The UN calls it the largest humanitarian crisis in Africa since 1945. For the past few months, an unprecedented famine has been threatening the lives of 20 million people across the Africa Sahel region. This is why The Coca-Cola Company, through its foundation, has decided to donate 10 million US dollars to help the people who are the most in need.

Talking about the major role played by the Company on the continent, Brian Smith, the President of Coca-Cola Europe, Middle East and Africa says: “As a business that has been part of the fabric of Africa for almost 90 years, we are firmly committed to supporting both the long-term prosperity of the continent, and also helping to address severe short-term challenges that communities face.”

The donation which totals $10.8 million is split into two categories: immediate relief in cash ($1.2 million) and long term programs focused on community building ($9.6 million).

African Famine Relief

Half a million dollars of the immediate relief will be channeled through CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) to Somalia where 6.7 million people urgently need humanitarian aid among whom 1.4 million are severely malnourished children. The other half is going to eight different NGOs (Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision) that are part of the Global Emergency Response Coalition. The remaining $200,000 is being directly contributed to emergency relief efforts, as well as creating awareness about the campaign.

The remaining $9.6 million will go to the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), a program started by The Coca Cola Africa Foundation which is dedicated to providing access to safe drinking for 6 million Africans by 2020 while also and providing vulnerable women and youth groups with economic opportunities through training and programs. This initiative is being carried out in Ethiopia, Chad, Uganda, Somaliland and Sudan. Other co-partners are donating an additional $28 million.

Michelle Munn the President and CEO of CARE noted the urgency of the situation: "The generous support of The Coca-Cola Company will help CARE and our Global Emergency Response Coalition partners to alleviate that suffering and, in many cases, save lives."

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation funded by The Coca Cola Company aims at improving the overall quality of life for African communities through its programmes in water replenishment, health, education and youth development, as well as disaster relief and emergency assistance around the continent.