Market-Based Franchise Initiative Helping Congolese Kids Reach Their 5th Birthday Makes Commitment to Action at Clinton Global Initiative

American Refugee Committee, USAID,, Women for Women International, HealthStore Foundation, XL Insurance, and Congolese Partners Join to Save Lives in Eastern Congo

  Contact: Therese Gales, American Refugee Committee; 612-607-6494; 612-221-5161;

SEPTEMBER 24, 2013,  New York City, NY-

Nearly one in five children in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) do not live to celebrate their fifth birthday.  A diverse group of partners has joined the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to innovate and develop a scalable free-market delivery solution to help.  The group is making a Commitment to Action this week at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.

The CGI Commitment represents a co-creation of partners—including the American Refugee Committee, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID),, Women for Women International, XL Insurance, HealthStore Foundation, and Congolese partners ASOP and ASUREP—which will bring best-of-class resources from the fields of humanitarian relief and development, social enterprise, and human-centered design to reduce child mortality. The platform is centered on a unique market-based approach where mothers play a leading role in improving conditions for their families and communities.

“Children die in Congo every day from preventable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and malnutrition—and we know how to treat and prevent each of these conditions,” said Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO of the American Refugee Committee.  “What’s needed is focused innovation to find an effective delivery mechanism that can go to scale. This CGI Commitment brings together experts who will tackle this challenge head-on.”

ARC’s CGI Commitment (called “Social Enterprise Platform for Child Survival and Maternal Health”), will use proven social enterprise models to provide 22,000 people in rural communities in South Kivu, Eastern Congo, with clean water, nutrition, and targeted health care to reduce under-5 mortality rates.  In addition, 3,000 farmers will receive small agricultural loans to stimulate the local economy and expand access to nutritious foods.

The Commitment will build on successful local solutions and will utilize innovations in cash transfers and cloud technology to support a third-party payer system, track all users in a single database, and optimize the supply chain based on customer demand.  This program is intended to create a well-tested, scalable model designed so that local entrepreneurs can be profitable in low-resource settings. By the end of this two-year commitment, three social enterprise zones will be established resulting in a well-tested, standardized, locally-owned franchise model that can scale nationally.

“We are focused on making a real difference in the lives of Congolese children and their families,” added Wordsworth. “Every child deserves to reach their fifth birthday.”

The program will be based in South Kivu, Eastern Congo—which has some of the worst child mortality rates in the world.

Key partners include:

American Refugee Committee
Women for Women International
HealthStore Foundation
XL Insurance

American Refugee Committee programs are built from the ground up.  We work with people at the most vulnerable points in their lives, when they have lost everything to war or disaster.  They let us know what they need most, and we work together to develop ways to help them get it.  Our programs are as diverse as the people we serve, but they all work together for the same goal:  to help people take back control of their lives.  We have worked with refugees around the world for more than 30 years, and our 2,000 staff members help nearly 2.5 million people a year throughout Africa and Asia. ARC is also building a 21st-century humanitarian organization rooted in co-creating with committed people to provide more meaningful solutions to humanitarian crises worldwide.  ARC was awarded the 2012 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation for its I AM A STAR program, which was co-created in partnership with the global Somali diaspora.  We are based in Minneapolis, MN.  To learn more, visit .

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

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