USAID, P&G and Coca-Cola Announce Partnerships to Aid Grassroots Entrepreneurship in the Philippines Recovery Effort
Initiative will build, rehabilitate and re-stock sari-sari stores in Leyte in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda
Manila, December 19, 2013 -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Coca-Cola to support the revival of economic activity and livelihoods in Leyte, the province worst-hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).
Under these MOUs, USAID, P&G and Coca-Cola will help establish new sari-sari stores (small community stores) and rehabilitate damaged or destroyed sari-sari stores located in public markets. In addition, these organizations will facilitate sari-sari store owners’ access to micro-financing loans and other interventions that will help them succeed.
Announcing the partnerships as part of a broad relief, recovery and rehabilitation plan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said, “This partnership with P&G and Coca-Cola is a great example of how we can bring the shared resources of the U.S. Government and American businesses to help the people of Philippines revive economic activity and restore livelihoods. Sari-sari stores are the backbone of the Philippines consumer economy and by supporting their reconstruction and rehabilitation in Leyte, we believe we will accelerate recovery at the grassroots level.”
Under these partnerships, USAID, P&G and Coca-Cola will help build the necessary infrastructure for the operation of sari-sari stores, promote opportunities for community entrepreneurship, and improve commercial capabilities and crisis preparedness of sari-sari store owners.
USAID/Philippines Mission Director Gloria D. Steele said, “The Philippines is a close friend and a long-standing ally of the United States and we will continue to partner with, and provide support to the Philippine Government in their efforts to help Yolanda victims rebuild and recover from the tragedy.”
To date, the U.S. Government has provided approximately Php3.6 billion ($86.8 million) in emergency humanitarian funds for activities including provision of critical relief supplies, life-saving assistance and protection of vulnerable populations. “We will also work with Philippine Government partners in implementing disaster risk reduction programs to help increase the resilience of vulnerable communities to withstand and recover from natural calamities,” Director Steele added.
“P&G is committed to supporting the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Philippines. In the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, when basic necessities such as clean drinking water and hygiene products were scarce, we worked with our NGO partners to donate over Php86 million ($2 Million) in cash and relief goods. We recognize that now, in addition to the emergency response and disaster relief, there is need for a longer term effort to restore livelihoods and regenerate the economy of Leyte. Through this partnership with USAID, P&G will leverage its portfolio of well-known household brands, its extensive distribution network, its commercial expertise, and its long history of partnership with micro entrepreneurs who operate sari-sari stores to achieve this goal. P&G and its employees and retirees from all over the world are contributing to this effort,” said Sumeet Vohra, President and General Manager of P&G Philippines.
“From day one, we have mobilized our system to provide relief and aid to communities impacted by the super typhoon, from providing safe drinking water to the use of our trucks for distribution of relief goods and engaging our employees in the relief operations,” said Guillermo Aponte, President and General Manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.
To date, Coca-Cola has contributed Php107.5 million ($2.5 million) in relief and aid. Immediately after the super typhoon, commercial advertising for all Coca-Cola brands was put on hold and redirected to the relief and rehabilitation efforts for the people of Visayas.
Aponte added that, “we still have a long way to go and more resources are needed to rebuild the areas affected. One organization cannot do it alone, and so we at Coca-Cola are happy to work with government, civil society groups and other corporations to rebuild the communities impacted. For this partnership Coca-Cola will leverage on our STAR Program (Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources) to help women sari-sari store owners rebuild their livelihood through a combination of social interventions, training, and access to resources. The STAR Program has impacted about 20,000 women sari-sari store owners and operators all over the Philippines.”
About USAID and the Mission in the Philippines
The American people, through the United States Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50 years. In the Philippines, USAID works in partnership with the national government in creating a more stable, prosperous and well-governed country through programs that foster sustainable and inclusive growth, strengthen governance and combat corruption, improve access to water, energy, health and education services, increase environmental resilience and natural resource management capabilities. For more information, visit http://www.usaid.gov/philippines or contact USAID/Philippines Development Outreach and Communications via email: email@example.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at www.coca-colablog.com or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.
About Procter & Gamble (P&G)
P&G serves approximately 4.8 billion people around the world with its brands. The Company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Ace®, Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Duracell®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Fusion®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Iams®, Lenor®, Mach3®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Prestobarba®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, Wella®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.