Dear Friends of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund:
On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and destroying countless homes and businesses. The President asked President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to respond to this disaster together, mobilizing the generosity of the American people to help Haiti build back better. Since its inception, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has received nearly $55 million from more than 200,000 individuals, businesses, and organizations.
We have used these generous donations to help Haitians transform their own country. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, the Fund supported emergency needs. We then transitioned to promoting smart, sustainable economic development.
We have focused our efforts on microfinance, small businesses, and workforce development. Our funds have been put to work across diverse sectors, ranging from agriculture to manufacturing to health care. Among the investments we made was one to rebuild an office supply store destroyed by the earthquake. Our grant recipients included initiatives to revitalize Haiti’s oldest oldest women-run microfinance institution as well as train hundreds of hospitality workers and nurses, and thousands of at-risk youth in construction trades. Whenever possible, we have used our funds as a catalyst to leverage capital from other donors and the private sector. Among these was a grant to launch a mortgage facility and an equity investment to jump start the first post-earthquake construction of a major business hotel.
Working in Haiti has presented many challenges, ranging from poor infrastructure to import delays to political transitions. Not all of our programs have achieved their full potential. However, we have worked hard to be responsible stewards of our donor funds. To that end, we have: linked disbursements to benchmarks of progress, engaged third parties to monitor programs, and partnered with Haitian organizations to build Haitian capacity for the long term.
As a result, the seeds we have sown will continue to bear fruit in the years ahead. We estimate that the Fund’s projects sustained or created more than 7,350 jobs and counting, trained 20,050 workers and counting, and provided services to more than 311,000 people and counting. As these organizations hire more employees, train more workers, and reach more beneficiaries, these numbers will grow.
Now, having served as a bridge from immediate post-disaster relief to longer-term reconstruction, we have distributed
our remaining funds to organizations that will continue to put them to work in Haiti. Going forward, the Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, will manage programs that have not yet been fully completed, and will receive funds from remaining loans. These repayments will be invested into programs consistent with the Fund’s mission to promote economic opportunity in Haiti.
Together with the entire board and staff of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, we are proud to have directed our donors’ generosity toward helping Haiti move from its aid-dependent past to a more hopeful, private sector-driven future, empowering the Haitian people to chart their own course.
Joshua Bolten and Laura Graham Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Board Co-Chairs