President Clinton Launches CGI Action Network on Post Disaster Recovery

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Skerrit and Clinton
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton with Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, who is promoting rebuilding areas devastated by last year's hurricanes with resilient systems. Photo: Evan Garcia/UM News

Action Network will continue meeting quarterly with leaders from government, business, and civil society to continue work; Commitments to Action announced today include solarization of health clinics in Puerto Rico; mental health worker training; and resiliency investment funding in Dominica

MIAMI, FL (April 3, 2018) – Today, President Clinton formally launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery at the University of Miami, bringing together more than 350 leaders from government, business, and civil society to discuss and develop solutions that address immediate and long-term hurricane recovery needs facing the region.

Participants announced eight Commitments to Action – solutions that are new, specific, and measurable – focusing on a wide range of issues, including training for 5,000 mental health workers in Puerto Rico; deploying nurses to the U.S. Virgin Islands to conduct vision, hearing, and dental screenings for 9,000 schoolchildren; a comprehensive reforestation and habitat program that will plant 750,000 trees; a new agency in Dominica providing funding for resiliency projects; and solarizing 12 primary health clinics in Puerto Rico.

“In the wake of the terrible hurricanes, the people of these islands have shown a remarkable resilience and a resolve to do long-term work and build back better,” said President Clinton.

“When I went to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica, I was struck by both the determination and the positive attitude of the people there. We are here to do what we can to help these people build communities that are stronger, safer, more prosperous, and more resilient.”

“If we do not address the fundamental issues contributing to climate change, we’re going to see a greater intensity of disasters like Hurricane Maria and Irma,” said Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica. “If the world continues to fail to address climate change, we must not only build back better, but we must improve the national resiliency of our islands. This meeting of the Clinton Foundation is helping to ensure that our efforts to become the first climate resilient nation in the world are system-wide, integrated and coordinated.”

“Although these back-to-back storms were a great tragedy, there is now a tremendous opportunity to improve the future of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Tom Secunda, founding partner of Bloomberg L.P. “By bringing together such a wide range of people who share the common goal of finding innovative ways to help, The Clinton Foundation is helping us ensure we build back smarter, stronger and a more sustainable communities.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation is focused on bringing together public and private partners to help Puerto Rico recover and to support those who are working to build things back better than before,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Together, we can reimagine a Puerto Rico that is more equitable, resilient to shocks and disasters, and provides opportunity for all of its residents in good times and bad.”

At the meeting, President Clinton and leaders from business, government, and civil society announced eight Commitments to Action that address a wide range of recovery and resiliency issues facing the region.

Commitments To Action Announced Today

  • The Government of Dominica has committed to launch a climate resiliency agency (CREAD), dedicating $600 million in funding to implement resiliency projects, with the goal of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world.
  • The American Federation of Teachers has partnered with Airlink and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to bring nurses to conduct vision, hearing, and dental screenings for all 9,000 schoolchildren on the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Afya Foundation has committed to addressing the urgent medical needs of the elder population in Puerto Rico, by shipping immediate medical supplies and equipment to Acción Social’s 22 Elder Care centers, while providing training and capacity building to Acción Social staff.
  • Para la Naturaleza (PLN) has committed to launch Habitat, a comprehensive reforestation and habitat restoration program in Puerto Rico that aims to plant 750,000 native and endemic trees that are more resilient to natural phenomena such as hurricanes, and provide assessment and maintenance of newly planted areas.
  • Americares has committed to address mental health challenges in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria by providing training for 5,000 health workers, emergency responders, and social service providers across the island.
  • International Medical Corps has committed to support primary healthcare for school-aged children in Puerto Rico by procuring an additional Mobile Medical unit for Med Centro, allowing them to reach an additional five elementary and middle schools with comprehensive preventive health screenings, and providing training and capacity building to all Med Centro staff.
  • Digicel has committed to repair or rebuild seven schools and 360 homes in Dominica that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria, while also training 100 community members in building techniques and provide community workshops on risk mitigation and disaster preparedness.
  • Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, The Solar Foundation, and New Energy PR have committed to install solar or solar + storage systems at 12 primary care clinics in Puerto Rico, meeting critical energy needs at each site.

Full commitment summaries are below.

President Clinton also announced a Commitment to Action in development, issuing a challenge to members of the Action Network to pre-position relief supplies for the upcoming hurricane season. With estimates that every $1 spent on preparedness saves $4 in response and recovery spending, pre-positioning relief supplies, and establishing logistics and distribution channels, can help resources be deployed more efficiently in the event of a disaster. CGI is bringing together Action Network members who can lend their resources, materials, expertise, and support to a broad effort that already includes engagement from Operation Blessing, Airlink, Federal Surplus Company, Solight, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Americares, and World Central Kitchen.

 

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