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Coca-cola, IFRC partners, invests $42m on disaster response

The Coca-Cola Company, the International Federation of Red Cross, (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies has forged a global partnership to expand their collaboration on disaster response in communities both organisations serve, as Coca-cola contributes about $40 million,  invests another $2 million to support IFRC.

Separately, the Coca-Cola Foundation said it will be donating $1 million to the IFRC’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund to provide immediate financial support to help Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies quickly respond to disasters around the world.
Speaking, Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General, IFRC, said,  “our partnership with Coca-Cola has the potential to become one of the world’s leading business and civil-society collaborations. It will enable us to extend our reach even farther in communities worldwide so we can be of greater service to vulnerable people. In this era of increasing natural disasters, imagine the magnitude of what we can accomplish together in disaster response and preparedness.”

According to Muhtar Kent, Chairman/ CEO of  The Coca-Cola Company:“We are proud to partner with an organisation that is as effective and globally respected as the IFRC and Red Crescent Societies. The marriage of our respective skills and expertise will enable us to make a positive difference when we are needed.”

The Coca-Cola Company and the IFRC also aim to better engage the public in disaster response, preparedness and the ongoing development and disaster management activities of the Red Cross Red Crescent network. For example, since 2000, the Coca-Cola System in Spain has undertaken a series of innovative marketing communications campaigns to raise funds and awareness for the Spanish Red Cross, and since 2007, The Coca-Cola Company in Netherlands has run a Christmas radio promotion for the Red Cross to raise funds for response to the many ‘silent disasters’ (e.g. malaria and mining accidents) that are critical but receive less attention than disaster events such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

Together with Coca-Cola bottling partners, The Coca-Cola Company and the Red Cross Red Crescent already work together in over 50 countries.

This new partnership, which employs the capabilities and expertise of local bottling partners, aims to increase collaboration between the Red Cross Red Crescent and the Coca-Cola System in even more areas around the world, and build on the foundation both partners have developed over nearly a century. For example, immediately after the earthquake in Haiti last January, the Coca-Cola System joined the American and Mexican Red Cross to deliver on-the-ground relief and raise public awareness.

The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners consistently respond to disasters across the globe, offering cash, beverages, logistical support. Since 2000, the Coca-Cola System has contributed nearly $40 million in donations to various organisations to aid communities and respond to disasters.

In 2009, the Coca-Cola System supported the Italian Red Cross response to the Abruzzo earthquake by providing warehousing, trucks and in-kind supplies. The Coca-Cola System also worked with the Chinese Red Cross after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, with the Kenya Red Cross throughout the past few years in response to the on-going drought and with the Pakistan Red Crescent in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2005, as well as last year’s devastating floods.


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