Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clinton Global Initiative receives new aid pledges

Another high level meeting is taking place in New York City, this one tries to drum up pledges from the public as well as private sector. The Clinton Global Initiative led by the former President has already gathered some pledges from Proctor and Gamble, Google and others.

From this Bloomberg article on the meeting, writers Peter S. Green and Lisa Kassenaar detail some of the pledges.

Clinton said that, by the end of this session, the global initiative will have collected over its five-year history 1,946 pledges worth more than $63 billion.

The former president announced a plan by the Stamford, Connecticut-based aid group AmeriCares to build a safe haven for 1,000 adolescent girls in earthquake-ravaged Haiti to protect them from sexual assault.

Clean drinking water, a leading cause of disease and death among mothers and small children, will be a major focus of this year’s meeting along with help for Haiti, Pakistan and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Procter & Gamble Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob McDonald said the Cincinnati-based consumer-products company will distribute 2 billion packets of a water purification product called “Pur” free in developing countries. Clinton said the packets would save at least one life every hour.

“We think it’s good business as well as good philanthropy,” McDonald said. “Consumers around the world today want to know what they are buying into when they spend dollars to buy our products.”

“It all comes down to women,” said Melinda Gates, who started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates. “You have to put the power in their hands” to help break the cycle of maternal deaths, a key factor keeping women in poverty in the developing world.

The Gates foundation has been focusing on safer childbirth in countries including Nigeria, India and Ethiopia. About 350,000 women die in childbirth each year.

Eric Schmidt, Google Inc.’s CEO, pledged $1 million to help Pakistan recover from floods that devastated the country, including a Web-based computer application that helps rescuers find people missing in natural disasters.

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