Eight projects and partnerships that will help rebuilding and resilience efforts in the Caribbean

Last fall, two devastating hurricanes tore through the Caribbean region, causing catastrophic devastation in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda. Across the region, thousands remain without shelter, power, or adequate access to food and clean water.

Following those storms, at the invitation of local leaders, President Clinton went down to Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica to assess the damage, see efforts already underway by Foundation partners, and hear from people whose lives were uprooted as a result of the storms.

We quickly got to work — asking partners to help address the recovery needs in the region and help rebuild and prepare for future, inevitable storms. Recovery and rebuilding can’t be achieved overnight. That’s why on April 3, President Clinton along with leaders from Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica, officially launched the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery. At the meeting, more than 350 leaders in government, business, philanthropy, and other influential voices worked toward and announced new solutions to continue rebuilding and resilience efforts.

Below, learn how organizations are working together to create meaningful, measurable change for hurricane response and resilience.

1.) Restoring Puerto Rico’s trees and natural habitat

Para la Naturaleza (PLN) committed to launch Habitat, a comprehensive reforestation and habitat restoration program in Puerto Rico that aims to plant 750,000 native and endemic trees that are more resilient to natural phenomena such as hurricanes, and provide assessment and maintenance of newly planted areas. Restoring Puerto Rico’s plant life will help recover and enhance local biodiversity, improve watershed and soil health, and protect the habitat of endangered species.

2.) Restoring school infrastructure and housing in Dominica

Digicel committed to repair or rebuild seven schools and 360 homes in Dominica that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria, while also training 100 community members in building techniques and provide community workshops on risk mitigation and disaster preparedness.

3.) Working with health workers to improve mental health Post-Maria Puerto Rico

Americares committed to address mental health challenges in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria by providing training for 5,000 health workers, emergency responders, and social service providers across the island.

4.) Children’s school clinic mission to the U.S. Virgin Islands

The American Federation of Teachers partnered with Airlink and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to bring nurses to conduct vision, hearing, and dental screenings for all 9,000 schoolchildren on the U.S. Virgin Islands.

5.) Building a more climate resilient nation

The Government of Dominica committed to launch a climate resiliency agency (CREAD), dedicating $600 million in funding to implement resiliency projects, with the goal of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world.

6.) Primary healthcare for school-aged children

International Medical Corps committed to support primary healthcare for school-aged children in Puerto Rico by procuring an additional Mobile Medical unit for Med Centro, allowing them to reach an additional five elementary and middle schools with comprehensive preventive health screenings, and providing training and capacity building to all Med Centro staff.

7.) Solar power for primary health clinics in Puerto Rico

Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, The Solar Foundation, and New Energy PR committed to install solar or solar+ storage systems at 12 primary care clinics in Puerto Rico, meeting critical energy needs at each site.

8.) Medical supplies for Puerto Rico’s elderly

Afya Foundation committed to addressing the urgent medical needs of the elder population in Puerto Rico, by shipping immediate medical supplies and equipment to Acción Social’s 22 Elder Care centers, while providing training and capacity building to Acción Social staff.

Positioning relief supplies for the future

President Clinton also announced a Commitment to Action in development, issuing a challenge to members of the Action Network to pre-position relief supplies for the upcoming hurricane season. With estimates that every $1 spent on preparedness saves $4 in response and recovery spending, pre-positioning relief supplies, and establishing logistics and distribution channels, can help resources be deployed more efficiently in the event of a disaster. CGI is bringing together Action Network members who can lend their resources, materials, expertise and support to a broad effort that already includes engagement from Operation Blessing, Airlink, Federal Surplus Company, Solight, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Americares, and World Central Kitchen.