New York, NY–(ENEWSPF)–August 12, 2010. President Clinton initiated construction on the first project generated by the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC), by breaking ground on a new communal hurricane shelter at The École Communautaire Sainte Thérèse de Darbonne, a school in Léogâne, Haiti. In June, at the request of Léogâne residents, President Clinton announced a $1 million commitment by the Clinton Foundation to establish and improve communal shelters in areas at risk of hurricane damage. The project was approved by the Board of the IHRC at its first meeting on June 17.
President Clinton also announced that, inspired by the Clinton Foundation’s commitment, the American Red Cross is investing $1 million to develop additional emergency shelters, and will invest $4 million more as other shelter sites are identified. The Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank also have committed to invest $1 million and $2 million, respectively, to emergency shelters in Haiti.
Together, this should enable the development of dozens of shelters. Importantly, the structures are designed to serve as schools when there is no storm risk. The Clinton Foundation is contracting with a Haitian firm and international firm to develop the structures. Approximately 1 to 2 million people in Haiti are still living in temporary settlements and camps throughout the country following the January 12 earthquake. Léogâne is at high-risk for hurricane damage, and currently has 200,000 people living in camps.
Since the earthquake, the Clinton Foundation has facilitated the donation of $25 million to relief efforts and other areas. This includes the disbursement of funds to organizations working on the ground in Haiti, as well as the shipment and delivery of emergency, relief, education, and agricultural supplies worth over $16 million.
While in Haiti, President Clinton also met with Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and President René Préval, and participated in meetings with Haitian ministers and leaders in the private sector.