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Bill and Hillary Clinton visited La Fortaleza last year.  (Carlos Rivera Giusti/EL VOCERO)

From February 18-19, 2020, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will convene members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the fifth meeting since 2018.

The Action Network brings together leaders from business, government, and civil society to make commitments to accelerate recovery from natural disasters and promote resiliency in the region.

February’s meeting includes special sessions on recovery in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian; supporting marginalized communities on the front lines of the fight against climate change; and investing in high-tech, high skilled jobs in the Caribbean.

On February 17, President Clinton will also visit a select number of sites across Puerto Rico to see the impact of these commitments and encourage continued engagement.

Over the past six months, the region has been challenged to respond to natural disasters including this month’s earthquakes in Puerto Rico and the destruction left by Hurricane Dorian last September.

In this context, the work of the Action Network continues to highlight the importance of collective action for shared success. After the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in 2019, CGI members have collaborated to take action that will be announced and discussed at this meeting, and have shared lessons and knowledge learned following Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Action Network members began an immediate response following the earthquake in Puerto Rico, and affected communities have been better prepared to handle the stress of a natural disaster thanks to increased capacity in health and energy sectors and strong coordination among emergency relief organizations.

New Commitments to Action - new, specific, and measurable plans that address global challenges – will be announced, adding to more than 86 commitments made to date. These include commitments that have rebuilt homes in the U.S. Virgin Islands; installed resilient, solar energy at health clinics in Puerto Rico; driven forward climate resilience in Dominica; bolstered food security across the region; and highlighted the need to address mental health in the wake of a disaster.

A full list of commitments can be found here: https://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative/commitments.

Participants at this convening will have the unique opportunity to discuss current response and recovery efforts while also looking toward the future of the region and the importance of building resilient systems and communities. This includes better ways to invest in digital economies, strengthening equality, enhancing community-driven food systems, preventing violence in post-disaster recovery, and leading the fight against climate change.

The Action Network, along with Clinton Global Initiative University, follows the success of CGI and its Commitment to Action model. Over the years, CGI and its partners have brought together leaders from across sectors to develop Commitments to Action that when fully funded and implemented will improve the lives of more than 430 million people in 180 countries worldwide.

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