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Coca-Cola to invest $17 million to support African countries in Covid-19 fight

The Coca-Cola System, a global soft drink brand, says it is committing US$13million to support the continent through the various phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) is also to grant $4 million to international and local NGOs, such as the International 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 amount which is to be expended in Africa by the company, in partnership with NGOs, Coca-Cola in Africa is to be deployed in a range of resources, including capabilities, funds, and products to support governments, communities and local economies in their urgent efforts to contain the spread and the impact of the Coronavirus since its outbreak on the continent.
This was contained in a statement signed by Camille Osborne, head of communication of the company, Southern and East Africa made available to BusinessDay.
The statement disclosed that the company will also be donating 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.
“In addition, the company will be suspending all commercial advertising of its brands and 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 to provide funding and other forms of support to help bolster the micro, small and medium enterprises in the retail, hospitality and recycling sectors, who have been among the hardest hit businesses across countries.
“In the same vein, Coca-Cola Company is also working with some NGOs and social enterprises, including Give 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.
According to the statement, Coca-Cola’s bottling partners on the continent, on their part, are making significant contributions to the fight against the pandemic through a variety of interventions, including lending their distribution capability to help deliver medical supplies, food parcels, 3-D printed face masks and other PPE as well as donating cash, beverage products and food items. In response to the critical need for the hand sanitizer.
While Coca-Cola Beverages Africa 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 (WHO) standard which was distributed to governments and vulnerable communities free of charge.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to all those impacted by this virus and their families. We are leveraging on the experience and capabilities 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,” explains Bruno Pietracci, President of Africa & Middle East for The Coca-Cola Company.
In some countries such as in Eswatini, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zimbabwe, Coca-Cola in Africa provided its marketing expertise either directly or through its partnership to support Ministries of Health simplify and amplify health and safety messages. Additionally, in Egypt, Coca-Cola decorated its bottles with messages of gratitude and appreciation to every doctor in the country’s “white army,” the statement
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