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Former President Clinton launches post-hurricane recovery network

SAN JUAN – Former President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery at the University of Miami on Tuesday.

Bill-Clinton

The event brought together more than 350 government, business and civil society leaders to address immediate and long-term hurricane recovery needs.

Participants announced “Commitments to Action” such as deploying nurses to the U.S. Virgin Islands to conduct vision, hearing and dental screenings for 9,000 schools children, and a new agency in Dominica providing funding for resiliency projects.

The commitments for Puerto Rico include the “Solar Saves Lives” initiative. Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, The Solar Foundation and New Energy PR will install solar systems at 12 primary care clinics hit by Hurricane Maria and were identified for having extended power outages causing losses of medicines.

Training for mental health workers in Puerto Rico is another initiative. “Healing for Health Workers: Building Mental Health Capacity in Post-Maria Puerto Rico” includes an Americares commitment to train 5,000 health workers, emergency responders and social service providers over the next year and a half to address mental health challenges in the wake of Maria.

Afya Foundation, meanwhile, has committed to addressing the “urgent medical needs of elders” by collaborating with Puerto Rican social agency Acción Social to develop a long-term program. “Afya will ship three 40-foot containers of needed medical supplies and equipment to Puerto Rico to support Acción Social’s 22 Elder Care centers, which serve patients across 76 municipalities.

“Additional supplies will be kept in five storage hubs throughout the island to allow Acción Social’s care workers to replenish their supplies moving forward. Additionally, Afya will provide training and capacity building to Acción Social’s staff to strengthen their existing elder care work. This commitment will positively impact the care and quality of life of 1,200 elders on the island,” CGI explains.

For its part, International Medical Corps committed to improving access to primary healthcare for school-aged children in Puerto Rico by partnering with Med Centro to expand their health in schools program. It will procure a mobile medical unit, which will allow Med Centro to reach five additional schools. “As a result of this commitment, more than 1,000 elementary and middle school students will receive increased access to primary care services,” according to the release.

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