With the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria's landfall in Puerto Rico approaching, the Clinton Foundation has announced new commitments to address ongoing recovery efforts in the region, prepare for this year's hurricane season, and address long-term recovery needs.
Announced during the second meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery at the University of Miami, the commitments will address critical needs in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, and Barbuda. They include a pledge made by NetHope to strengthen the communications and technology infrastructure in the region and, working with Cisco, Facebook, Microsoft, and others, to pre-position equipment, deploy staff, provide training, and create data-sharing platforms that will support real-time decision making by responders. Other organizations making commitments include the Foundation for Puerto Rico, which will expand its Bottom Up Destination Recovery Program with the goal of increasing resiliency and economic opportunity in an additional twenty-four communities on the island; Expedia Group, Construction for Change, and Sextant Foundation, which will install solar systems at six schools in Dominica; and Direct Relief, which will expand its Hurricane Preparedness Programs and distribute modules and packs containing basic medical supplies to hurricane-prone areas in the U.S. and Caribbean.
In addition, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance committed to work with Visit Rico and the Textile Exchange to study the feasibility of reintroducing cotton as a crop to Puerto Rico and make recommendations based on those findings; Solight Design and the Hispanic Federation pledged to donate and distribute fifty thousand SolarPuffs — durable collapsible solar lanterns — to communities on the island without reliable access to the power grid; and SteadiCam Associates and Trieste Associates, Inc. committed to producing a documentary series focused on critical innovations in agriculture, energy, and infrastructure as a way to promote recovery and long-term resilience on the island and in the region.
"I'm so grateful for all the members of the CGI community who are working not only to address the current challenges, but to support each other's efforts to improve lives across the Caribbean region," said former president Bill Clinton. "We must remember that there's another hurricane season already upon us. We need to continue our efforts, working together to repair the past in a way that makes the future more resilient."
For more information on the commitments, see the Clinton Foundation website.