PORT-AU-PRINCE, July 21, 2011 (AFP) - Former US president Bill Clinton said Thursday that his foundation would provide more than $1 million to help thousands of Haitian students with their schooling.
"My foundation is going to make a grant of $1.25 million to the Haitian Ministry of Education to insure that 10,000 more children will be able to attend primary school, and get a big meal every day while they are there," Clinton said at a ceremony in which he was decorated by Haitian President Michel Martelly.
"This assures that the money will increase the capacity of the Ministry of Education and support the work of the president's back-to-school campaign both in the private and public schools."
Clinton, who attended the inauguration of new model homes in Port-au-Prince on Thursday, also announced a $500,000 gift to the government to help its reconstruction effort.
A massive earthquake devastated Haiti in January 2010, leaving an estimated 225,000 people dead and destroying much of the country's already impoverished infrastructure.
Clinton, the UN's special envoy to Haiti, was given a formal award by Martelly for his services to the country.
"Mr. President... I have said many times in the US that I really don't believe former American presidents need awards anymore, but I am very honored by this one," said Clinton.
"I love Haiti, and I believe in its promise."