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Friday, December 7, 2012

President Obama's Remarks After His Call with Haitian President Préval

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Haitian President René Préval in the Oval Office January 15, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I wanted to just make a brief statement on the latest situation in Haiti so that the American people are fully up to date on our efforts there.
This morning I spoke with President Préval of Haiti, who has been in regular contact with our ambassador on the ground.  I expressed to President Préval my deepest condolences for the people of Haiti and our strong support for the relief efforts that are underway.
Like so many Haitians, President Préval himself has lost his home, and his government is working under extraordinarily difficult conditions.  Many communications are down and remain -- and many people remain unaccounted for.  The scale of the devastation is extraordinary, as I think all of us are seeing on television, and the losses are heartbreaking.
I pledged America's continued commitment to the government and the people of Haiti -- in the immediate effort to save lives and deliver relief, and in the long-term effort to rebuild.  President Préval and I agreed that it is absolutely essential that these efforts are well coordinated among the United States and the government of Haiti; with the United Nations, which continues to play a central role; and with the many international partners and aid organizations that are now on the ground.
Meanwhile, American resources continue to arrive in Haiti.  Search and rescue efforts continue to work, pulling people out of the rubble.  Our team has saved both the lives of American citizens and Haitian citizens, often under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
This morning, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived, along with helicopters that will be critical in delivering assistance in the days to come.  They are preparing to move badly needed water, food, and other life-saving supplies to priority areas in Port-au-Prince.  Food, water, and medicine continues to arrive, along with doctors and aid workers.
At the airport, help continues to flow in, not just from the United States but from Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, among others.  This underscores the point that I made to the President this morning:  The entire world stands with the government and the people of Haiti, for in Haiti's devastation, we all see the common humanity that we share.
And as the international community continues to respond, I do believe that America has a continued responsibility to act.  Our nation has a unique capacity to reach out quickly and broadly and to deliver assistance that can save lives.
That responsibility obviously is magnified when the devastation that's been suffered is so near to us.  Haitians are our neighbors in the Americas, and for Americans they are family and friends.  It's characteristic of the American people to help others in time of such severe need.  That's the spirit that we will need to sustain this effort as it goes forward.  There are going to be many difficult days ahead.
So, so many people are in need of assistance.  The port continues to be closed, and the roads are damaged.  Food is scarce and so is water.  It will take time to establish distribution points so that we can ensure that resources are delivered safely and effectively and in an orderly fashion.
But I want the people of Haiti to know that we will do what it takes to save lives and to help them get back on their feet.  In this effort I want to thank our people on the ground -- our men and women in uniform, who have moved so swiftly; our civilians and embassy staff, many of whom suffered their own losses in this tragedy; and those members of search and rescue teams from Florida and California and Virginia who have left their homes and their families behind to help others.  To all of them I want you to know that you demonstrate the courage and decency of the American people, and we are extraordinarily proud of you.
I also want to thank the American people more broadly.  In these tough times, you've shown extraordinary compassion, already donating millions of dollars.  I encourage all of you who want to help to do so through where you can learn about how to contribute.
And tomorrow I will be meeting with President Clinton and President George W. Bush here at the White House to discuss how to enlist and help the American people in this recovery and rebuilding effort going forward.
I would note that as I ended my call with President Préval, he said that he has been extremely touched by the friendship and the generosity of the American people.  It was an emotional moment.  And this President, seeing the devastation around him, passed this message to the American people.  He said, "From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the people of Haiti, thank you, thank you, thank you."
As I told the President, we realize that he needs more help and his country needs more help -- much more.  And in this difficult hour, we will continue to provide it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Call with President Preval of Haiti

A description of the call between President Obama and President Preval of Haiti that was just released:

President Obama spoke for roughly thirty minutes with President Preval of Haiti this morning. President Obama said that the world has been devastated by the loss and suffering in Haiti, and pledged the full support of the American people for the government and people of Haiti as it relates to both the immediate recovery effort, and the long-term rebuilding effort. President Preval said that he has been touched by the friendship of the American people, and expressed his condolences for the loss of American citizens in Haiti. He said that the needs are great, that relief is now flowing in to the people of Haiti, and noted the support that has come from both America and many other countries from the region and around the world. The two Presidents underscored the need to closely coordinate assistance efforts among the various parties, including the Haitian government, the United Nations, the United States and the many international partners and aid organizations on the ground. President Obama underscored his commitment to supporting the government and people of Haiti through his team on the ground. President Preval closed by passing a message to the American people, "from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Haitian people, thank you, thank you, thank you."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wall Street Journal: Cafes Brew and Praise Haitian Coffee

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund supports the COOPCAB Haitian coffee cooperative through its loan to Root Capital, a nonprofit fund that lends to small and growing businesses in Haiti. COOPCAB manager Robinson Nelson is helping bring Haiti's premium Blue Forest coffee to cafes and restaurants in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Grant to Strengthen Haitian Healthcare Sector

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Announces $1.8M to Strengthen Healthcare Sector

Grant will help to decentralize, upgrade, and standardize Haiti's medical education
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced a $1.8 million grant to the Boston-based nonprofit Partners In Health to support its Haitian sister organization Zanmi Lasante in a program that will make long-term, sustainable improvements in the scope and quality of Haiti’s healthcare and medical education sectors. The grant will be used to launch a residency program for family practice physicians and a certification program for auxiliary nurses at the public hospital in St. Marc supported by Partners In Health and Zanmi Lasante.

 “The earthquake and cholera outbreak have only heightened the healthcare sector’s challenges,” Clinton Bush Haiti Fund CEO Gary Edson explains. “The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s three-year grant for Zanmi Lasante’s work is an investment in Haiti’s human capital. It will provide training for critically needed family practice physicians and auxiliary nurses at l’Hôpital Saint Nicolas, the chronically understaffed public hospital serving 220,000 St. Marc residents and, ultimately, the 1.5 million people of the surrounding Artibonite region.”

Additionally, Zanmi Lasante will leave a lasting legacy for the nation’s public health system by upgrading and standardizing auxiliary nurse education, creating a first-ever certification program to be replicated by other medical training centers throughout Haiti.

Amplifying the impact of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s grant, Partners In Health will match the funds more than one to one, and will work closely with the National Faculty of Medicine and Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population.

Today’s announcement is an example of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s support for projects that provide both humanitarian assistance and economic opportunity, helping Haiti “build back better.”

“This grant represents an invaluable investment in the decentralization and long-term, sustainable reconstruction of Haiti’s health system,” said Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “It will enable Zanmi Lasante and Partners In Health – working in partnership with Haiti’s Ministry of Health and national medical school – both to improve the quality of care for the people of St. Marc and to train a new generation of healthcare providers to deliver comprehensive, community-based care in even the poorest and most remote places.”

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded after Haiti’s January 12, 2010 earthquake, when President Barack Obama asked former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to head a fund aimed at easing the suffering of the Haitian people while laying the groundwork for “building back better.” The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund initially responded to the catastrophe with millions in humanitarian relief. By the time the Fund began independent operations in May 2010, it transitioned to primarily serving its longer-term mission of sustainable reconstruction efforts designed to promote jobs and create economic opportunity, enabling Haiti to chart its own successful future. To date, the American people have entrusted the Fund with more than $53 million from 200,000 individuals, supporting innovative programs that help Haitians to help themselves. To learn more, visit

Partners In Health

Partners In Health (PIH) works in 12 countries around the world to provide quality healthcare to people and communities devastated by joint burdens of poverty and disease. PIH has been providing vital healthcare services in Haiti for more than 20 years, working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to deliver comprehensive health care services across the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite Valley. For more information please visit

Zanmi Lasante

Zanmi Lasante (Haitian Creole for “Partners In Health”) was founded in 1983 to provide health care and social support to a destitute squatter community of peasants displaced by a hydroelectric project in central Haiti. Today, Zanmi Lasante is the largest healthcare provider in Central Haiti, serving an area across the Central Plateau and Lower Artibonite regions. Since the 2010 earthquake, Zanmi Lasante has been working with Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population and the National Medical School of Haiti on plans to sustain medical education in the short-term and to improve it over the long-term. Among its efforts, Zanmi Lasante has taken on 15 medical residents whose training was disrupted by the earthquake, allowing them to continue their training at various PIH facilities. The organization has also completed more than half of the construction of a 320-bed teaching hospital in Mirebalais that will open its doors in January 2012. Learn more at

Monday, December 3, 2012

Design and Retail Giants Visit with Artisan Partners in Haiti

Terry Lundgren, Martha Stewart, and Fashion Designer Rachel Roy Travel to Haiti to Explore New Products with the Artisans Rebuilding Haiti One Craftwork at a Time

On July 27, 2011, lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart, fashion designer Rachel Roy, and Terry Lundgren, Chairman & CEO of Macy's, Inc., will travel to Haiti to meet with artisans in Haiti, which is still working to recover from the devastating January 2010 earthquake.

These giants from the US design and retail world are coming to Haiti to see the creativity driving the country’s reconstruction. Artisans in Haiti create jobs and generate income by linking Haiti’s handmade culture to export commerce. Artisan entrepreneurs from across Haiti will meet the US delegation in the small village of Croix-des-Bouquets where they will share their work. Lundgren, Stewart and Roy will offer the artisans advice and ideas on developing new products.

Macy's has been selling Haitian products for nearly a year through Fairwinds Trading, supported in part by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which aims is to promote jobs and economic opportunity. Macy’s purchases from Haiti already employ 450 artisans countrywide.

In May 2010, The William J. Clinton Foundation convened a meeting of leaders from more than 40 American businesses, Haitian artisan organizations, and local and international nonprofits and funders, where they committed to form long-term partnerships between Haitians and international retailers. BrandAid and Fairwinds Trading formed a plan for Macy's to commission Haitian handicrafts, which the retailer began selling in its stores and online during the 2010 holiday season. Orders for these products are still continuing.

“The Clinton Foundation is proud of the evolution of this partnership,” said Laura Graham, the chief operating officer of the Foundation. “It has made a real difference in the livelihoods of the artists and artisans whose work is sold in the United States, and it has brought new and exciting products to consumers here.”

Terry Lundgren summarizes the relationship between Macy’s and Haiti: “Macy’s is so pleased to support Haiti by buying the country’s beautiful artisan wares. In working with the Haitian community, our vendor base becomes more diverse, and this new perspective inspires us to be inventive and flexible in incorporating newer, smaller, fascinating suppliers into our network. Our relationships in Haiti also show how retail can change the world; with a little planning and a little effort, we can open up opportunities for people largely excluded from global commerce. The resulting income has a profound impact for artisan families and a ripple effect in their communities.”

Mr. Lundgren is also the current board chair of the National Retail Federation.

Willa Shalit, CEO and founder of Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s partner in Haitian commerce, comments, “Haiti is a rare instance in world history of a country rebuilding itself economically through arts and crafts. A diverse group of the most sophisticated American designers have been attempting to work in Haiti, despite the incredible challenges, because of the powerful, unique artistic spirit and expression of the Haitian people. Every bit of design input makes a huge difference. The commitment of companies like Macy’s is revolutionary.”

Haiti is a profoundly creative place, with vibrant paintings, metal work, beaded voudou objects, and other art, everywhere. The large number of artist and artisan entrepreneurs in Haiti is acknowledged with the Creole saying, "Art feeds millions."

The group will also be meeting with women survivors of violence working to curb abuse in Haiti.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Grant Strengthens Female-Run Businesses in Haiti

New Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Grant Will Strengthen Female-Run Businesses in Haiti

Support Will Reinvigorate Haiti’s Oldest Microfinance Institution
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund continues to nurture economic opportunities for Haiti, today announcing a grant to a unique Haitian microfinance institution. The $850,000 grant to Fonds Haïtien d’Aide à la Femme (FHAF) will help put this institution on a path to financial recovery, and allow it to continue to provide loans to women throughout Haiti.

Haiti needs business capital to rebuild, and FHAF has demonstrated a deep commitment to providing microfinance for small and growing businesses. For twenty-nine years, this women-created and women-led institution has provided loans to thousands of female micro-entrepreneurs in both underserved rural and urban areas of Haiti. The earthquake shook FHAF both physically and financially. Its headquarters in Port-au-Prince collapsed, and it lost substantial equipment. As FHAF works to rebuild, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will provide resources for FHAF to restructure its business so it can be a strong, successful lender again.

The Fund’s grant supports a variety of measures to reenergize FHAF. It will help hire and train Haitians for key director positions, as well as update the lender’s technology system. It will also provide the capital for FHAF to continue providing loans to its best clients. Concentrating on these important adjustments will help furnish FHAF with the resources, knowledge, and capacity to thrive again.

“By reaching out to women through small business loans, we are also reaching out to her suppliers and customers in the community,” explains Henrietta Holsman Fore, Clinton Bush Haiti Fund board member and former USAID Administrator. “Research shows that these microloans mean more than just invigorated businesses and empowered women, they also mean invigorated communities with education for children and health care for families. FHAF places a high value on pulling women into the Haitian economy, and it deserves the opportunity to succeed.”

The grant incorporates valuable mentoring and strategic expertise from Nodus Consultores, an international consulting firm that specializes in strengthening financial systems for small and growing businesses in developing countries. Nodus and FHAF have worked closely to reimagine FHAF’s potential, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s grant will bring this vision to life.

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded after Haiti’s January 12, 2010 earthquake, when President Barack Obama asked former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to lead a major fundraising effort to assist the Haitian people to “build back better.” The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund initially responded to the catastrophe with millions in humanitarian relief. By the time the Fund began independent operations in May 2010, it transitioned to primarily serving its longer-term mission of sustainable reconstruction efforts designed to promote job growth and economic opportunity, and enabling Haiti to chart its own successful future.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Appoints Board of Directors and CEO

NEW YORK, NY – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF), established by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to raise money for Haiti relief and recovery efforts after the January earthquake, has appointed a Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer to manage the Fund’s operations.

The six-person board will provide policy guidance and oversee the Fund’s strategy and processes, while monitoring fundraising and cash disbursements to relief organizations operating in Haiti to ensure full adherence to the Fund’s mission and vision.

The CBHF board members are:

Laura Graham, a former Clinton administration official and Chief Operating Officer for the William J. Clinton Foundation, who will serve as a Board Co-Chair.
Joshua Bolten, former White House Chief of Staff to President Bush and currently a visiting professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, who will serve as a Board Co-Chair.
Bruce Lindsey, a former Clinton administration official and currently Chief Executive Officer of the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Dr. Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, a professor at Vanderbilt University, a partner at Cressey & Company in Chicago, and Chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands.
Henrietta Fore, former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development under President Bush and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Holsman International, an investment and management company.
Alexis Herman, former Secretary of Labor during President Clinton’s administration and currently Chief Executive Officer of New Ventures, LLC.
Gary Edson, who served as Deputy National Security Adviser in President Bush’s administration, co-led the development of the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and led the establishment of the Millennium Challenge Corporation to fight global poverty, will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the CBHF. He is currently Chief International Officer at The Case Foundation.
"We are pleased to appoint a board of bipartisan, distinguished leaders whose experience in past disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts will ensure the effective operation of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and the strategic allocation of its resources to have the greatest impact on the lives of the Haitian people," President Clinton said. "Their service and dedication will help President Bush and me continue to support the people of Haiti as they build back better in the months and years to come."

"I am pleased that such a distinguished group of individuals has agreed to serve," said President Bush. "I thank them for donating their time and talents to this worthy cause. This group will ensure that our fundraising efforts remain strong, and that the money is spent on successful programs that build a better future for the Haitian people."

Board members will serve three-year terms and will not receive salaries for their services to the Fund. The Board will hold regular meetings as well as an Annual Meeting as part of the management of the CBHF.

In the aftermath of the earthquake on January 12, President Barack Obama asked President Clinton and President Bush to raise funds for immediate, high-impact relief and long-term recovery efforts to help those who are most in need of assistance. In response, the two Presidents established the CBHF to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and "build back better."

To this end, CBHF is working with and supporting the efforts of reputable 501 nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations. To date, more than 200,000 individuals have donated over $36 million to CBHF, and in the first month, the Fund allocated $4 million to such organizations on the ground as Catholic Relief Services, Concern Worldwide US, Haitian NGO Gheskio, International Medical Corps, and Project Medishare, among others, to provide immediate relief and long-term assistance in the form of medical care and supplies, mobile clinics, water purification, hygiene kits, education assistance, and recovery supplies for hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Saint Martin and Martissant.

Monday, November 5, 2012

U.S. Navy Stands Ready on Arrival in Haiti

Navy Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling (AW) Lisa Gurnick January 16, 2010.

Responding to the President's call, the U.S. Navy moved at top speed to ready ships, load them with supplies and steam toward Haiti to provide humanitarian assistance after the devastating earthquake there Tuesday.

Already on station, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and her Sailors have been providing hospital services, along with a much needed aviation platform.

Navy Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling (AW) Lisa Gurnick is a 21-year-old Sailor from Brunswick, Ohio stationed aboard USS Vinson and works on the flight deck. She said Friday that she felt honored to be a part of this mission.

Navy Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling (AW) Lisa Gurnick January 16, 2010.

"This is exactly why I joined the Navy, to help other people, and now I'm getting to do that," began Gurnick. "We are on board an aircraft carrier that normally carries a large number of fixed-wing aircraft, but right now we are fully loaded with helicopters. We are working long hours right now and getting up early, but we are a strong team working together and I feel like we have such a clear purpose and mission. This (Friday) morning I have been working to launch and land helicopters as they are loaded up with water, medicine and people to fly into Haiti."

The humanitarian aid doesn't stop there.

As of Saturday, the Navy had nine ships scheduled to support the people of Haiti through air, hospital and supply operations. The forces are creating a "sea base" for staging humanitarian operations to provide assistance as quickly as possible. A testament to the naval forces agile operational ability, these ships combined can produce more than 900,000 gallons of water each day, a portion of which can be taken ashore to help relieve some suffering in Haiti. USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, left Baltimore on Saturday morning after assembling a floating hospital of crew and supplies from around the nation. The ship has 250 hospital beds, four operation rooms and more than 500 medical staff.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Clinton-Bush Nonprofit Gives $1.5 Million To Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund says it hopes $1.5 million in grants will help Haiti build its hotel, education and technology sectors.

The nonprofit created by former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush said Tuesday it's given a $264,000 grant to the Oasis Foundation that seeks to train potential hotel workers in hospitality services.

The group also issued a $914,000 grant to Quisqueya University to help build a new center that aims to groom business leaders.

A third grant for more than $285,000 will go to a for-profit enterprise named EducaTech for computer equipment, resources and training.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund focuses on creating jobs and was formed in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck the nation two years ago.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Grant Supports Haitian Business Accelerator Program

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Announces $2M Grant to Cultivate Small and Growing Businesses

Haitian Business Accelerator Program Targets Entrepreneurial Enterprises
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced a $2 million grant to TechnoServe to implement the Haitian Business Accelerator (HBA), a project that aims to transform small and growing businesses into investment-ready, bankable companies positioned to develop Haiti’s formal economy and promote jobs.

TechnoServe, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with expertise in building businesses and industries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, will implement the project. HBA will work with Haitian companies over three years, identifying businesses that are worthy of investment and transforming them into businesses that are ready for investment. TechnoServe will solicit and review more than 1,000 business plans, select 750 entrepreneurs most suited for success, and train this elite group with global best practices in business development.

Additionally, TechnoServe will provide six months of advanced business mentoring for 60 HBA program entrepreneurs. It will use $300,000 of the $2 million grant to provide immediate access to financing for top performing businesses. HBA will seek out both new and existing businesses that could benefit from the program, and will build up the capacity of existing business development services providers. TechnoServe has already begun identifying a list of Haitian initiatives to provide a pipeline of small and growing businesses that would benefit from HBA services.

As Haiti works to rebuild, HBA addresses the need for business capacity development in its economy. “With the exception of a few large companies, Haiti’s formal business sector is very small, and businesses of all sizes have suffered significantly since last year’s earthquake,” explains Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s Vice President for Programs and Investments Paul Altidor. “Small and growing enterprises hold the potential for transforming Haiti’s economy, but these enterprises need business acumen and access to financial services in order to attract the private investment they need to develop. The Business Accelerator will help them do just that.”

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is also working with TechnoServe’s Haiti Hope Project which aims to increase the income of 25,000 small farming families in the mango sector. In addition, TechnoServe recently completed the Mon Entreprise, Mon Avenir (My Business, My Future) business plan competition, guiding over 80 promising Haitian entrepreneurs through robust business plan development.

About TechnoServe:

Since 1968, TechnoServe has helped entrepreneurial men and women in poor areas of the developing world to build businesses that create income, opportunity, and economic growth for their families, their communities, and their countries. Visit for more information.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Announces $1.4M for Innovative Rebuilding Projects

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Announces $1.4M in Funds for Innovative Rebuilding Projects

Fund to Boost Construction Sector, Promote Vocational Training, and Increase Access to Sustainable Energy.
WASHINGTON, DC – In its continued effort to support Haiti as the country builds its own prosperous future, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced $1.4 million in new commitments for three new projects: a franchise-based housing program, a vocational training program, and a sustainable energy initiative.

As part of this announcement, $1.08 million in traditional and recoverable grants is committed to GaMa Entreprises, S.A., a Haitian company that will use the money to implement a franchise-based housing solution. This new GaMa venture plans to take advantage of unprecedented opportunity in the construction sector while meeting Haiti’s critical housing needs. Under the brand name KayTek (“House Technology” in Haitian Creole), GaMa’s housing enterprise will manufacture steel-frame housing kits at a factory in Port-au-Prince. KayTek will provide a selection of ready-made and custom designs for homes in a range of markets, as well as a one-stop materials solution for buyers to customize their homes. The program will train engineers and general contractors, who can in turn train general tradesmen. With this technical training in steel home construction and entrepreneurship, those selected as franchisees will be prepared to start and manage their own home-building businesses throughout Haiti.

“Together, GaMa/KayTek and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund are supporting long-term reconstruction by promoting jobs, cultivating entrepreneurship, and building capacity in construction – forecast to be the nation’s predominant sector over the next five years. Simultaneously, we are addressing the needs of more than 800,000 individuals still seeking permanent housing,” according to GaMa President, Mathias Pierre, named a 2010 Digicel “Entrepreneur of the Year” and a Caribbean “Pioneer of Prosperity” in 2009.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is also announcing its commitment to grant up to $225,000 to equip temporary classrooms at the earthquake-devastated Salésiens Professional School, immediately benefiting 620 at-risk youth who will be trained and certified in construction trades. Salésiens is the oldest and largest vocational training school in Haiti and among the few to hold accredited status and a strong reputation in the job market. This grant gives students the equipment they need to resume their studies, complete their certification, and enter jobs in a sector vital to Haiti’s rebuilding.

The Fund’s third announcement addresses Haiti’s lack of access to sustainable energy, an impediment to economic opportunity and educational achievement. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will provide $150,000 in seed funding to Arc Finance, a global nonprofit organization whose mission is to build the income and assets of poor people around the world through promotion of and access to financing for energy, clean water, and other basic needs. This new program, undertaken in partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, will allow members of the Haitian diaspora living in the US to directly purchase low-cost and energy efficient products, such as stoves and lamps, to send to Haiti. Haitian-owned goods-remittance company FoodExpress will then deliver the products. This innovative remittance transfer program will make sustainable sources of electricity more widely available throughout Haiti, decrease energy costs, and reduce pollution currently caused by the use of charcoal, diesel, kerosene, and wood in both urban and rural areas.

“These investments create the economic opportunities required for successful reconstruction. Today, we are fulfilling current needs with lasting solutions,” said the Fund’s Executive Vice President, Ambassador (Retired) Tim Carney. “These programs will help provide housing, job training and access to clean energy right now. What’s more, these are sustainable business models that will provide jobs and invigorate Haiti’s economy for the long term.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Over $1 Million in New Grants from Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to Rebuild Lives and Livelihoods

WASHINGTON, DC - The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF) today announced $1 million in new grants aimed at creating new jobs and promoting economic opportunity in Haiti.
Reflecting the shared vision of founders Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, more than 230,000 generous donations made to-date will fund these new grants and have a powerful impact on helping post-disaster Haiti build back better.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is focused primarily on longer-term reconstruction, especially job creation and the promotion of economic opportunity. The success and sustainability of reconstruction will depend in large part on a more vibrant, decentralized, inclusive, and competitive economy - an economy where every Haitian has the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential.

Post-earthquake Haiti's challenges are many, but among the most compelling and critical is the need to create jobs and economic opportunity. CBHF will do this by:

Supporting the restart, expansion and creation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, to which women are often key contributors;
Empowering people and enterprises by helping them access the formal business sector;
Promoting job creation, particularly jobs with a direct social benefit, such as in health and education;
Providing life skills and job training to people, especially youth, so they can embrace economic opportunity.
The legacy of building back better will be future generations of Haitians for whom the country's vicious cycle of aid-dependency is history.

The grants announced today will create opportunity for Haiti's workers and businesses in key industries - garment production, microfinance, the artisan community, and the health sector.

Institut National pour le Développement et la Promotion de la Couture (INDEPCO)
INDEPCO's network of seamstresses and tailors consists of over 600 ateliers (workshops) employing 6,852 people throughout Haiti. CBHF's grant to INDEPCO will allow it to repair a key building to house displaced ateliers, complete an order for 40,000 school uniforms, and expand its atelier network, employing more garment workers.

Haitian Emergency Liquidity Program (HELP)
The catalytic grant from CBHF will contribute to launching HELP, an emergency liquidity program that will give recovery grants to key microfinance institutions (MFIs) with approximately 50,000 clients - including support for businesswomen, as well as rural borrowers. HELP will buy earthquake-affected loans from microfinance institutions, providing them fresh funds to maintain their lending operations and preserve their capital base. The program is designed to help stop the contraction of lending by key MFIs and allow them to expand.

BRAC will use its decade of experience running a limb and brace center in Bangladesh to establish a similar center in Haiti. Through collective grants from CBHF, American Jewish World Service, Child Relief International, and Grapes for Humanity/US, BRAC will provide prosthetic and orthotic services to 1,500 Haitians in just over a year, enabling youth to return to school and adults to take advantage of work and livelihood opportunities. Within two years the center will be Haitian run and staffed - in addition to manufacturing and repairing prosthetics and orthotics on-site.

Aid to Artisans (ATA)
Funding for ATA will help re-establish over 3,000 artisan production jobs and expand local retail revenues by a projected 10-15% over the next six to eight months. ATA will provide Haitian artisan businesses throughout the country with product development and design consulting; arrange buyer trips in areas capable of production and delivery; position Haitian artisan goods at international gift fairs; and execute targeted retail training to stimulate demand for Haitian artisan products.

About the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (CBHF)
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded after Haiti's January 12, 2010 earthquake, when President Barack Obama asked Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to lead a major fundraising effort to assist the Haitian people. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund primarily focuses on longer-term, sustainable economic reconstruction designed to help the people of Haiti rebuild by creating jobs and promoting economic opportunity. To make a donation to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, visit or text the word "QUAKE" to 20222 to donate $10. This donation will be charged to your cell phone bill.

Friday, October 5, 2012


PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning, everybody. In times of great challenge in our country and around the world, Americans have always come together to lend a hand and to serve others and to do what's right. That's what the American people have been doing in recent days with their extraordinary generosity and contributions to the Haitian people.

At this moment, we're moving forward with one of the largest relief efforts in our history -- to save lives and to deliver relief that averts an even larger catastrophe. The two leaders with me today will ensure that this is matched by a historic effort that extends beyond our government, because America has no greater resource than the strength and the compassion of the American people.

We just met in the Oval Office -- an office they both know well. And I'm pleased that President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton have agreed to lead a major fundraising effort for relief: the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. On behalf of the American people, I want to thank both of you for returning to service and leading this urgent mission.

This is a model that works. After the terrible tsunami in Asia, President Bush turned to President Clinton and the first President Bush to lead a similar fund. That effort raised substantial resources for the victims of that disaster -- money that helped save lives, deliver aid, and rebuild communities. And that's exactly what the people of Haiti desperately need right now.

Every day that goes by, we learn more about the horrifying scope of this catastrophe -- destruction and suffering that defies comprehension. Entire communities buried under mountains of concrete. Families sleeping in the streets. Injured desperate for care. Many thousands feared dead. That's why thousands of American personnel -- civilian and military -- are on the scene working to distribute clean drinking water and food and medicine, and thousands of tons of emergency food supplies are arriving every day.

It will be difficult. It is an enormous challenge to distribute this aid quickly and safely in a place that has suffered such destruction. That's what we're focused on now -- working closely with our partners: the Haitian government, the United Nations, and many organizations and nations -- friends from Argentina and France, from Dominican Republic and Brazil, and countries all around the world.

And Secretary Hillary Clinton will be in Haiti today to meet with President Préval and continue our close coordination with his government. But we also know that our longer-term effort will not be measured in days and weeks; it will be measured in months and even years. And that's why it's so important to enlist and sustain the support of the American people. That's why it's so important to have a point of coordination for all the support that extends beyond our government.

Here at home, Presidents Bush and Clinton will help the American people to do their part, because responding to a disaster must be the work of all of us. Indeed, those wrenching scenes of devastation remind us not only of our common humanity but also of our common responsibilities. This time of suffering can and must be a time of compassion.

As the scope of the destruction became apparent, I spoke to each of these gentlemen, and they each asked the same simple question: How can I help? In the days ahead they'll be asking everyone what they can do -- individuals, corporations, NGOs, and institutions. And I urge everyone who wants to help to visit

We're fortunate to have the service of these two leaders. President Bush led America's response to the Asian tsunami, aid and relief that prevented even greater loss of life in the months after that disaster. And his administration's efforts to fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa treated more than 10 million men, women, and children.

As President, Bill Clinton helped restore democracy in Haiti. As a private citizen, he has helped to save the lives of millions of people around the world. And as the United Nations special envoy to Haiti, he understands intimately the daily struggles and needs of the Haitian people.

And by coming together in this way, these two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and to the people of the world: In these difficult hours, America stands united. We stand united with the people of Haiti, who have shown such incredible resilience, and we will help them to recover and to rebuild.

Yesterday we witnessed a small but remarkable display of that determination -- some of you may have seen it -- Haitians with little more than the clothes on their back marched peacefully through a ruined neighborhood, and despite all their loss and all their suffering they sang songs of faith and songs of hope.

These are the people we're called upon to help. Those are the hopes that we're committed to answering. That's why the three of us are standing together today. And with that, I would invite each President to say a few words. I'm going to start with President Bush.

PRESIDENT BUSH: I join President Obama in expressing my sympathy for the people of Haiti. I commend the President for his swift and timely response to the disaster. I am so pleased to answer the call to work alongside President Clinton to mobilize the compassion of the American people.

Like most Americans, Laura and I have been following the television coverage from Haiti. Our hearts are broken when we see the scenes of little children struggling without a mom or a dad, or the bodies in the streets or the physical damage of the earthquake.

The challenges down there are immense, but there's a lot of devoted people leading the relief effort, from government personnel who deployed into the disaster zone to the faith-based groups that have made Haiti a calling.

The most effective way for Americans to help the people of Haiti is to contribute money. That money will go to organizations on the ground and will be -- who will be able to effectively spend it. I know a lot of people want to send blankets or water -- just send your cash. One of the things that the President and I will do is to make sure your money is spent wisely. As President Obama said, you can look us up on

The Haitian people have got a tough journey, yet it's amazing how terrible tragedies can bring out the best of the human spirit. We've all seen that firsthand when American citizens responded to the tsunami or to Katrina or to the earthquake in Pakistan. And President Clinton and I are going to work to tap that same spirit of giving to help our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean.

Toward the end of my presidency, Laura made a trip down to Haiti to look at the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief programs down there. I remember clearly her coming back and telling me about the energy and optimism of the people of Haiti. There's just an unbelievable spirit amongst the Haitian people. And while that earthquake destroyed a lot, it didn't destroy their spirit.

So the people of Haiti will recovery and rebuild, and as they do they know they'll have a friend in the United States of America. Mr. President, thank you for giving me the chance to serve.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: First, I want to thank President Obama for asking President Bush and me to do this, and for what I believe has been a truly extraordinary response on the part of the American government. Because I've been working down there for nearly a year as the U.N. special envoy, I've been in constant touch with our people through the U.N. on the ground, and you know we lost a lot of our people there -- the largest loss of life in the history of the United Nations on a single day. The United States has been there from the beginning. The military has been great. The response by the State Department and AID has been great. I just can't say enough about it. And the people in Haiti know it, and I'm grateful.

Secondly, I'd like to thank President Bush for agreeing to do this, and for the concern he showed for Haiti. Before this happened, my foundation worked with the PEPFAR people on the AIDS problems in Haiti and I saw how good they were and what they did and how many lives they saved.

Finally, let me say that -- I don't have to read the Web site because they did -- but I want to say something about this. Right now all we need to do is get food and medicine and water and a secure place for them to be. But when we start the rebuilding effort, we want to do what I did with the President's father in the tsunami area. We want to be a place where people can know their money will be well spent; where we will ensure the ongoing integrity of the process.

And we want to stay with this over the long run. My job with the U.N. basically is not at all in conflict with this because I'm sort of the outside guy. My job is to work with the donor nations, the international agencies, the business people around the world to try to get them to invest there, the nongovernmental organizations, the Haitian diaspora community.

I believe before this earthquake Haiti had the best chance in my lifetime to escape its history -- a history that Hillary and I have shared a tiny part of. I still believe that. The Haitians want to just amend their development plan to take account of what's happened in Port-au-Prince and west, figure out what they got to do about that, and then go back to implementing it. But it's going to take a lot of help and a long time.

So I'm just grateful that President Bush wants to help, and I've already figured out how I can get him to do some things that he didn't sign on for. (Laughter.)

Again, I have no words to say what I feel like. When you -- I was in those hotels that collapsed. I had meals with people who are dead. The cathedral church that Hillary and I sat in 34 years ago is a total rubble. But what these men have said is true: It is still one of the most remarkable, unique places I have ever been. And they can escape their history and build a better future if we do our part. And President Obama, thank you for giving us a chance to do a little of that.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, these gentlemen are going to do an extraordinary job, but really what they're going to be doing is just tapping into the incredible generosity, the ingenuity, the can-do spirit of the American people in helping our neighbors in need. So I want to thank each of them not only for being here today but what I know is going to be an extraordinary effort.

I want to make sure that everybody got that Web site one more time. Obviously we're just standing it up, but it will immediately give people a means to contact our offices --

And I just want to amplify one thing that was said. We were talking in the back. In any extraordinary catastrophe like this, the first several weeks are just going to involve getting immediate relief on the ground. And there are going to be some tough days over the next several days. People are still trying to figure out how to organize themselves. There's going to be fear, anxiety, a sense of desperation in some cases.

I've been in contact with President Préval. I've been talking to the folks on the ground. We are going to be making slow and steady progress, and the key now is to -- for everybody in Haiti to understand that there is going to be sustained help on the way.

But what these gentlemen are going to be able to do is when the news media starts seeing its attention drift to other things but there's still enormous needs on the ground, these two gentlemen of extraordinary stature I think are going to be able to help ensure that these efforts are sustained. And that's why it's so important and that's why I'm so grateful that they agreed to do it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

That's what former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both asked as the devastating impact of the earthquake in Haiti became clear.  This question brought them to a place they both know well, the Oval Office. There they met with President Obama and agreed to lead a major fundraising effort for relief: the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

In the Rose Garden just after the meeting, President Bush touched on the work that's already being done and the best way for Americans to help:

The challenges down there are immense, but there's a lot of devoted people leading the relief effort, from government personnel who deployed into the disaster zone to the faith-based groups that have made Haiti a calling.

The most effective way for Americans to help the people of Haiti is to contribute money. That money will go to organizations on the ground and will be -- who will be able to effectively spend it. I know a lot of people want to send blankets or water -- just send your cash. One of the things that the President and I will do is to make sure your money is spent wisely. As President Obama said, you can look us up on

President Clinton reaffirmed his optimism for Haiti's future, despite this enormous challenge for the country:

I believe before this earthquake Haiti had the best chance in my lifetime to escape its history -- a history that Hillary and I have shared a tiny part of. I still believe that. The Haitians want to just amend their development plan to take account of what's happened in Port-au-Prince and west, figure out what they got to do about that, and then go back to implementing it. But it's going to take a lot of help and a long time.

President Obama summed up the importance of the sustained attention and support the two former Presidents will champion:

In any extraordinary catastrophe like this, the first several weeks are just going to involve getting immediate relief on the ground. And there are going to be some tough days over the next several days. People are still trying to figure out how to organize themselves. There's going to be fear, anxiety, a sense of desperation in some cases.

I've been in contact with President Préval. I've been talking to the folks on the ground. We are going to be making slow and steady progress, and the key now is to -- for everybody in Haiti to understand that there is going to be sustained help on the way.

But what these gentlemen are going to be able to do is when the news media starts seeing its attention drift to other things but there's still enormous needs on the ground, these two gentlemen of extraordinary stature I think are going to be able to help ensure that these efforts are sustained. And that's why it's so important and that's why I'm so grateful that they agreed to do it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Grants Connect Haitians with Resources to Thrive

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Continues to Help Connect Haitians with Resources to Thrive

Grants Totaling $1.1M Reach Out to Artisans, Microentrepreneurs, and Students
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced three grants that will connect Haitian artisans, microentrepreneurs, and students with resources for economic growth. The grants, totaling $1.1 million, will help provide Haitians with access to jobs and networks to help “build back better.”


The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s $535,876 grant to the HAND/EYE Fund will connect artists throughout Haiti to US and global markets, further invigorating the Haitian artisan sector. HAND/EYE will create the Artisan Business Network to provide artisan groups with product development and communication tools to effectively and efficiently design and export their work.

In July, Martha Stewart and fashion designer Rachel Roy joined Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren in a business visit to several artisan communities. HAND/EYE is now working with Macy’s on the retailer’s order for the fall, and the Artisan Business Network will employ more artisans as business with Haiti expands. The newly formed Network will also help generate and facilitate new orders with other retailers, such as Anthropologie.

“Our relationships in Haiti demonstrate how retail can change the world,” explains Lundgren. “With a little planning and a little effort, we can open up opportunities for people largely excluded from global commerce. The resulting income has a profound impact for artisan families and a ripple effect in their communities.”

FINCA Haiti:

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund also announces a project with microfinance institution FINCA International (the Foundation for International Community Assistance). This $358,000 grant will help bolster the lending ability of its affiliate, FINCA Haiti. FINCA Haiti’s loans, which average just $300, provide access to credit for Haitians who are too poor to borrow from other lenders.

FINCA specializes in village banking, which brings small groups of community members together as a financial support group. These village banks are predominantly made up of women, and give individuals newfound borrowing ability. “For more than two decades, FINCA has stood by the impoverished women of Haiti, helping them start, or expand, small businesses, and provide a better life for their families,” says FINCA president and CEO Rupert Scofield. “This grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will strengthen FINCA Haiti’s loan portfolio, help us greatly expand our outreach, and help secure the program’s long-term sustainability.”


The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund made a second grant of $259,000 to Inveneo, a communications technology NGO that is building computer labs in 40 rural Haitian schools. The Haiti Connected Schools program will use solar panels to power computer labs and bring rural broadband connectivity to schools in areas without reliable access to electricity. Working with local installers and sourcing equipment domestically, the Connected Schools program will cultivate business and employment opportunities for Haitian solar providers and IT technicians. This project complements the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s first project with Inveneo to train IT professionals and bring high speed data connections to rural regions in Haiti.

These three new grants from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will help provide Haitians with fresh and innovative resources to nurture economic growth. “When Haitian men and women have access to the networks and funding to build their enterprises and communities, they are able to more fully participate in the national and international economy,” Clinton Bush Haiti Fund board member and former Secretary of Labor, Alexis Herman says. “There is immense business potential in Haiti, and these grants will help tap into that potential.”


The HAND/EYE Fund is a 501(c)(3) created in 2010 to connect artisan groups to US markets. It supports skilled artisans through grants to artisan cooperatives around the world. Its leaders are respected for their commitment to artisans and strong, personal relationships across US markets.

About FINCA International and FINCA Haiti

FINCA International is a 501(c)(3) that began in 1985, and whose mission is to provide financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets, and improve their standard of living. Active in 21 countries across the globe, and currently serving more than 850,000 borrowers (70% of whom are women), FINCA specializes in a form of lending called village banking, which provides microcredit through neighborhood cooperatives. FINCA Haiti, an affiliate of FINCA International, was established in 1989. It serves the working poor in Haiti, primarily those who operate in the commerce, service, and agricultural sectors.

About Inveneo

Inveneo is a 501(c)(3) social enterprise whose mission is to connect and empower rural and underserved communities in the developing world with information and communications technologies. Since 2006, Inveneo and its partners have delivered innovative solutions to more than 1,500,000 people in over 500 communities in 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, nurturing and supporting local talent. Their Haiti program is an accelerated version of this model, as demand for the broadband service to-date has outpaced the supply of Haitian IT experts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Interview with Clinton Bush Haiti Fund CEO Gary Edson - October 2011

"Remember, we’re working to support the Haitian people’s efforts to support their country, so any success that’s realized isn’t ours – it’s theirs. It’s one of the reasons these presidential funds have a relatively short half-life – we’re not meant to be in Haiti forever – we’re meant to get in, be a catalyst, build Haitian capacity and get out. And let the Haitians take charge and ownership of their own rebuilding. It’s about a change in the whole development paradigm of Haiti – from donor and aid-driven development, which tends to generate dependency, and create moral hazard, to private sector-driven development which empowers people and is truly sustainable."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Haiti Can Be Rich Again

HAITI wasn’t always the “poorest nation in the Western hemisphere,” though it’s almost impossible to read about the country today without coming across that phrase. In the two years since the earthquake that devastated it, Haiti has experienced political conflict and its first ever cholera epidemic; hundreds of thousands of the displaced are still living in makeshift tents strewn like dusty flags by the sides of highways. It is easy to forget that, for most of the 19th century, Haiti was a site of agricultural innovation, productivity and economic success.

In the wake of the earthquake, many have talked about the need to lay foundations for a better future. To do that, Haiti should look to the past, and the system of small farms and the decentralized economy that once provided Haitians with dignity, autonomy and wealth.

The slave revolution that ended with Haiti’s creation in 1804 led to what the sociologist Jean Casimir dubbed a “counter-plantation” system. As slaves, the islanders had harvested and processed sugar cane, but fed themselves by cultivating their own tiny gardens, for which they developed sophisticated techniques of inter-cropping — a kind of sustainable agriculture that involved planting a variety of crops close together. Once free, Haitians drew on that knowledge to raise livestock and grow fruits, root vegetables and even coffee for export to the global market. In establishing their own small farms, they forestalled any possibility of a return to the large plantations that had defined the days of slavery.

This system of agricultural self-reliance provided a better quality of life than that of African descendants anywhere else in the Americas. The country attracted many immigrants, including thousands of African-Americans. And though the United States government didn’t officially recognize Haiti until 1862, American businessmen eagerly traded with the island nation.

Haiti’s economy was decentralized, organized around 11 largely autonomous regions, each with its own port. There was plenty of conflict in the country, largely over control of the central government, and heavy taxes on exports, as well as the power of foreign merchants, sapped the profits of farmers. Yet the regional economies thrived, and a decentralized political and military system assured many Haitians a great deal of control over their destiny.

In the 20th century, however, this system came under increasing pressure. Outsiders, along with many in the Haitian elite, saw small farms as a barrier to progress. When the United States occupied Haiti, from 1915 to 1934, it worked to centralize the economy in Port-au-Prince. It pushed through a re-writing of the Haitian Constitution to allow foreigners to own land, which the country’s founders had banned for fear of re-enslavement, and worked to replace small farms with large plantations owned by foreign corporations. Many farmers saw their land expropriated.

In the teens, when the countryside erupted in a revolt against the occupation and the use of forced labor to build roads, the United States created a newly centralized gendarmerie to suppress the insurrection. Violence and economic decline in the countryside forced many Haitians to flee to the cities or to plantations in neighboring Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In the years since, the countryside has continued to experience environmental and economic degradation as well as exodus, while the big cities, especially Port-au-Prince, have become overcrowded. Today, about half of Haiti’s food is imported.

The flow of ideas and money to Haiti that followed the earthquake provides an opportunity to restore the system of small farms that was a pillar of Haitian society after independence. Michel Martelly, Haiti’s new president, has talked of the need to decentralize the economy, and nongovernmental organizations have begun projects to help farmers. But far more can be done.

Municipal governments should construct properly equipped marketplaces for the women who sell rural produce. The Haitian state should develop trade policies aimed at protecting the agricultural sector, and take the lead in fixing roads and ports, confronting deforestation and improving systems of water management. Foreign organizations working in the country can help simply by making it a policy to buy food and other goods from local producers.

The return on the investment in the rural economy would be self-reliance, the alleviation of dangerous overcrowding in cities and, most important, a path toward ending Haiti’s now chronic problems of malnutrition and food insecurity. As Haitians look to rebuild in 2012, the best blueprints will come from their own proud and vibrant history.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Celebrate Haiti Poster Project

We are asking students like you to use your voice to stand up, remember, and celebrate
Haiti's victories by designing posters as a part of the Celebrate Haiti Poster Project.

It's fun and simple, and you can make a difference. Do you belong to a group, club, or team? Are you looking for activities at your next meeting or event? How about making this a class project in World Studies, Art, or Science class?  Learn all about Haiti, and then make a poster that includes these three words:

Martin Luther King Day of Service
On Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, January 16, 2012, people from all over the United States came together to participate in service projects.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund was asked to honor Dr. King at the Montgomery County Volunteer Fair by inviting children and families to participate in the Celebrate Haiti Poster Project. The objective was to raise awareness for Haiti through art, to remember Haiti at the two-year anniversary of the earthquake, and to celebrate the strength and resilience of the Haitian people.

Over 140 children (and a handful of creative adults) drew Helping Handprints which will be used to make a digital online quilt. These handprints symbolize that one person can make a difference, but many people working together can create a better future for Haiti.

Make Your Own Paper Quilt
A wonderful way for a group to participate in the Celebrate Haiti Poster Project is to create a paper quilt. It's as simple as cutting out 8.5 x 8.5 paper squares and having each student trace their hand on the square. There is only one rule. Somewhere on each square there should be three words:

Remember. Celebrate. Haiti.
Use these three words in any way. Write a story or a poem, or just write them as bold statements. The possibilities are endless. Draw, design, paint, collage, or color. Don't forget to send us photos or scans of the individual paper quilt squares. We'll add them to our online digital quilt.

To display your finished paper quilt use a large piece of unrolled art paper and arrange your paper quilt squares. Show off your quilt in a hallway, entrance, or classroom. Of course we would like to see photos of your finished quilt. Send us your digital photographs to

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Students Rebuild, a Program supported by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Rebuilding Schools for a New Generation of Haitians

Founded in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. Students Rebuild: Haiti—called on students around the globe to raise money to rebuild schools in Haiti.  The challenge: create a team to raise money, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the Bezos Family Foundation. The results - 125 Teams: 3400 Students from 9 countries helped to summon over $680,000 to support 5 schools, build 50 classrooms & benefit 2000 students.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hey, Kids! Share About Haiti Today

We know that everyone's voice matters, especially when it comes to Haiti. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund's Celebrate Haiti Poster Project is an opportunity for kids (and kids at heart!) to learn and teach about Haiti's past, and look toward Haiti's future. Whether you're at home, in class, or part of a club, you can participate by making and sharing posters about Haiti. Send photos of your poster to so we can continue to share the joy that Haiti inspires.

Learn more about the Celebrate Haiti Poster Project, and visit our For Kids page to learn about other ways for kids, parents, and teachers to get involved.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fast Company: International Medical Corps Helps Haiti In Its Long Haul

"International Medical Corps is a model for global not-for-profits, with a plan that goes way beyond drop-in disaster relief. In Haiti, International Medical Corps is training locals, building communities, and doing everything it can to put itself to pasture." -Fast Company, October 2011

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund CEO Gary Edson explains that "the business of a not-for-profit should be to solve the problem and get out of the way," and International Medical Corps is working hard to make that a reality. This story offers an in-depth look into the nonprofit's work in Haiti, and how it is becoming a model for disaster response.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund's $1.56M grant to International Medical Corps went to establishing an emergency medical care training program at the state hospital in Port-au-Prince.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Haiti: Cholera Epidemic’s First Victim Identified as River Bather Who Forsook Clean Water

The first Haitian to get cholera at the onset of the 2010 epidemic was almost undoubtedly a 28-year-old mentally disturbed man from the town of Mirebalais, researchers reported Monday.

The man, whose name was not revealed in the report, in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, was known as the village “moun fou” — Creole for “crazy person” — said the authors, who work for Partners in Health, a Boston group associated with Dr. Paul E. Farmer that has provided free health care in Haiti since 1987.

Although his family had clean drinking water, the man often walked naked through town to bathe and drink from the Latem River just downstream from the Meye River, into which raw sewage drained from an encampment of United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal.

Haiti’s outbreak was of a Nepali strain, and that encampment is considered the source.

The man developed severe diarrhea on Oct. 12, 2010, and died in less than 24 hours. Two people who washed his body for a wake fell ill 48 hours later. Haiti’s first hospitalized cholera case was in Mirebalais on Oct. 17.

The epidemic has since sickened nearly 500,000 people across Haiti and killed nearly 7,000.

The man’s habits made him the first known victim, said Dr. Louise C. Ivers, one of the new report’s authors. But because of the “infamous living situation” in Mirebalais, which is desperately poor and was swollen with refugees from the devastating earthquake nine months earlier, the epidemic was inevitable.

“Plenty of families drank from that river, and still do despite the risk,” she said.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bell Afterschool Program Raised Awareness for Haiti

What can you do at your camp, school, group or after school program?

Kids at the Bell After School Program in Massachusetts put their time and talents to good use making bracelets and key chains to raise awareness and funds to help Haiti. They raised $75 which can go a long way in a country where the average yearly income is only $1,300. Many people in Haiti work all day long and earn only $2. That is less that the price of an ice cream cone in the United States. We want to thank all the kids who participated at the Bell Program.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Students learn new construction techniques at GHESKIO's vocational school.

Students at GHESKIO's vocational school.

Students learn how to build a solid foundation at GHESKIO's vocational school.

Doctors and staff at Les Centres GHESKIO.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Miami Herald: Haiti’s Coffee Market Receives a Welcomed Jolt

"We are interested in helping out planters improve their lives. There is a transformation happening." - Robinson Nelson, manager of COOPCAB

Haitian coffee is once again becoming a hot commodity. With a loan from Clinton Bush Haiti Fund partner Root Capital, COOPCAB coffee cooperative is able to provide for growing international demand while ensuring farmers receive a fair price for their work. As Fritz Francois, President of COOPCAB, explains, "It is almost impossible to find someone today in Thiotte cutting down a tree to make charcoal. Today, because coffee has a price, the farmers are motivated and they are leaving the trees because to cultivate coffee you need shade."

Read more about the changing Haitian coffee market, and how our support to organizations like Root Capital is helping Haitians thrive.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

AP: Bringing Home Loans to Haitians for the First Time

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has pledged $3M in support of the mortgage facility being set up by the Development Innovations Group, a program that will also be financed by OPIC and the Haitian Reconstruction Fund (HRF).

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund CEO Gary Edson recognizes the value of access to mortgages in Haiti. "We're particularly attracted by this initative because it targets the economically active poor. We found that this market has not been served."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Haitians Take Arduous Path to Brazil, and Jobs

A woman carried plastic flowers near the Marché Hyppolite, which was rebuilt by the Digicel Foundation.

BRASILÉIA, Brazil — Of the odyssey that delivered him to this town in the Brazilian Amazon, Wesley Saint-Fleur could muster only a look of exhaustion and bewilderment.

Months ago, he boarded a bus in Haiti, before getting on a plane in the Dominican Republic, landing first in Panama and then in Ecuador. That was where his wife gave birth to their son, Isaac, he said, bouncing the 4-month-old infant on his knee and brandishing the boy’s Ecuadorean identification card. Then they continued by bus yet again, through Ecuador and Peru. Next, they trekked by foot in Bolivia, where, he said, the police robbed him and his wife of their clothing and their life savings: $320 in cash.

“Then we finally got to Brazil, which I’m told is building everything, stadiums, dams, roads,” said Mr. Saint-Fleur, 27, a construction worker, one of hundreds of Haitians who gather each day around the gazebo in Brasiléia’s palm-fringed plaza. “All I want is work, and Brazil, thank God, has jobs for us.”

Gambling everything, thousands of Haitians have made their way across the Americas to reach small towns in the Brazilian Amazon over the past year in a desperate search for work, including a surge of hundreds arriving in recent days amid fears that Brazil’s government could slow the influx before it overwhelms the authorities here.

Their improbable journeys — from the rubble of their island homes to remote outposts here in the Amazon — say as much about the dire economic conditions that persist in Haiti two years after the earthquake as it does about the rising economic profile of Brazil, which is fast becoming a magnet not only for poor foreign laborers but also for growing numbers of educated professionals from Europe, the United States and Latin America.

Upon arriving here and in other border outposts, the Haitians are often given vaccinations, clean water and two meals a day by the authorities. Many stay for weeks in Brasiléia and other towns before being granted humanitarian visas that allow them to work in Brazil.

But with such a crush of new arrivals, others have not been so lucky. After traveling thousands of miles and overcoming countless obstacles, some crowd eight to a small hotel room or wind up sleeping on the streets, almost reliving the misery they had hoped to leave behind.

“I cannot allow the sadness to take over, since opportunity will follow this hard phase,” said Simonvil Cenel, 33, a tailor awaiting a visa who leads animated evangelical prayer services for those stuck in limbo after enduring so much to get here.

About 4,000 Haitians have immigrated to Brazil since the 2010 earthquake, often going first through Ecuador, a poorer country with lax visa policies. Brazil has made an exception for Haitians in contrast to job-seekers from nations like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, who arrive via similar Amazonian routes but are usually expelled.

“Haiti is recovering from an extreme period of crisis, and Brazil is in a position to help these people,” said Valdecir Nicácio, a human rights official in the state of Acre, encompassing Brasiléia. “Before getting here, they are at the mercy of human traffickers,” he said. “Brazil is big enough to absorb Haitians who just want jobs.”

With the number of Haitians sharply increasing in recent days, the authorities in Brasiléia and Tabatinga, a border city in Amazonas State, have warned of the strains of trying to feed and house the Haitians while visa applications are reviewed. Federal officials have responded by sending tons of food for the Haitians, who currently number more than 1,000 in each border settlement.

Dealing with an immigration crisis on its border is a new dilemma for Brazil, which until recently was more concerned with the outflow of its own citizens seeking opportunities in rich industrialized countries than responding to the arrival of thousands of impoverished foreigners.

Though economic growth has recently slowed in Brazil, unemployment remains at a historic low of 5.2 percent, and many companies have trouble finding enough workers to fill vacancies. Wages have also climbed for those at the lowest rung of the job market, with the income of poor Brazilians growing seven times as much as the income of rich Brazilians from 2003 to 2009.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Partners In Health

Residents in the Family Medicine Program at the inauguration in St. Marc.

L'Hopital Saint Nicolas in St. Marc.

Dr. Patrick Almazor, with Paul Farmer, at the inauguration of the medical inauguration program in St. Marc.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


The repaired wall of a once-damaged home.

Repairs to yellow tagged, or moderately damaged, homes are a quick, inexpensive solution to housing.

PADF is repairing moderately damaged homes, so Haitians can move back home.

Homeowner Anne Marie Leonard inspects her house with Ministry of Public Works engineers.

Madame Gustave shows the cracks in her home.

A PADF employee repairs a yellow-tagged house.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Miami Herald: Haitian Artisans Getting Lots of Attention and New Buyers

"Over the long run, the answer for Haiti is for each and every Haitian to be able to make a decent living doing something he or she is good at." - President Bill Clinton

Haiti's artisans possess enormous skill and talent. Now, thanks to Clinton Bush Haiti Fund's support for organizations like HAND/EYE, Fairwinds, and Aid to Artisans, these artisans are connecting with high profile designers and stores like Donna Karan, Rachel Roy, Anthropologie, and Macy's. This resurgence of interest in Haiti's vibrant crafts sector highlights the importance of helping Haitians build their own economy, here by tapping into talent and creativity core to Haiti's culture.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Announces $1.5M Toward Workforce Development

Grants reflect investments Haitian businesses need to thrive
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund continues to help Haitians chart their own successful future with nearly $1.5M in new grants to organizations bolstering the Haitian workforce. The three grants, announced today, will promote the training of hospitality workers, entrepreneurs, students, and teachers.

Oasis Foundation:

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced a $264,000 grant to the Oasis Foundation to revive l’École Hôtelière Haitienne (the Haiti Hotel School). Destroyed by the earthquake, the school, an institution under Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism, was the only comprehensive hospitality training school of its kind in the country. With this funding, the school can now welcome hospitality students back to complete their training, and matriculate future students passionate about careers in the hospitality industry. Some of the graduates will go on to careers at the Oasis Hotel, and others, with the help of the school, will seek hospitality industry jobs at other businesses throughout Haiti.

“Just as access to jobs is crucial for Haiti’s development, local businesses—especially the many new hotels under construction—must have access to a skilled workforce for sustainable economic growth,” Director of the Oasis Foundation, Mrs. Hildegard Epstein Cassis said. “With this grant, we will be able to provide hospitality workers with the skills essential to building back a better Haiti.”

Earlier this year, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund made a $2M equity investment in the Oasis Hotel, a business-class hotel in Port-au-Prince whose construction was halted after the earthquake. The Oasis Foundation, a nonprofit established by the hotel, is partnering with the Haitian Hotel School and Haiti’s Ministry of Tourism, with additional support from Occidental Hotels and the USAID/Haiti Recovery Initiative, to make the training program possible.

Quisqueya University:

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund made a $914,000 grant to Quisqueya University to help enhance the recently established Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to develop both current and future business leaders of Haiti. The Center will provide a range of business development services. It will offer training for local consultants and analysts, facilitate businesses transitioning from the informal to the formal economy, and provide advanced managerial training. From classroom training to hands-on case studies, the Center will give entrepreneurs the skills necessary for their businesses to succeed.

 “Given Quisqueya’s track record, I am confident that this Center will play a key role in improving the business environment in Haiti,” Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s Vice President of Programs and Investments, Paul Altidor said. “The Center will be a destination for business people of all levels. Everyone from aspiring entrepreneurs to senior business executives will have access to an array of resources and training to enable their businesses to thrive.”


The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is also strengthening Haitian accountants, managers, and other professionals through improved access to information technology. The Fund’s $285,646 grant to the Haitian for-profit enterprise EducaTech will provide computer equipment, educational resources, and technology training for students and faculty at Haiti’s state university.

EducaTech will establish a digital library at Haiti’s Institute of Management and International Studies (INAGHEI), with computers and programs, digital boards, and electronic databases. Students, faculty, and staff will go through EducaTech’s training program on the use of this software and hardware, and then will go on to train even more students.

The vision of EducaTech is to give all Haitian young people access to books and electronics, and use it to create a competitive and productive workforce that will grow Haiti’s economy. “In Haiti,” EducaTech, co-founder Kesner Pharel explained, “we can live much better through technology.”

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Billionaire Lends Haiti a Hand

Denis O’Brien

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Almost two years after an earthquake ravaged this city, some half a million people are still living in filthy tents, cholera has infected a similar number across the country and the president works from a flimsy prefab structure behind the still crumpled Presidential Palace.

Denis O’Brien, an impatient Irish billionaire who tends to make his points with a few choice profanities, is determined to change all that.

On a recent sunny morning, he presided over the opening of the 50th school that his vast telecommunications company, Digicel, has rebuilt since the quake struck in 2010 — and then he promptly pledged to build another 80 schools by 2014.

His intention is not, however, to be a one-man force for change. With a skill for what he calls “frying feet,” he has sweet-talked, cajoled, harangued, nagged, strong-armed and shamed government officials, international financiers and business leaders into doing more to rebuild Haiti.

“It’s all about project management,” Mr. O’Brien, 53, said in an interview at Digicel’s offices here. “Everyone’s on hand for the photo op, but where are the 100 houses that were promised after the cameras are gone? I’m the guy who’s going to count them.”

In the process, he has become de facto ambassador for an emerging business-centered approach to the redevelopment of this disaster-prone nation, which has so long relied on the work of nonprofit groups and aid agencies that it is known as the Republic of N.G.O.’s, or nongovernmental organizations.

“We’ve seen the growth of the N.G.O. community here for the last 20 years, and many of them do good work and there is a demand and a need for that work,” said Lionel Delatour, a business consultant and lobbyist whose brothers have served as government ministers. “But N.G.O.’s do not pay taxes, and when they bring their supplies and cars and other goods into the country, they do not pay customs duties.”

Digicel, on the other hand, is the country’s largest employer and taxpayer. The privately held company has invested $600 million in Haiti, making it by far the country’s largest foreign investor ever, and it has democratized communications with its strategy of selling low-price cellphones and services to the masses.

Mr. O’Brien has profited extensively from Haiti, which is Digicel’s largest market and accounts for roughly one-third of its 11.1 million subscribers.

“There is something that is two-way about this relationship,” Mr. Delatour said. “It is not only a story of what Digicel and Mr. O’Brien have done for Haiti, but also what Haiti has done for Digicel and Mr. O’Brien.”

For his part, Mr. O’Brien does not like to hear his work on behalf of the country or Digicel’s largess there described as corporate social responsibility. “If you make money in a poor country, you can’t just take it and disappear,” he said. “It would be bad business.”

Thus, Digicel unveiled plans in November to invest $45 million in a new 173-room hotel next door to its offices, to be run by Marriott. That announcement came at a forum sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank that drew 500 business people from 29 countries.

It was kicked off by a ribbon-cutting at a new industrial park in Caracol whose first tenant will be Sae-A, a Korean apparel manufacturer with extensive experience in Latin America. It is building a plant that plans to employ 20,000 and, unlike the low-wage apparel manufacturing operations that spawned vast urban slums, incorporate housing developments and other infrastructure.

Just last month, Heineken, the Dutch brewing concern, increased to 95 percent from 23 percent its stake in Brasserie Nationale d’Haiti, a Haitian brewery and bottler, saying it saw greater political and economic stability in the country.

Then there are commitments from the 60-odd members of the Haiti Action Network of the Clinton Global Initiative, or C.G.I., which include installing solar panels, increasing energy supplies, refurbishing homes and providing job training.

Mr. O’Brien is charged with overseeing their progress on behalf of former President Bill Clinton, and so after the school opening, he headed to the Hotel Montana to grill the network’s members, as he does 10 times a year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Root Capital

Luc Ezekiel Colo, vice president of SOCAD, a member of the COOPCAB coffee cooperative.

Many of Root Capital's loans are to agro-businesses.

Root Capital's client, Metal Art.

Women in COOPCAB's coffee cooperative sort coffee beans.

Root Capital loan officer Christina Blot at a coffee farm.