Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda has today contributed Shs1.3 billion and three brand new pickup trucks to Uganda’s response to Covid-19.

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who also chairs the National Task Force for COVID-19, welcomed the contribution and commended Coca-Cola for being a long-standing partner with the government in health causes. “We are grateful for your support. Coca-Cola has been a long-standing partner with us in many ways. This is further evidence that we stand together. Let’s continue the fight against COVID-19 together,” said Rugunda.

Conrad van Niekerk, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Regional Managing Director in charge of Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana, stressed that the company had the policy to contribute to local communities. “At Coca-Cola Beverages Africa we always look for meaningful ways in which we can contribute to the local communities we serve, whether by partnering with stakeholders such as the government and NGOs or engaging in wider community causes. Our company purpose: ‘refresh the world and make a difference in the community’ is the guiding principle that drives our community outreach activities,” he said. He added that Coca Cola has been working with the Ministry of Health to support and implement measures to curb the spread of coronavirus ever since its outbreak in Uganda. “We believe in the sustainability of business and the communities in which we operate. This is an operating ethos that we carry throughout our business every single day. As Coca-Cola, we have carried out different interventions. Apart from taking care of our staff, we have been working with different partners to support our communities in various ways,” he said.

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The Minister in charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut, said the pickups would go a long way in enabling the frontline staff to further transverse the country to fight the virus. “We are grateful to Coca-Cola for prioritizing the well-being of Ugandans. A pandemic like this one calls for public-private partnerships and we have found Coca-Cola to be a reliable partner,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, thanked the company for the wide range of support provided to the ministry in the fight against COVID-19, including hand-washing support and public awareness. “Your contribution will help us sink the message deep into the farthest corners of Uganda, among all the people. The catchphrase you have chosen of #StaySafeUG is very important in all our messaging, and you have truly gotten involved in this struggle through hand-washing and publicity,” she said. Coca-Cola says it’s a contribution towards stemming the spread of Covid-19 Uganda includes a consignment of food relief worth Shs390M from the Coca-Cola Foundation. This was distributed to families affected by the lockdown through the Red Cross Society. The company also donated Shs85M to the Ministry of Health to buy medical equipment and sundries.

According to the company’s statement, Coca-Cola working alongside the Ministry of Health is currently running a handwashing intervention that involves setting up Handwashing facilities to increase public hygiene. “We are very happy to make this contribution while working closely with different government entities in the fight against COVID-19 for the greater good. When all this passes, all that will be left will be our people, so we have to stand strong together,” van Niekerk reiterated. Present at the handover ceremony were COVID-19 Task Force members; Kishor Jobanputra, Gustavo Bwoch and Coordinator Dorothy Kisaka.