Australia, 17th May – Today, The Coca-Cola Foundation, the international philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, announced a grant of $125,00AUD to The Australian Red Cross to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Red Cross branches and health centres across 13 PNG provinces in an effort to help stem the current surge of COVID-19 cases.
The grant will be used to procure 50,000 items of PPE, including masks and hand sanitizer, to provide protection to over 700 PNG Red Cross staff and volunteers across 13 branches of PNG Red Cross, along with community health workers. This will enable PNG Red Cross and health workers to support and deliver COVID-19 public health messaging and information to an additional 30,000 vulnerable community members across PNG.
Kym Pfitzner, CEO of The Australian Red Cross, says: “People in PNG are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 which is placing enormous strain on the country’s health system. PNG Red Cross is responding to this situation and having access to adequate levels of PPE for staff and volunteers is vital.
“This support from The Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners PNG will allow PNG Red Cross staff and volunteers to safely work in communities across the country providing accurate information about COVID- so people can protect themselves and stop the spread of the virus,” he says.
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners PNG is also exploring ways to utilise its extensive logistics network to transport the PPE to key locations across PNG with PNG Red Cross, enabling it to efficiently reach communities.
Philippe Mondada, General Manager Coca-Cola Europacific Partners PNG, acknowledges the delivery of goods and services in PNG is extraordinarily challenging as the population is highly dispersed and fragmented. “To help combat the spread of COVID-19 it is of paramount importance to sort out the distribution of crucial supply such as PPE.
“We’re very concerned about the current surge in COVID-19 cases in PNG and want to support to the best of our ability. By using our established and best-in-class distribution network, we can provide the platform to ensure this PPE gets to where it is needed most and can really make an impact to vulnerable communities across the country,” he says.
The Coca-Cola Foundation President and Chairperson, Bea Perez, says: “We know the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. We are proud to use our resources to support the efforts of the Red Cross in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 in PNG.”
The PPE supplies will be distributed to Papua New Guinea Red Cross branches in 13 provinces and to health centers across Papua New Guinea (PNG) based on need.