Today, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) marks its two-year anniversary with two major announcements. In Colombia, CGSGI announces the completion of an innovative project to deliver basic health care to 55,000 people who otherwise lack access to medicine and treatment. In Peru, CGSGI announces the commencement of a social and economic development project: a four-year effort to restore vision and productivity among Peruvians through the delivery of 50,000 cataract surgeries. These announcements build on CGSGI’s efforts over 24 months to implement the vision of President Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra to work with local governments, the private sector, communities, and other NGOs to increase incomes, create jobs, and reduce barriers to productivity in the developing world in ways that can be locally sustained
“In two years, CGSGI has made significant progress toward expanding economic opportunity and giving more people the tools needed to embrace that opportunity and lift themselves out of hardship,” President Clinton said. “Looking ahead, we’re going to continue to make an even bigger impact in Latin America and help even more people get the access they need to fulfill their goals and plans.”
“Our initiative was launched in 2007 against a backdrop of economic growth and unprecedented levels of support. Although times have changed since then, CGSGI is delivering on its promise to develop innovative and scalable solutions to poverty alleviation by strengthening factors that enable economic growth such as health and education,” Mr. Giustra added.
In June 2009, CGSGI completed its commitment to provide health care to thousands of underserved people in Colombia in partnership with Angelitos de Luz, a Colombian NGO. In the last year, CGSGI sponsored 30 medical missions that provided basic health services to 55,000 individuals in the remote areas of 14 Colombian departments. The health brigades carried out by Angelitos de Luz’s volunteer medical personnel improved general well-being, quality of life, and productivity through minor procedures in optometry, gynecology, and general medicine for populations who typically have little or no access to health care.
On June 30, 2009, cataract surgeries will begin in the remote region of Iquitos in northern Peru, a first step under an agreement between the Peruvian Ministry of Health, Fundación Carlos Slim, and CGSGI to deliver 50,000 cataract surgeries in Peru over four years. This initial campaign in Iquitos will reach an anticipated 300 patients suffering from debilitating cataract conditions, which remain the leading cause of blindness in the developing world. In 2007, there were a reported 83,000 untreated cataract cases in Peru. Cataract surgery enables patients to recover their eyesight, reduce their dependency on family members, and improve their productivity. As the first of many campaigns, the cataract surgeries in Iquitos also will help to advance the parties’ common goal of building capacity within the Peruvian Ministry of Health.
Additional Accomplishments in 2 YearsIn conjunction with Fundación Pies Descalzos, CGSGI began implementation of a two-year, $4 million initiative that will cover child nutrition, education, vocational training, and support microenterprise development in Bogotá, Quibdó, and Barranquilla, Colombia. In total, 4,000 vulnerable students and their families are expected to benefit from this program.In partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Health, regional health authorities, NGOs, and mining companies, CGSGI is developing a three-year project that will provide household-level support and education as well as improve the ministry’s implementation of child nutrition and maternal health programs in regions of Peru where child malnutrition is caused by poor diet, not by food scarcity. With the government of Colombia and NGO partners, CGSGI is working to upgrade and expand TANA, a promising organic spice business that produces basil, cilantro, oregano, ginger, turmeric, and tropical seasonings. TANA involves 150 Afro-Colombian women in Quibdó, Chocó, an impoverished region of Colombia. CGSGI and its partners are working to improve the operations and sales of the TANA women. TANA products recently received organic certification for the United States and the European Union, allowing the business to pursue new market outlets outside of Colombia. In partnership with Fundación Carlos Slim, CGSGI began formation of a $20 million investment fund for small and medium enterprises in Colombia that are underserved by existing capital markets and are looking to expand or scale up. The aim of this fund is to enable sustainable job creation and income generation.Together with the National Hotel Association of Colombia, the Government of Colombia and other NGOs, CGSGI began development of a local supplier network for Cartagena hotels and other large-scale buyers. The shift to local suppliers will generate an estimated 350 new jobs over 14 months for residents of under-resourced communities in and around Cartagena. In the Ancash and Cajamarca regions of Peru, CGSGI launched the collaborative expansion of the Poverty Reduction and Alleviation model, which aims to efficiently link producers to markets as well as enhance sustainable economic activity in agriculture, agribusiness, and tourism. In November 2008, CGSGI, in partnership with Antamina Mining Company, opened two new economic service centers in Ancash to increase the geographic reach of the program. In April 2009, in partnership with Minera Yanacocha and Gold Fields Limited, CGSGI opened an economic service center in Cajamarca.
The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative is an innovative partnership between the William J. Clinton Foundation, the private sector, governments, local communities, and other NGOs to increase the scope, scale, impact, and sustainability of social and economic development efforts in areas where poverty is widespread. Established in June 2007 by President Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra, CGSGI focuses on alleviating poverty in the developing world through market-driven development that creates jobs and increases incomes, and by strengthening factors that enable economic growth such as health and education. CGSGI is an effort to transform the way businesses do business in the developing world, by creating opportunities and models for all industries seeking to work responsibly in those regions.
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