The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently hosted the “Building Back Better Conference” at the Serena Hotel Islamabad. The aim was to bring together representatives from different private and public organizations to discuss ways in which the US-Pakistani diaspora and the private sector can be engaged for post-flood recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.
During the conference, an MOU was signed between The Coca-Cola Company and USAID to create a humanitarian and social development impact in Pakistan. The agreement seeks to address the immediate, short, and long-term needs of the flood-affected population and social development causes in Pakistan.
As part of the MOU, USAID will collaborate with The Company on flood response activities and use its convening power to address operational challenges. USAID will also facilitate contacts through its network of relationships with the local business and diaspora of Pakistani nationals abroad for identifying possible partnership opportunities.
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The Company, on the other hand, will collaborate with USAID in flood-affected areas following a hybrid approach of creating a social and commercial impact. The Company will initiate community-based rural development initiatives in and around flood-affected areas and drive clean drinking water initiatives.
During the conference, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, emphasized the role of the diaspora and the private sector in helping with flood recovery. Fahad Ashraf, Vice-President of Coca-Cola Pakistan and Afghanistan, added that the private sector can kick-start economic recovery by investing in economic supply chains that target communities from disaster-hit regions. Through this partnership, they aim to improve human impact and economic development while expanding their commercial and humanitarian footprint.
The Coca-Cola Foundation, the global philanthropic arm of The Company, provided a grant of USD 250,000 to CARE International last year, supporting immediate relief efforts with essential supplies. Coca Cola Içecek Pakistan also provided 120,000 liters of clean drinking water through the National Disaster Authority (NDMA).
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