GENEVA, June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- UNAIDS today announced a
partnership with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation to bring new
impetus to the battle against AIDS. Under the terms of the
three-year agreement, the Foundation will co- ordinate the
efforts of Coca-Cola Africa and its bottling partners across
the continent to support AIDS education, prevention and
treatment programs. This partnership is fully in line with the
philosophy behind the International Partnership against AIDS in
"The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation brings substantial resources
to the international battle against AIDS," said Peter Piot,
Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
"Coca-Cola Africa's special strength is its ability to bring
its unrivalled marketing and logistics expertise to responses
to the epidemic -- from the community to the highest political
level. We are excited about this partnership and what it means
for the fight against AIDS."
The Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) brings
together seven United Nations system organizations (UNICEF,
UNDP, UNFPA, UNDCP, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank) to help the
world prevent new HIV infections, care for those already
infected and mitigate the epidemic's impact.
The new partnership between Coca-Cola and UNAIDS is the first
major initiative for The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, a
private, non-profit organization dedicated to implementing the
Coca-Cola system's philanthropic and corporate citizenship
programs in Africa.
"We are proud to be joining the UNAIDS team in the fight
against AIDS," said Alexander B. Cummings, President of
Coca-Cola Africa Group. "Coca-Cola is completely committed to
the future of the African continent, its economy, people,
communities and health. We will do all that we can to enable
Africans to reach their full potential."
"Two weeks ago, The Coca-Cola Company hosted a meeting of
corporate leaders at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which
featured U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan," said Carl Ware,
Executive Vice President, Global Public Affairs, The Coca-Cola
Company. "His urgent call to action for private industry to
step up its efforts to fight HIV/AIDS inspired our Company and
our Africa Group to accelerate our plans to announce this
strategic partnership. The initiatives we have outlined today
will serve as the guidepost for specific programs that will be
introduced throughout the continent in the coming months."
The collaboration between Coca-Cola and UNAIDS will build on
existing models of public/private partnerships to strengthen
private sector involvement in tackling global issues such as
AIDS. The partnership will focus on Africa, where 70% of
people living with HIV/AIDS in the world reside.
The three pillars of the partnership are as follows:
Local Community Infrastructure
The Coca-Cola system in Africa will deploy its unique
infrastructure and presence in local communities to support
local prevention, education and treatment programs.
For example, company and bottler representatives in Zambia will
provide assistance to the Family Health Trust, an education
project that works with young people in more than 2,500
anti-AIDS clubs throughout the country. The Coca-Cola system
in Zambia will store education materials at its facilities in
Lusaka and then assist in their distribution to 72 district
education officers country-wide.
In Nigeria, Coca-Cola will support the work of the National HIV
Sero- Prevalence Sentinel Surveillance Survey for women
attending antenatal clinics.
The purpose of this program is to track HIV infection levels
through institutions that provide access to populations that
are of particular interest in combating the epidemic. The
Coca-Cola system in Nigeria will provide marketing support to
develop awareness materials on the sentinel sero- surveillance
program, assist in the printing and distribution of 10,000
pamphlets, provide expertise in logistics and help distribute
testing kits in all of the Nigerian states.
Coca-Cola Africa will provide marketing expertise to develop
public awareness and information campaigns for UNAIDS and
international and local partners across Africa. These messages
will seek to foster values of caring, open communication around
sexuality, and support for the inclusion of people living with
HIV/AIDS in community life.
Human Resources Policies
The Coca-Cola system, as the largest private sector employer in
Africa, will develop and implement model human resources
policies and practices for its employees, consistent with local
Coca-Cola Africa has already introduced 'minimum standards' for
its regional offices across the continent. These policies
require the formation of local AIDS Committees, including
representatives from management, human resources, labour
organizations and medical personnel. These committees will
develop workforce education and awareness programs and conduct
monthly prevention campaigns.
For more information, please contact, Dominique de Santis,
UNAIDS, Geneva, (+41 22) 791 4509, Andrew Shih, UNAIDS, New
York, (+ 1 212) 584 5024 or Robert Lindsay, Coca-Cola Africa,
(+44 1344) 887412 or (+44 7808) 257 140. You may also visit
the UNAIDS Home Page on the Internet for more information about
the programme (http://www.unaids.org ).
SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company Web Site: http://www.unaids.org