Coca-Cola Donates US $75,000 to Aid Flood Victims in Laos
The Coca-Cola Foundation has donated US $75,000 to Save the Children in Laos to aid flood victims affected by the collapsed dam in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province in Lao PDR. The handover ceremony was held at Save the Children Country Office on Wednesday November 21, 2018 in Vientiane Capital. The Coca-Cola Foundation was represented by Thouni Seneyakone, Marketing Manager of Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Limited, PT (Sole) Company Limited was represented by Sonexay Silaphet, the Chief Financial Officer and Save the Children in Laos was represented by Deborah Leaver, the Country Director. Coca-Cola’s support will be used to execute emergency response interventions including meeting the psycho-social and protection needs of children and families.
Coca-Cola entered the Lao market in 2012 by first importing the products from Thailand and distributing them through its local bottling partner i.e. Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Limited. In 2015, local manufacturing started with the inauguration of the bottling plant in Xythani employing around 270 Lao nationals. Currently, some of these Lao-manufactured products are also exported to Thailand.
Since its market entrance, Coca-Cola has been supporting water stewardship programs to improve communities’ access to clean water in Xythani and Muang Sangthong. With the tragic collapse of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy Dam and the subsequent flooding in Attapeu province, The Coca-Cola Foundation in the US had reached out to Save the Children in an effort to channel its emergency relief fund to support the latter’s efforts in the impacted areas.
“Wherever we operate, we always strive to grow not only our business, but also the communities. We were deeply saddened by the tragic incident in Attapeu province and we felt we needed to do our part as a good corporate citizen. This donation is the biggest we have ever made in Laos and we have full trust in Save the Children’s relief program given its worldwide reputation and long-standing presence in Laos,” said Diego Lima, General Manager of Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Limited.
Save the Children has been operating in Lao PDR since 1987 and works to ensure that children’s rights to education, health, protection and participation are fulfilled at all time, including during disasters. It was also one of the first non-governmental organisations to respond to the dam collapse. To date, Save the Children has provided hygiene kits, infants’ and mothers’ kits and set up Child Friendly Spaces for children and families. As victims look towards recovering from the disaster, Coca-Cola’s support is vital to ensure children continue to have safe spaces and that children and families’ needs are addressed.
“We are delighted with this donation as Save the Children has worked with Coca-Cola before in many parts of the world. While it has been quite a while since the aftermath of the incident, the damage caused is indeed widespread and severe. This donation from Coca-Cola will thus make a lot of differences to the impacted communities – especially for the children,” said Deborah Leaver, Country Director for Save the Children Laos.