As pointed out by reader Esteban Agosto Reid, the William J. Clinton Foundation; the charity foundation led by the 42nd American president, Bill Clinton; received a donation from the Government of Jamaica of an amount between USD $50, 000 to $100,000. The following is intended then to let you know exactly what I know, and more importantly some of what we don’t know — questions that could stand some investigation and journalistic inquiry.
I am looking deeper into the donation to see if I can find the exact amount or ostensible purpose reported anywhere. A side question is: was this money a Katrina donation, hence the reason it is important to discover the date that the donation(s) was made.
There were close to 3000 pages of donors encompassing many prominent individuals, leading international NGO’s, corporations, and foreign governments. Therefore it is important to note that the donation is by no means unsavory or scandalous. Indeed, the Clinton Foundation is widely recognized as having made notable achievements in several areas, including the availability of anti-retro-viral AIDS drugs in Africa.
From the Foundation Website:
- Since 2001, the Foundation has grown to an organization with more than 1,100 staff and volunteers working in over 40 countries on projects addressing HIV/AIDS, climate change, sustainable economic development and childhood obesity.
- 1.4 Million people living with HIV/AIDS are now benefiting from lifesaving treatment purchased under the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) pricing agreements;
- 40 of the world’s largest cities are working with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- Nearly 3,000 schools are promoting healthier educational environments due to the work of the Alliance For A Healthier Generation, a joint venture between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association;
- Nearly 1,200 “Commitments to Action” valued at $46 Billion have been made by members of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), improving more than 200 million lives In 150 countries.
- The Foundation also designed and developed the Clinton Presidential Library and Center in Little Rock Arkansas, which opened in November, 2004. More than one million visitors from all 50 states and from around the world have visited the Clinton Library, the only federally maintained facility to receive a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
My questions surround the entirely discretionary nature of this contribution; I wonder about the decision making process that green-lit the contribution and how the amount was decided. It seems highly probable that the donation would likely have taken place during a Government formed by the (now Opposition) PNP in the period after 2001 when Clinton demitted office. Unfortunately the report does not delineate whether the amount was made in a single lump sum or over several contributions — it is possible for example that the total amount represents an aggregate of annual contributions to the Foundation timed to coincide with the Foundation’s annual con-fab in New York that parallels the UN General Assembly.
On page 8 of the document, in the top quartile of all contributors, the Government of Jamaica is listed, immediately following investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.
More to come in the week ahead. I will be updating this page as more information is available, rather than adding new posts. Although, I must say I actually wouldn’t mind being scooped on this by a newspaper in Jamaica with more sources in the Min. of Finance; and government. Hint, hint.
Finally, stories have legs, projecting into the future — we have a current American president, George W. Bush, about to leave office and no doubt he will form a foundation as is the custom of ex-presidents of America. Does the current Government of Jamaica intend to contribute to that foundation, if and when it is formed? If so, how will the decision be made by the Bruce Golding-led Government?