Coca-Cola commits $17 million to support COVID-19 response in Africa
Other NGOs and social enterprises the company has been working with include Givefood.ng in Nigeria, Gift of the Givers in South Africa and national disaster management agencies across the countries.
The Coca-Cola System, which comprises The Coca-Cola Company and nearly 250 bottling partners worldwide, and The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) have committed a $17 million funding to support governments and local communities in Africa in their efforts to contain the spread and impact of the coronavirus disease outbreak. In a statement released to Financial Nigeria on Friday, the largest beverage company in the world said, together with its bottling partners on the continent, it has been deploying a range of resources, including capabilities, funds and products to communities since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of the total funding, $13 million will be granted by the Coca-Cola System to provide support through the various phases of the pandemic, while $4 million will be provided by TCCF to international and local NGOs, such as the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Amref Health. According to the statement, the fund will be used to procure and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical needs for frontline workers.
Other NGOs and social enterprises the company has been working with include Givefood.ng in Nigeria, Gift of the Givers in South Africa and national disaster management agencies across the countries to provide food parcels for vulnerable families whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the lockdown and other restrictions. The beverage company said it is also providing funding and other forms of support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the retail, hospitality and recycling sectors who have been among the hardest hit businesses by COVID-19 restrictions.
Coca-Cola said it suspended all commercial advertising of its brands and deployed its marketing and trade assets, including social media channels, product labels and point-of-sale materials to amplify COVID-19 messaging.
The variety of interventions by its bottling partners in Africa have included the distribution of medical supplies, food items, cash donations, 3-D printed face masks and other PPE. The Nigerian Bottling Company and other Coca-Cola bottling partners in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have reportedly produced over 30,000 litres of alcoholic sanitizer in line with World Health Organization (WHO) standard. The products were distributed to governments and vulnerable communities free of charge.
“The Coca-Cola system has been through many global crises during our 134 year’s history,” said Bruno Pietracci, The Coca-Cola Company’s President of Africa & Middle East. “Making a positive difference during times of crisis is in our DNA. We are in this together with our communities. Going forward, supporting micro and small businesses who are the fabric of our communities and the backbone to Africa’s resilience, will be a key priority for us.”
TCCF, the philanthropic arm of the beverage manufacturer, said it has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world since its inception in 1984.
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