NEW YORK, United States – Former United States President Bill Clinton will visit the region next week, as his foundation launches an effort to help with reconstruction efforts.

He will visit Dominica and the US Virgin Islands which were among the hardest hit by Category 5 hurricanes last September and are both struggling with recovery.

At the request of leaders in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, the Clinton Foundation said Thursday that it will launch a new organization — the Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery — to secure long-term investments to help the islands.

The first meeting will be held April 3 at the University of Miami, where stakeholders will continue to work towards commitments to action to address the ongoing immediate response needs, as well as the long-term recovery in the region.

Clinton’s visit to the US Virgin Islands and Dominica, to view the islands’ ongoing efforts to continue building back, follows a trip to Puerto Rico in November of last year.

“Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean community are in need, and we must answer that call,” he said.

“Together with leaders from government, business, and civil society, we can demonstrate what is possible when we come together and bring our collective will and resources to bear on this crisis. We have a responsibility to act, for the people who are still suffering, and for all the future generations in the region.”

On Wednesday, Clinton hosted a planning meeting to catalyze new work and build on existing work that is already helping in the region. A diverse range of officials from the region detailed the needs on their islands, and met with business and philanthropic leaders to start planning commitments.

Clinton described development of several new Commitments to Action to be announced at the April meeting, including the rebuilding of schools and homes in Dominica; the installation of solar equipment at primary care clinics in Puerto Rico; and the distribution of remote Zika testing for pregnant women across the region.

The Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery is focusing on five key areas: energy, infrastructure, health, education, and economic development. The Commitments to Action will aim to improve disaster response and support the sustainable, inclusive, and resilient rebuilding of the region.

The Network will support this work by providing its members with opportunities to: identify critical areas of need where they can have the deepest impact; coordinate work and avoid duplication of efforts; network and build new partnerships; and share lessons learned, best practices, and common resources with a larger community.

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