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance and partners committed to leverage a multi-stakeholder network to coordinate and execute the planting and maintenance of one million trees across the Caribbean region.
  • The 5 Minute Beach Cleanup Foundation in partnership with Eco Schools Puerto Rico committed to educate 1,380 elementary students from 23 schools in Puerto Rico through the Ocean Heroes program, an educational program that addresses (1) the importance of the oceans, and why humans depend on them; (2) plastic pollution in the oceans; and (3) how students can become agents of change to impact their community.
  • Invest Puerto Rico (IPR) and partners committed to supporting a robust pipeline of local creative talent by providing growth opportunities for creative entrepreneurs and elevating Puerto Rico to the world stage of arts and culture.
  • Comic Relief USA through the Red Nose Day Fund, and in partnership with the Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico, committed $1 million to a donor advised fund to address child poverty in Puerto Rico. Children and adolescents are disproportionately impacted by natural disasters; in Puerto Rico, where the child poverty rate exceeds 50%, this is especially the case.
  • Smallholder Farmers Alliance and The Timberland Company committed to plant 25 million trees in Haiti over the next five years while expanding their social enterprise model to support an additional 12,000 smallholder farmers.
  • REMA, Inc. committed to piloting Sociants.com, a digital mapping platform, to carry out a community needs assessment of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.
  • Ridge to Reefs committed to supporting smallholder food producers in Puerto Rico through locally producing and distributing 20 tons of organic fertilizers to 30 farmers, developing and implementing effective pest control methods for Coffee Borer Beetle on three coffee farms, and providing access to a solar refrigeration unit to three agricultural cooperatives.
  • Solight Design and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce committed to holding a Solar STEAM training seminar for 200 students and 15 teachers at the Arthur Waldron Academy in Dominica to introduce the principles of environmental sustainability, renewable energy, technological innovation, and solar technology.
  • The Clinton Climate Initiative, Rocky Mountain Institute, FCX Solar, and CJQ Engineering committed to write and publish a technical report to identify the root causes and types of rooftop solar PV failure, and create actionable best practices for members of the solar sector to harden their systems.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council and Resilient Power Puerto Rico committed to deliver a resilient solar and storage microgrid system at the Fortín Conde de Mirasol, home of Radio Vieques.
  • The Center for Mind Body Medicine committed to scale their proven trauma recovery model to address the mental health impacts of the 2020 Puerto Rico earthquakes.
  • Becton, Dickinson and Company committed to supporting the rehabilitation of the Trinidad Life Community community center in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, in partnership with Heart to Heart International. Yabucoa was badly hit by Hurricane Maria, an experience which highlighted the need for more services in the community.
  • Island Green Living committed to launching a six-month pilot program that will process vegetative waste on St. John into a valuable woodchip and compost product available for community use.
  • Bosque Modelo, in partnership with ACONER, Oxfam America, and Solar Energy International, will strengthen the role of women in solar energy in Puerto Rico by training 25 women in the rural Bosque Modelo region to become solar installers.


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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, that belief has 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. Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation, and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.