Bill Clinton named special envoy to Haiti by U.N.

Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention.
Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention. Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press / MCT

Former President Bill Clinton, who has pledged his philanthropic weight to help a storm ravaged Haiti, has been named a special envoy to the Caribbean nation on behalf of the United Nations.

The appointment comes two months after Clinton visited Haiti alongside U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in an effort to raise global attention to the country's halting efforts to rebuild following a string of storms that wreaked havoc on the Haitian economy, its nine million citizens and its already fragile landscape.

Last summer's two hurricanes and two tropical storms in less than 30 days left nearly 800 dead and nearly $1 billion in damage in an impoverished Haiti. They came five months after rising global fuel and food prices triggered days of deadly food riots.

"It is an honor to accept the secretary general's invitation to become special envoy to Haiti," former President Clinton said in a statement to The Miami Herald. "Last year's natural disasters took a great toll, but Haiti's government and people have the determination and ability to 'build back better,' not just to repair the damage done but to lay the foundations for the long-term sustainable development that has eluded them for so long."

The U.N. currently has no special envoy for Haiti, and it is expected that Clinton will travel there at least four times a year as part of the UN's effort to build on the momentum created by his March visit.

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