Coca-Cola and its Foundations; the US Agency for International Development (USAID); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced the expansion of “Project Last Mile” to include 10 African countries over the next five years.
The new commitment to expand includes an investment of more than $21 million USD from the partners, as well as the official addition of USAID to this powerful coalition. The next country where Project Last Mile is being implemented is Mozambique. The additional seven countries are in various stages of identification and discussion with local governments.
Through Project Last Mile, the government agencies managing the procurement and efficient distribution of essential medicines and medical supplies benefit from private sector expertise, learning how to forecast demand for medicines and vaccines, better market the availability of such commodities, and ensure the cold chain equipment is maintained properly for storing certain medicines and vaccines.
Project Last Mile is executed in collaboration with Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute, Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) and Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), who each bring unique skills to make the project sustainable.
Last year, Coca-Cola partnered with WaterAid to increase accessibility to safe drinking water for one of the poorest suburbs of Burkina Faso’s capital city of Ouagadougou and in two rural communities in southern Ethiopia. This involves Coke and WaterAid working with the local community and water utility in Burkina Faso to extend existing water pipelines and install new water points that provide residents with clean, treated drinking water.
In 2013, Coke became one of the first companies to be awarded the Carbon Trust Water Standard, which recognizes companies for consistently measuring, managing and reducing overall water usage in their operations, when it achieved its lowest-ever water-use ratio and reduced its water usage by nearly 15 percent since 2007.