BY DAYO ADESULU
Nestlé has devoted $3.4 million to support the more than 850,000 vulnerable people in Central and West Africa to help fight COVID-19.
This is coming at a time when hunger is a growing concern in African countries.
The company is, therefore, donating nutritious food and beverages to 170,000 families, corresponding to 850,000 people, across the region in Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameron, Gabon, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.
Nestlé is also contributing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep frontline health workers safe.
The company is also donating medical equipment to hospitals in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal. Additionally, in Burkina Faso, it will donate three ventilators, for use in intensive care units.
Efforts to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus will be carried out in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
“We’re offering our full support to families across Central and West Africa during these challenging times, and to those who are battling to keep them safe,” said Rémy Ejel, CEO of Nestlé Central and West Africa Ltd.
“Nestlé has been present in Central & West Africa for more than 60 years. We live and operate in these communities across the region, so we are committed to helping in any way that we can”. Mr Ejel said.
Contributing to improving sanitation
Through its partnership with the IFRC (https://bit.ly/2zNHwhH), the company will contribute close to USD 420,000 to strengthen Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal.
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The donation to the IFRC, which is part of the total relief effort in the region, includes cash donations and supply of medical and other equipment.
The two partners aim to limit the transmission of the virus by improving hygiene practices in public areas such as bus stations and in communities where WASH infrastructure is lacking.
In addition, they will join forces to sensitize people about prevention measures and the importance of eating safe and nutritious foods.
Providing affordable accessible nutrition
Nestlé in Central and West Africa is committed to ensuring people continue to have access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods to feed their families in these uncertain times.
Production has continued at Nestlé sites in the region, despite the challenges faced.
Nestlé has implemented enhanced hygiene protocols and additional safety measures for the frontline staff working at its ten factories, its distribution centres and its sales offices.
PPE has also been provided to suppliers, distributors and retailers, including MAGGI ‘Mammies’ and ‘Pappies’ working in open markets.
“We are doing all we can to ensure that our employees, contractors and partners remain healthy and safe. This is our number one priority” said Mr Ejel. “We are so grateful for their efforts and their determination to keep supplying our communities with food and beverages, despite the challenges.”