….To Ebola Affected Countries
As international efforts intensify, with calls from world leaders to galvanize support to contain the Ebola virus, which has already claimed nearly 3,000 lives in the West African Region, Global Coca-Cola’s Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, Jr. over the weekend led a high power delegation to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone on a solidarity visit.
Addressing journalists Friday at the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) in Paynesville shortly upon arrival from the Roberts International Airport (RIA), Mr. Cummings who led the 7-man delegation disclosed that the team was in the country to demonstrate solidarity and support for Liberia.
“We are here to show solidarity and support to Liberia and our employees. You can know your friends in times of trouble. These times are challenging times for Liberia and our employees. So, our visit here is to show our support and solidarity.”
Mr. Cummings declared that the Company would continue to stand by Liberia despite the Ebola crisis by increasing investment to boost the country’s economy, although he acknowledged the impact of the Ebola situation on the operation of the Coca-Cola Company since its outbreak.
However, the Coca-Cola Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer was very optimistic and consoled Liberians that the country would prevail in the anti-Ebola war.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cummings revealed that the company is ready to increase its operation in Liberia by investing over US$4 million to open another line of plant which according to him would produce canned soft drinks and mineral water in plastic, amongst others, something according to him would help to create more jobs for Liberians and boost the country’s economy.
The delegation also met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry office before departing for Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Since the outbreak of the virulent Ebola virus, the Coca-Cola Family has made and continues to make tremendous contributions in an effort to defeat the deadly virus and save lives. As initial efforts towards the fight, the Company through its Liberia branch, the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC), amongst other things provided cash, water and anti-Ebola sanitizing materials as part of efforts to eradicate the killer disease and help those who have already contracted the virus.
The Company initially distributed 22,800 bottles of mineral water in some affected communities and health centers including ELWA and JFK hospitals, Dolo Town, Margibi County, West Point, Montserrado County and Foya, Lofa County valued at US$10, 450.00.
In addition, the company has provided 25 pieces of thermometers to few health centers and hospitals, including S.D Cooper Clinic, Benson Hospital, James Davis, Redemption, SOS and Dr. Swaray medical center in Paynesville, amongst others.
Others items distributed by the LCCBC include, 450 giant-size containers and buckets to help in the fight against Ebola.
The company has also deposited US$2,000.00 cash into the anti-Ebola Trust Fund at the Central Bank of Liberia. The total amount spent by the company in the entire process is put at over US$13,500.00.
“The Coca-Cola Company has provided $200,000 through its Africa Foundation to procure medical equipment and supplies to support efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria”, he disclosed.
Over the past 4 years, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation has donated over $2million worth of medical equipment to countries across Africa, including Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia and many others.