For Immediate Release
PORT-AU-PRINCE, AUG. 18, 2010 - The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and the United States Government, acting through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), today announced that USAID will provide an initial contribution of $1 million to the Haiti Hope Project, a public-private initiative that aims to develop a sustainable mango industry in Haiti.
In March 2010, The Coca-Cola Company launched the Haiti Hope Project with the introduction of its Odwalla Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid, whose profits directly support the Project. Total investment in the Haiti Hope Project now reaches $7.5 million, with $3.5 million from The Coca-Cola Company, $3 million from the Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and $1 million from the United States Government. TechnoServe will be implementing the Project on the ground. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund recently announced that it will contribute over $500,000 to support the formation and financing of mango producer groups, nurseries and collection centers to benefit farmers.
With more than 60 percent of the Haitian population deriving revenue from agriculture, the Haiti Hope Project focuses on improving local mango farming capacity, thereby helping to promote economic growth and sustainable development. The Project aims to empower 25,000 Haitian farmers by doubling their farm income. This initiative builds on a similar collaboration between The Coca-Cola Company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve mango and passion fruit value chains in Kenya and Uganda. The goals of the Haiti Hope Project are to contribute to the long-term development of Haiti by doubling farm income and improving the standard of living of farmers and their families, with a particular focus on women farmers.
Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company stated, "The Coca-Cola Company and the U.S. Government, through the Department of State and USAID, have worked successfully together on projects around the world that have made a significant difference in communities. We welcome the opportunity to partner with USAID in Haiti and to augment the sustainable agriculture work they already are undertaking in the country. Together, we are committed to the long-term economic development and revitalization of Haiti."
The United States Government publicly announced their financial support of the Project in coordination with the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission meeting held on August 17 in Haiti. "Haiti's agricultural sector is critical to the country's long-term economic growth. That's why we are focusing so much of our reconstruction efforts in this area," said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. "This effort complements other public-private partnerships that we've launched in Haiti since the earthquake to unlock innovative, locally-driven approaches to meeting urgent development challenges. We are pleased to contribute $1 million in USAID funding to this effort and look forward to working with our project partners to maximize the benefits of this project and help sustainably advance Haiti's long-term recovery."
"Empowering the people of Haiti and embracing their entrepreneurial spirit, while working in alignment with the Government of Haiti's priorities, will be critical in helping Haiti build back better," said U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten.
As the Project activities continue throughout the year, efforts will focus on enabling mango famers to organize into small groups to increase production and improve supply linkages. Skill assessment and technical training will be facilitated by experts on the ground in Haiti to help farmers diversify their income and stabilize their revenues in the face of food insecurity.
About The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater®, Powerade®, Minute Maid®, Simply® and Georgia®. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
About USAID USAID is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. USAID's work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting: economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., USAID's strength is its field offices around the world. The organization works in close partnership with private voluntary organizations, indigenous organizations, universities, American businesses, international agencies, other governments, and other U.S. government agencies. USAID has working relationships with more than 3,500 American companies and over 300 U.S.-based private voluntary organizations. For more information, please visit our website at www.usaid.gov.
About the Inter-American Development Bank Established in 1959, the IDB supports economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean, providing solutions by partnering with governments, companies and civil society organizations. Besides loans, credit guarantees and grants, the IDB offers its clients research, policy advice and technical assistance in key areas such as infrastructure, energy, water and sanitation, education and trade. The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the IDB Group, promotes poverty reduction through private sector development, with an emphasis on microenterprises and small and medium-sized businesses. For more information, visit www.iadb.org.
About the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded after Haiti's January 12, 2010 earthquake, when President Barack Obama asked Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to lead a major fundraising effort to assist the Haitian people. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund primarily focuses on longer-term, sustainable economic reconstruction designed to help the people of Haiti rebuild by creating jobs and promoting economic opportunity. For more information, please visit www.ClintonBushHaitiFund.org.
About the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) was created by presidential decree on April 21, 2010, in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. The mission of the IHRC is to undertake the expeditious planning, coordination, and implementation of development projects and priorities, including reviewing and approving projects and programs funded by bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs and the private sector. The IHRC is co-chaired by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and President Bill Clinton and is guided by a Board, which includes Haitian and non-Haitian stakeholders in reconstruction efforts.
About TechnoServe TechnoServe is a leader in a movement that empowers people in the developing world to build businesses that break the cycle of poverty. Growing enterprises generate jobs and other income opportunities for poor people, enabling them to improve their lives and secure a better future for their families. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand thousands of businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. The Financial Times has rated TechnoServe one of the top five NGOs for corporate partnerships. Apart from The Coca-Cola Company, TechnoServe's corporate partners include Cargill, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Nestlé-Nespresso, Olam International, Peet's Coffee & Tea and Unilever, among others. Charity Navigator has also awarded its highest Four Star ranking to TechnoServe. For more information about our organization, please visit our website at www.technoserve.org.
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