The Clinton Global Initiative has announced that nearly three hundred "commitments to action" totaling more than $6 billion were made during its sixth annual meeting in New York City.
The value of the commitments was $3 billion less than last year's total, although CGI noted that in previous years one or two big commitments represented a disproportionate share of the whole, Reuters reports. All told, the meeting drew more than 1,300 heads of state, business leaders, humanitarians, and celebrities, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, President Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama, who joined former President Bill Clinton at the meeting's closing plenary session.
On the third day of the meeting, Clinton hosted a special session on recovery in Haiti where key government and business leaders discussed how the international community can help the country rebuild in the wake of January's devastating earthquake. According to Clinton, who co-chairs the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, CGI members have committed $224 million to help Haiti "build back better" in addition to the more than $140 million they had committed to the impoverished country before the quake.
Commitments announced on the third day of the meeting included a pledge by Girls Inc. to launch an intensive science, technology, engineering, and math-based academic program with college counseling for more than 2,000 underserved girls; a pledge by Mercy Corps and its partners to provide mobile money services for 100,000 people in Haiti; $2 million from Kim Samuel-Johnson to support the work of Energy Pioneer Solutions, which works to deliver energy savings to communities in rural America; $2.7 million from TrustAfrica to support cutting-edge research focused on improving Africa's investment climate and providing opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to thrive; and a pledge by Duke Energy and Cisco Systems to pilot a program that aims to reduce the energy use of sixty commercial buildings in Charlotte, North Carolina, by 20 percent over five years.
"I'm proud of the nearly three hundred new commitments, valued at $6 billion, that we've announced during the annual meeting," said Clinton. "In total, more than nineteen hundred commitments have been made, worth $63 billion, and they have improved the lives of nearly three hundred million people. CGI's continued success is to the credit of our members, who come back with better ideas, more ambitious commitments, and greater innovation year after year, who turn ideas into action and meaningful results. They are changing the way sectors work together and how we solve problems worldwide."