Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rockefeller Foundation develops $70M initiative

Rockefeller Foundation develops $70M initiative
By: Catherine Tymkiw
August 09. 2007 3:04PM

The Rockefeller Foundation said Thursday that it was pledging some $70 million toward a five-year program aimed at helping communities deal with catastrophes linked to the effects of global warming.

The Climate Change Resilience Initiative will focus on Asia and parts of the U.S. that are at risk of being hardest hit by hurricanes, record heat waves and wildfires. The initiative will also target Africa, where vulnerability to climate change is high because of a weak infrastructure and strong dependence on natural resources.

“While climate change will affect all of us, it will affect every aspect of life for poor people in particular – the type of food they eat, where they live, the water they drink, and even their jobs,” said foundation president Judith Rodin.

While much attention has been paid to cutting carbon dioxide emissions, very little has been done to combat the other devastating effects of global warming. “Currently there is a very low awareness for this type of work,” said foundation associate vice president Maria Blair. “There are few existing networks, a deplorable lack of capacity and little funding for resilience work.”

The initiative marks the latest major undertaking by Dr. Rodin, who became the first female president of the 94-year-old Rockefeller Foundation in 2005. In June, the foundation launched a $2.5 million fund aimed at promoting cultural innovation in New York City.

The foundation has also provided $12.5 million to help rebuild New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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