The contemporary world undergoes dramatic changes which are not always positive. In such a situation, the problems the modern world community faces are extremely serious and are many of them are really global and needs the mutual efforts of all the countries of the world to be taken in order to solve them. In this respect, the role of developed country is particularly important but it is obvious that states cannot solve all the problems and, consequently, the assistance of public organizations is needed. As a result, different public organizations appear aiming at the solution of the most burning problems modern society is currently facing. One of such organizations is the William J. Clinton Foundation founded by the former President of the US. At the same time, it should be pointed out that it is extremely important that this organization as well as many others function efficiently since basically the funding of such organizations is based on charity and, thus, it should be used as efficient as possible.
Clinton Foundation’s basic goals and functioning
Before developing recommendations concerning the improvement of the functioning of the William J. Clinton Foundation, it is primarily necessary to dwell upon its basic goals in order to better understand what the organizations aims at and what efforts are made to meet these goals.
First of all, it should be said that the stated mission of the organization is to “strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence” (Ferguson 2005:104).
In order to achieve this stated mission the William J. Clinton Foundation is focused on four basic areas: health security, economic empowerment, leadership development and citizen service, and racial, ethnic and religious reconciliation. Naturally, the Foundation cannot function without close cooperation with individuals, organizations, corporations and governments that increases the efficiency of its work and contribute to the wide representation of this organization in different countries on different levels.
Speaking about the principal spheres where the Clinton Foundation functions, it is necessary to point out that health security remains one of the most important goals of the organization. In this respect, it is worthy of note that one of the most significant achievements of the William J. Clinton Foundation is its HIV/AIDS initiative (CHAI) that “strives to make treatment for HIV/AIDS more affordable and implement large-scale integrated care, treatment and prevention programs” (Richardson 2005:284). It should be pointed out that it is estimated that the Foundation helped 415,000 people around the world (Richardson 2005:291) that is very important because the situation in some developing countries, especially in Africa is really difficult, if not to say catastrophic, since the rate of people suffering from HIV/AIDS reaches 30-40% and acquired the epidemic character. This is why it is really important that the Foundation’s activities have included AIDS care and treatment in Africa and it contributes to closer cooperation of different countries in this domain in order to reduce costs of treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Africa, including rural areas.
Furthermore, another important initiative of the Clinton Foundation is the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that was inaugurated in 2005 which is stated to be “a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together global leaders including heads of state, non-profit organizations, charities, and business leaders to discuss challenges facing the world today and devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s pressing challenges” (Ferguson 2005:237). Basically, the CGI is focused on four areas: energy and climate change, global public health, poverty alleviation, mitigating religious and ethnic conflicts.
At the same time, it should be pointed out that the Clinton Foundation focuses not only on the global problems but also on the problems that affect dramatically the US. At this point one of the most significant initiatives of the Foundation is its contribution to the overcoming of the one of the most pressing issues of the contemporary America: the epidemic of childhood obesity. This is a very serious problem to the extent that American children today risk to be the first generation of Americans who live shorter life than their parents. In such a situation, it is very important that the Clinton Foundation attempts to contribute to the solution of this problem by “partnering with American Heart Association in the spring of 2005 to form the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a 10-year joint initiative dedicated to reversing childhood obesity” (Ferguson 2005:350).
Recommendations to improvement of Clinton Foundation
Obviously, the initiatives of the William J. Clinton Foundation are important and absolutely essential, but obviously they functioning of the organization and its efficiency may be increased. In fact, it is really important that such organizations could be able to meet their basic goals because the importance of the problems they deal with is really significant for the whole world.
On analyzing, the functioning of the Clinton Foundation, it is primarily necessary to point out that this organization really attempts to solve global problems, at least its basic goals are to solve them. However, in actuality, the Foundation rather deals with effects of the problems than with their causes. First of all, it should be said that from a strategic point of view the most important thing is to minimize the risk of the development of causes of the problems while the solution of their effects is only a temporary and not very efficient measure. What is meant here is the fact that it is impossible to solve the problem until its cause persists.
For instance, the CHAI is really important initiative since it aims at the struggle with the spread of VIH/AIDS in Africa, including rural areas. However, in actuality, what the Clinton Foundation has managed to achieve on realizing this initiative is the uniting efforts of leaders of several states at the minimizing the costs of treatment of HIV/AIDS in African countries. Obviously, it does not solve the problem of HIV/AIDS because the epidemic disease will keep progressing since its causes are not eliminated. Practically, it means that the Clinton Foundation donates and stimulate other state and non-state organizations to donate and funding the struggle with HIV/AIDS by means of minimizing costs of treatment while it is necessary to prevent the spread of the disease that can be done only by eliminating of its causes.
In such a situation, it is obvious that lower price of medicaments African countries will pay is not sufficient measure. Naturally, it is possible to recommend working more on informing local people about the diseases and the way of its spread but the efficiency of this measure is also quite doubtful, though informing people can certainly reduce a little bit the risk of the spread of HIV/AIDS.
However, what is really important is to target not only at the minimizing of costs African countries have to spend on the treatment of HIV/AIDS, but to improve socio-economic situation in the region. In fact, socio-economic factors are the most important and, to a significant extent, is one of the main causes of many problems that the contemporary world has to cope with. This is why it is strategically important to focus on elimination of poverty in African states to solve the problem of HIV/AIDS in the region since the richer the region is the more informed people are, and the more opportunities to prevent the spread of disease they have. In this respect, it is worthy of note that the comparison between developed and developing countries is sufficient to realize the extent to which the rate of the spread of epidemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS are dependent on socio-economic situation in the society.
Obviously, the recommendation concerning the solution of the problem of HIV/AIDS in Africa is only an example but, nonetheless, this is the strategic direction the Clinton Foundation has to work at. To put it more precisely, the struggle with poverty and socio-economic backwardness should be the priority number one of the Foundation since this problem engenders other problems related to health security, environment protection, etc. For instance, the problem of children obesity in the US also has socio-economic origin because food provoking obesity is cheaper in the country and consequently is wider used in food production and is widely consumed, especially by lower and even middle classes, while organic farming and its products turn to be too expensive for an average American consumer though such products are healthier than those which are now widely used in the US.
Thus, in conclusion it is possible to say that the functioning and goals of the William J. Clinton Foundation are really important and such organizations should keep functioning worldwide. At the same time, they should be very careful with the priorities they are focused on because, as the example of the Clinton Foundation shows, the treatment of effects is important but not sufficient, while the treatment of causes is vitally important. This is why it is possible to recommend to the Clinton Foundation rather focusing more on socio-economic problems, including poverty, than the temporary measures at lowering costs of the minimization of the effects of currently existing problems.
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