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COCA-COLA SYSTEM RELIEF EFFORTS IN RESPONSE TO THE TSUNAMI TRAGEDY

Updated January 7, 2005

The entire Coca-Cola family joins with people in Asia, Africa and around the world in shock and grief in the aftermath of the great tsunami tragedy.  

Together with our bottling partners, The Coca-Cola Company is working in impacted countries and regions to provide clean drinking water and support local relief efforts and on-the-ground needs.

Our local operations are coordinating closely with emergency relief teams, local and international aid agencies including the Red Cross, governmental disaster relief funds and NGOs to provide critical supplies, including hundreds of thousands of cases of bottled drinking water, food packets, medical kits, clothing and tents for shelter. In countries across Asia, we have mobilized our distribution system in transporting emergency supplies to affected areas. Many of our employees in Asia are working countless hours to help in the distribution of water and other emergency supplies, as well as making personal financial and in-kind donations.

The Coca-Cola Company has contributed US$10 million to international and local relief agencies to aid in their efforts.  This is in addition to the local on-the-ground relief efforts and donations.

We are working with disaster relief and aid organizations such as the local Red Cross in Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka; CARE; the Andaman & Nicobar Relief Fund; the Sri Lankan Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund; the Kerala Chief Minister Relief Fund; and Mercy Malaysia.  

We are also working with a number of international aid agencies, including UNICEF, CARE and the Save The Children Fund, as there were so many children affected by the disaster; the International Red Cross through the American Red Cross International Response Fund; the UN Foundation for water relief and recovery, and the International Medical Corps, a global humanitarian relief agency that is addressing public health needs.

Our local operations are in a unique position to identify the relief and aid organizations that can best utilize our contributions and we are working with a wide variety of organizations to distribute these funds.  The rebuilding process will also require a long-term and ongoing effort and we are committed to lending our support and assistance no matter how long it takes.

Actions to date:

  • In Indonesia, we are working with our bottling and distribution partners to donate supplies - including bottled water, blankets and basic medical kits (with antiseptics, antibiotics, stomach medicines and vitamins) – to relief efforts. Employees are also contributing support, donating both clothes and money to aid efforts. Representatives from our business system are visiting disaster areas to support local authorities and community leaders and to ensure the effective distribution of supplies. In Indonesia’s Aceh province, 12 of our route trucks are being used to deliver relief assistance, again in coordination with local government and community leaders. Transport is a continuing need, so we have agreed to supply 20 trucks of varying sizes to Indonesian Red Cross.  As most of the ambulances in the key areas in Aceh were destroyed, we are also supplying 5 ambulances.  There is currently no facility for the storage and handling of blood supplies in the province.  Accordingly, we are funding the construction of a blood bank by the Indonesian Red Cross.  We are working with relief agencies and relevant authorities to continue to support areas of real need as they are assessed.
  • Our associates in India are contributing to immediate relief activities for tsunami victims by providing drinking water, food packets, clothes, volunteer assistance and vehicles in addition to helping district authorities set up relief camps to shelter the affected. We are working through aid agencies such as the Red Cross and we have also contributed to various Relief Funds set up by the Government and NGOs.
  • Coca-Cola India Division President Sanjiv Gupta has handed over cheques for relief and rehabilitation work to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Dr.(Mrs) Vimala Ramalingam, Secretary General of Indian Red Cross Society. On behalf of the Coca-Cola system, Mr Gupta has also presented cheques to Save the Children Foundation Finland and Charities Aid Foundation. This is in addition to contributions made to the Government Relief Funds in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Company has also identified projects for rehabilitation of affected communities in the tsunami-hit areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. These projects will be implemented in partnership with Indian Red Cross Society, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Save the Children Foundation Finland and Charities Aid Foundation. These projects are being implemented to ensure that the company’s relief efforts benefit as many communities as possible.
  • Our India Division colleagues have also donated one day’s salary to the Indian Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the India Division office has donated Rs. one million to The Indian Red Cross Society for providing medical support in the Relief camps.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, we are providing hundreds of cases of water, food packets as well as clothes and blankets to relief operations in close consultation with the Indian Red Cross Society. To date, 6,400 one liter Kinley water bottles and 33,800 food packets have been distributed. 18 of our vehicles have also been deployed to assist with relief efforts.
  • In hard-hit areas in the south of the country, we are providing similar support in coordination with district authorities and Red Cross officials. In Kerala, for example, we have provided 800 cases of water through the Indian Red Cross Society as well as one ton of rice.
  • In Chennai, the state capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, 36,900 one liter Kinley water bottles and 6,300 packets of food have been distributed to rehabilitation camps and hospitals in affected districts and we are working with the state health department and the Red Cross on relief operations. At the same time, we have mobilized employee volunteers and deployed 40 vehicles for use by the district administration. Given the urgent need in Chennai for blankets, sarees and other clothes, we have also initiated an employee collection drive both at our Chennai city office and across the country.
  • In the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 3,000 cases of water have been airlifted for distribution through the Red Cross Society of India. Bottler employees have also provided clothes and cash contributions to assist relief operations in these areas.
  • In Thailand, over 800,000 bottles of water have been committed to stricken areas in the south of Thailand.  Further, Haad Thip PCL, our bottling partner responsible for the southern Thai provinces, dedicated 100% of its production capacity to providing drinking water that was donated to victims of the disaster. In addition to the donation of drinking water, over 30,000 survival kits, including basic food stuffs and clothing, have been distributed to individuals in various southern communities.  In order to provide temporary shelter to victims of the disaster, large tents have been sent to Krabi, Phang Nga, Takua Pa and Ranong. Cash donation boxes have also deployed in our office in Bangkok through which system employees can contribute funds to assist in the disaster relief effort.  Clothing donation boxes have also been set up through which system employees can contribute articles of clothing or footwear to be sent to help victims in the south of Thailand. A blood drive is also being organized where system employees can donate blood to help victims of the disaster. Cash contributions, meanwhile, have been committed to the Thai Red Cross Society for use in its current disaster relief activities as well as its longer-term reconstruction activities in communities impacted by the tsunami. We have also made a donation to support the Royal Thai Air Force’s on-going disaster relief activities.
  • In Sri Lanka, our business system has formed a disaster relief fund to provide support to employees and their families who have been affected by the crisis. We are also working to provide relief to the broader Sri Lanka community.  We are aware that the most urgent priority is to provide clean drinking water and we are working with aid agencies to distribute thousands of cases of packaged drinking water to badly affected areas. Already, 5,000 cases (60,000 bottles) of water have been distributed to relief operations in Hambantota, Galle, Ampara, Trincomalee and Jaffna. A further 90,000 liters will be sent out to affected areas in the coming week. In addition, employees have made cash contributions and are donating clothes, salary and dry rations for distribution to relief efforts.
  • In the Maldives, we are sending support and relief assistance including supplies of drinking water. 10,000 cases of 1 liter Kinley water bottles have already been contributed.
  • In Malaysia, the Coca-Cola system has provided hundreds of cases of beverages to relief centers and relief workers in Penang and Kedah, two northern states badly affected by the disaster. Our system has also provided cash contributions to the Malaysian Red Crescent Society and Mercy Malaysia, an NGO, for rebuilding efforts and orphanages. Employees have also provided blankets, clothing and personal contributions to the Malaysian Red Crescent Society. A number of our employees will also be helping in the mass cooking of food for tsunami victims at the Malaysian Red Crescent Society headquarters. The cooked food will then be transported to relief centers in Penang and Kedah.
  • From Singapore, we have contributed more than 132,000 1.5 liter bottles of drinking water to relief efforts in many affected countries. The water is being distributed by the Joint Forces Relief Command, the Singapore Armed Forces, as well as Mercy Relief. Employees in Singapore have also contributed in-kind donations to Mercy Relief such as food, clothing, blankets, tents and footwear as well as their own cash contributions to the Red Cross.
  • In Africa, The Coca-Cola Company has provided cash contributions towards relief efforts in affected communities. The Company is working closely with its bottling partners to identify the most effective ways of helping those that have lost their loved ones and livelihoods to this tragedy.

We continue to think of and pray for the many thousands of people affected by this disaster and we’ll be continuing to offer our support, assistance and contributions in the coming days and weeks.

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