March 24, 2011
Coca-Cola Helps Improve Lives of African Women and Girls
On World Water Day, The Coca-Cola Company and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation announced the dedication of $6 million in 2011 to water and sanitation partnerships aimed at improving the lives of an estimated 250,000 African women and girls. Jeff Seabright, Vice President for Environment and Water Resources for The Coca-Cola Company, announced the commitment as part of a high-level leadership event that featured the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on global water issues by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
This commitment is part of the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), a program to provide 2 million people with access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. The Coca-Cola Company drafted a press release regarding their commitment to water and the severity of water issues around the world:
Providing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene is critical for creating healthy communities around the world. The World Health Organization estimates that African women and children spend up to 40 billion hours collecting water each year; time that could otherwise be spent learning, working or caring for their families. Because of the distance many women are required to travel to retrieve clean water, they often resort to using unsafe surface water sources, putting themselves and their families at risk of life-threatening diseases. Additionally, data from the United Nations show that a child dies every 15 seconds on average from the diarrheal and malnutrition impacts related to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.