PCI and CEMEX Partner at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting to Transform Urban Slums around the World

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Low-Cost Loans Will Empower Families in the Developing World to Build New Futures

By providing people with the opportunity and tools to improve the lives of their families, these slums can become thriving neighborhoods.

PCI (Project Concern International) and CEMEX announced a new partnership at the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting to transform urban slums in the developing world into resilient neighborhoods. The Urban Upgrading through Public Private Partnerships (UUPPP) program will involve public-private partnerships at the community level in pilot countries with low-cost loans to poor and vulnerable populations for construction and low-cost housing.

“As urban populations continue to skyrocket around the world and attract people looking for work and a better way of life, unmanageable and unsafe slums develop all too quickly with deplorable economic and social conditions,” said PCI President and CEO George Guimaraes. “By providing people with the opportunity and tools to improve the lives of their families, these slums can become thriving neighborhoods.”

“CEMEX is helping to address the challenges of urbanization in different ways, and we are developing products and services in order to achieve better conditions for society, and we found in the affordable housing space the opportunities to meet the needs of the lowest-income families and their habitat,” said Martha Herrera, CEMEX Director of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The first pilot country in this three-year program will include Mexico. A rigorous evaluation process will be in place throughout the entire program to identify challenges and best practices and ensure the programs are effective and have the highest degree of integrity.

In this unique partnership, PCI will convene local community groups on the ground with its experience in building healthy, safe neighborhoods around the world, and CEMEX will participate by early 2015 through PIAC, its award-winning Assisted Self-Construction Integrated Program with the objective to improve the quality of life of at least 80,000 people.

The world’s urban population will grow by almost 1.5 billion people by 2030, and an increasing number of households will live in high-risk, unsafe informal communities. These areas are unsafe due to crime, disease, and natural disasters like floods and earthquakes—a scene all too familiar from last year’s typhoon in the Philippines.

Households in these informal communities have little access to capital, and when they do the interest rates can be as high as 90 percent. By working with local partners and finance institutions, UUPPP will provide low-cost loans and technical assistance to families to purchase or build their own homes.

Home ownership serves as an important basis for land rights, which will also expand the local tax base of municipalities and lead to increased public services such as water, sanitation and education.

This strategic approach includes building and strengthening local capabilities by providing access to tools, know-how and financing that will not only generate new employment opportunities, but also provide high quality and affordable products and services to self-home builders. In addition, governments have a very important role to play, and this strategy will align with local public polices and facilitate public-private partnerships with successful proven models.

About PCI: PCI’s mission is to prevent disease, improve community health and promote sustainable development worldwide. Motivated by a concern for the world’s most vulnerable children, families and communities, PCI envisions a world where abundant resources are shared, communities are able to provide for the health and well-being of their members, and children and families can achieve lives of hope, good health and self-sufficiency. For more information, visit http://www.pciglobal.org.

About CEMEX: CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable services to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.

About the Clinton Global Initiative: Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 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, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

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. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow CGI on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

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Richard Parker
Project Concern International
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