Innovative farming initiative recognized at Clinton gathering


September 27, 2012

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    Adam Bacher for Mercy Corps  </span>
    CEO Neal Keny-Guyer (second from left) on stage with President Bill Clinton at the CGI Annual Meeting on September 25, 2012. Photo: Adam Bacher for Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation were recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City on Tuesday for their Commitment to Action to implement Agri-Fin Mobile.

Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer was invited on stage to receive recognition for the commitment by President Bill Clinton.

A Commitment to Action is a concrete plan to address a global challenge and must meet three criteria for the Clinton Global Initiative; commitments must be new, specific and measurable. Agri-Fin Mobile, Mercy Corps' Commitment to Action, is an innovative social enterprise to provide low-income farmers in the developing world with "bundled" support integrating financial services, market information and agricultural services to boost their harvests. The Agri-Fin Mobile program aims to increase the income of 180,000 low-income farmers in Indonesia, Uganda and Zimbabwe by 30 percent within the first three years.

The mission of the Clinton Global Initiative is to "turn ideas into action." Their Annual Meeting convenes leaders from around the world each September. The theme of this year's meeting was "Designing for Impact."

The CGI Annual Meeting is just one of the many events happening in New York City during this week, which is often simply called "U.N. Week." More than 100 heads of state are in New York City for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, which began on Tuesday and runs through the week.

As part of the week's activities, Neal also spoke on a panel at the Social Good Summit on Monday. The panel -- "Doing Well by Doing Good: How Corporations & NGOs are Coming Together for Social Impact" - focused on MiCRO and also included Martyn Parker, Chairman of Global Partnerships of Swiss Re (a MiCRO partner) and Kyle Peterson, Managing Director of FSG.

Neal also represented Mercy Corps at the Better than Cash Alliance launch event on Monday evening. Mercy Corps recently joined the Alliance, which was initiated by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citigroup, The Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, USAID, VISA and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). Members of the Alliance, which include governments, international aid organizations and companies, commit to help accelerate the shift from cash to electronic payments, to benefit people living in poverty and to grow emerging economies.