Coca-Cola and its Foundation Commit $17 Million Across Africa in Response to COVID-19
Coca-Cola, its bottling companies, and the Coca-Cola Foundation have been working with NGOs to allocate resources to contain the virus’ spread and impact.
The Coca-Cola System is committing $13 million to support African countries through various phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. TCCF has also granted just under $4 million to international and local NGOs, including the Internatinoal Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Amref Health to procure and distribute personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other critical needs for frontline workers and to help fund ICU-enabled ambulances for example in Mauritius and Madagascar.
The Coca-Cola system has also donated to National Solidarity Funds in South Africa, Morocco, and Djibouti, and additional funds were allocated to boost awareness and mobilization to help stem infections in vulnerable communities across several countries.
Coca-Cola has suspended all commercial advertising of its brands and is deploying its marketing and trade assets, including social media channels, product labels, and point-of-sale materials, to amplify COVID-19 messaging. The Coca-Cola System is also providing funding and other forms of support to help bolster the micro, small, and medium enterprises in the retail, hospitality, and recycling sectors, which have been among the hardest hit businesses amid the pandemic.
The Coca-Cola company is working with NGOs including Givefood.ng in Nigeria, Gift of the Givers in South Africa, and national disaster management agencies to provide food parcels for vulnerable families whose livelihood has been disrupted by the lockdown and other restrictions.
Coca-Cola’s bottling partners on the continent have been lending their distribution capacity to help deliver medical supplies, food parcels, 3D printed face masks, and other PPE as well as donating cash, beverage products, and food items. In response to demand for hand sanitizer, Coca-Cola beverages in Uganda and Ethiopia, Bralima in DRC, Les Brasseries du Congo in Congo, and Nigerian Bottling Company in Nigeria have deployed their technical expertise and facilities to produce over 30,000 liters of alcoholic sanitizer in line with the World Health Organization standard which were distributed to governments and vulnerable communities for free.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to all those impacted by this virus and their families,” Bruno Pietraccci, president of Africa & Middle East for the Coca-Cola company, said. “We are leveraging on the experience and capabilities of the Coca-Cola system has built in over 90 years of serving consumers and making a difference across Africa, in the planning and deployment of our resources to effectively support governments in the efforts to contain the spread, support vulnerable communities, and get local economies back up and running.”
In some countries such as Eswatini, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, Coca-Cola in Africa provided its marketing expertise either directly or through its partnership with Project Last Mile, to support ministries of health by simplifying and amplifying health and safety messages. In Egypt, Coca-Cola decorated its bottles with messages of gratitude to support every doctor in the country’s “white army.”
The Coca-Cola system also installed emergency handwashing stations, which are now set up in high-traffic areas, in partnership with the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN).
“The Coca-Cola system has been through many global crises during our 134 year history,” Pietracci continued. “Making a positive difference during times of crisis s 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.