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President Clinton Visits CGI Commitment Sites in Haiti

March 09, 2009

New York, NY - President Bill Clinton travelled to Haiti with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a delegation of business and philanthropic leaders to help focus attention on the country's continuing efforts to "build back better" from storm damage in 2008 and create a more stable and prosperous future for the people of Haiti.

"So often the people and places ravaged by natural disasters are forgotten only months after they are hit by storms that destroy entire communities and livelihoods," President Clinton said. "I am hopeful that my trip to Haiti with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will help remind the world that there is a lot that we each can do, working with the people of Haiti, to help expand education, health, and job opportunities in Haiti, even during these hard economic times."

President Clinton and Secretary-General Ban met with Haitian President René Préval and Prime Minister Michéle Pierre-Louis to identify better ways to address the country's economic development, clean energy, food security, business development, reforestation, and health care.

During their trip to Haiti, President Clinton and Secretary-General Ban toured the sites of two commitments formed as a result of President Clinton's Call to Action on Haiti at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2008. Global leaders, business executives, and philanthropists made more than 20 commitments that directly concentrate on strengthening long-term recovery efforts and are valued at more than $130 million.

At the facilities of the Haitian Education and Learning Program (HELP), President Clinton and Secretary-General Ban participated in a discussion with students learning to actively participate in the new global economy as well as the country's financial and social development. HELP provides merit-based university scholarships for Haiti's top high school graduates from severely disadvantaged backgrounds to grow the nation's professional class and break the cycle of poverty .Through CGI, a project of the Clinton Foundation, HELP has committed to doubling the number of scholarships from 100 to 200 in Haiti over the next three years. Its leaders also committed to establish the HELP Student Center in a historic building -- which will undergo the first energy-efficient building retrofit in Haiti -- as well as research the regional expansion of the successful HELP model.

The delegation also visited a dining area and classroom of a school in Port-au-Prince, where kids get a warm meal and a light snack thanks to a commitment set up at CGI by Wyclef Jean and his Yéle Haiti Foundation in partnership with the World Food Programme, a United Nations organization, as well as the Bureau de Nutrition et Développement and Filles de la Charite de St. Vincent de Paul, which provide food aid in Haiti. In response to the devastation wrought by a food crisis in April and the recent storms that ravaged the country, 12 new catering kitchens are opening to deliver 14,000 more hot meals to schoolchildren in the area each day and expand food aid distribution from 800 to 20,000 families a month in Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, and Cabaret.

About the William J. Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation is a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 organization, founded by President Bill Clinton with the mission of strengthening the capacity of people throughout the world to address pressing global challenges. Working in collaboration with governments and other partners, the Foundation applies a unique problem-solving method to each of its seven initiatives, which combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, fight climate change, and develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America. In the U.S., the Foundation works to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity and helps to expand economic opportunity by increasing access to low-cost financial services and empowering entrepreneurs. Members of the Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative have made more than 1,300 commitments valued at $46 billion, which have already impacted more than 200 million lives in 150 countries. Learn more at www.clintonfoundation.org.

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 as a project of the non-partisan William J. Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 100 current and former heads of state, 14 Nobel Peace Prize winners, hundreds of leading global CEOs, heads of foundations and major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 1,300 commitments valued at $46 billion, which have already impacted more than 200 million lives in 150 countries. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which inspires college students and university officials to take action to solve problems on their campuses, in communities, and around the world. Learn more at www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

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