Bill Clinton Comes Out in Defence of his ‘Non-Partisan’ Foundation
The former American president, Bill Clinton, on Thursday, came out in defence of his namesake foundation, after it came under the scanner for its fundraising practices and acceptance of donations from foreign governments. This move is being seen as an attempt to mellow the criticism that has surfaced, ever since Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the Democratic nomination for president.
On Thursday, Bill Clinton interacted with the United Nations on the role that his Foundation and other nongovernmental organizations had played in addressing global health challenges. Citing the plight of Liberia, he particularly urged governments and nonprofit organizations to contribute funds towards building of health systems across Africa. Speaking of the Clinton Foundation’s Health Access Initiative in Africa, he referred to the recent Ebola outbreak, wherein Liberia just had one health worker for every 3,472 people.
He also sent personal letters to donors to his family’s foundation on Friday, emphasizing the foundation’s objective of bringing people together across traditional divides to help others live better lives. The letter listed the organization’s achievements, such as providing low-cost HIV/AIDS medicines to 9.9 million people worldwide and improving nutrition and health for more than 16 million US schoolchildren.
Mr. Clinton, towards the end in his letter, also took on some of the criticism regarding the finances of the foundation. The foundation, since its inception in 1997, had raised more than $2 billion, much of it from foreign donors. The letter read, “We’ll continue to strive for accuracy and transparency and, most important, keep working on the mission and measuring our progress every step of the way”.
The foundation also released a video appraising its activities around the world, from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Harlem to the poorest countries in Africa and Latin America.
Mr. Clinton’s speech, letter and video come along with the support, the foundation allies are trying to garner through op-ed pieces, letters and posts on the foundation’s site.
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