Tags: clinton foundation | pathbreaking | rwanda | africa | health | rural | development

NYT: Clinton Foundation Doing 'Pathbreaking' Work in Rwanda

Image: NYT: Clinton Foundation Doing 'Pathbreaking' Work in Rwanda
Bill Clinton meeting cassava farmers in Rwanda in 2008 in his work at the Clinton Foundation. 

By    |   Sunday, 18 Oct 2015 12:46 PM

As media focus on the Clinton Foundation has been on the ethics and donors, it has been doing "pathbreaking" work in Rwanda, especially in health and rural development, The New York Times reports. 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has a close relationship with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and the two have worked together on initiatives to improve lives there.

But as Clinton's wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes her second bid at the White House, the family's foundation has been under scrutiny for foreign donations which, while legal, have raised questions about whether they were intended to wield influence in a second Clinton presidency.

That scrutiny overlooks much of the good done by the foundation, the Times reports, including in Rwanda.

The Clinton Foundation focuses on "alliances" and "partnerships," the Times notes, including "climate change, cooperative farming in Africa, economic growth in Haiti, obesity in the United States, access to lifesaving drugs, youth unemployment, early literacy, women’s advocacy, the reduction of preventable disease, the streamlining of developing markets, sustainable health systems and volunteerism."

"We help transform the world's approach to problems," Amitabh Desai, the foundation’s foreign policy director, told the Times.

The work in Rwanda hasn't been without controversy, though. In 2011, members of the foundation pushed for American aid money to be shifted from HIV programs to a training program that the foundation helped establish.

It was opposed by some State Department technical experts and foreign aid contractors who would lose money under the change.

While then Secretary of State Clinton recused herself from making decisions on the case, her chief of staff Cheryl Mills did and Clinton signed off on the budget reallocation.

If Hillary Clinton becomes president, there could be another strain in the relationship with Kegame as he seeks a constitutional change allowing for a third term as president. Kegame led the rebel force that stopped the 1990s Rwandan genocide, but he has faced his own accusations of disregard for human rights.

Bill Clinton has stated in the past on Kagame, "There are very few situations that are perfect."

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As media focus on the Clinton Foundation has been on the ethics and donors, it has been doing pathbreaking work in Rwanda, especially in health and rural development, The New York Times reports. Rwandan President Paul Kagame has a close relationship with former U.S....
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