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Habitat for Humanity International makes commitments toward poverty alleviation at Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting

HFHI features microfinance program and pledges assistance for hurricane victims in Haiti

ATLANTA (Sept. 29, 2008) – Habitat for Humanity International’s microfinance housing initiative was featured at the fourth Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York City, where the housing organization also announced plans to aid hurricane victims in Haiti.

Habitat CEO Jonathan Reckford participated alongside business leaders, heads of state and other key figures who gathered to seek solutions for the world’s most pressing problems.

CGI’s four areas of focus include education, energy and climate change, global health and poverty alleviation. Habitat for Humanity International’s Housing Finance Innovation program was featured during the poverty alleviation segment of the gathering.

“Our commitment through the Housing Finance Innovation program is to contribute to the groundwork needed to make significant increases in available capital for wealth creation and asset development for the poor,” said Reckford.

In addition, Habitat for Humanity International has committed to a three-year plan that will help to create housing solutions in hurricane-ravaged Haiti – a region recently devastated by a series of hurricanes.

The hurricanes and tropical storms that have affected Haiti since mid-August have killed 423 people and left approximately 800,000 in dire need of help. More than 111,000 people remain in temporary displacement, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. With an estimated cost of $7 million, Habitat is seeking funds to help address this effort.

Habitat’s “Rebuilding Shelter Solutions in Haiti” initiative will further enhance the work already being done by Habitat for Humanity International and Habitat for Humanity Haiti. This incremental work will include:

• Providing key home repairs to the hurricane-damaged homes of 1,500 families, with at least 500 of these repairs completed within the first year of the three-year commitment;
• Building homes with 1,000 families in need of new housing, with at least 300 in the first year;
• Providing financial support and training for 300 tradesmen and micro-entrepreneurs — at least 100 in first year — in construction trades such as carpentry, masonry, production of construction materials and disaster mitigation and preparation; and
• Training 1,000 families in disaster prevention and mitigation tactics, with at least 300 trained within the first year.

This was Reckford’s third year to join the CGI, which meets annually in September to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly. Participation is by invitation only, with the goal of matching people who possess the necessary resources with those who have the most innovative ideas and greatest capacity for implementation.

Participants, who come from a wide variety of professions, cultural and religious backgrounds and geographic regions – and who include media voices, philanthropists, foundation heads, religious leaders, academics and other global citizens – are required to make a commitment to action as part of the meeting.

“The CGI emphasis on results attracts people committed to change and to solving, rather than just identifying, global problems,” said Reckford. “This forum is invaluable in providing opportunities to talk with global leaders and innovators.

“Our continued participation in the CGI meetings underscores the value of creating new partnerships for attracting additional resources and for seeking technical assistance and professional services. It is inspiring to see so many diverse individuals come together with a determination to improve the lives of people worldwide.”

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 as a project of the non-partisan William J. Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI members have made nearly 1,000 Commitments to Action valued at upwards of $30 billion to improve more than 200 million lives in over 150 countries around the world. Through past annual meetings, CGI has brought together more than 80 current and former heads of state, hundreds of top CEOs and non-profit leaders, major philanthropists and 10 of the last 16 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

The CGI community also includes: CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship; CGI Asia, the first in a series of regional CGI meetings; and, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make their own Commitment to Action. For more details on CGI and the 2008 Annual Meeting, please visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built nearly 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.