Closing the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative on Friday, former President Bill Clinton announced that CGI members had made 284 commitments valued at more than $9.4 billion which, when fully implemented, could improve the lives of 200 million individuals worldwide.
Although meeting organizers said they expected less money to be pledged this year as a result of the global financial crisis, commitments made exceeded the dollar value of commitments made at the 2008 meeting by $1.4 billion. Commitments announced last week included $30 million from the UN Foundation and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help eradicate polio worldwide; $30 million from the Omidyar Network to support global entrepreneurship; $25 million from the Nature Conservancy to help people and natural habitats adapt to the effects of global warming; and $24 million from Women for Women International, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the NoVo Foundation to support the economic empowerment of women and girls.
In addition, the Rockefeller Foundation committed to support the Global Impact Investing Network, which works to enable more effective impact investing around the world; the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth, Ashoka, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed to support individuals working to reduce maternal death and disability; Right To Play International, ExxonMobil, and the Wasserman Media Group committed to join the United Against Malaria partnership; and PATH and its partners committed to improve the health of more than 800,000 schoolchildren in India by expanding a meal fortification program.
"I think we can say with some certainty that this model actually does work," Clinton said. "People don't have to have the same politics, the same religion, or speak the same language to work together and to have an impact. We all have things to learn from each other. What we need is a shared mechanism to achieve common goals."