The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted the “Building Back Better Conference” at the Serena Hotel Islamabad to bring together representatives from different private and public organizations to discuss ways in which the US-Pakistani diaspora and the private sector can be engaged for post-flood recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.
During the event an MOU was signed between The Coca-Cola Company and USAID to create a humanitarian and social development impact in Pakistan by addressing the immediate, short, and long-term needs of the flood-affected population and social development causes in Pakistan.
Under the MOU, USAID will collaborate with The Company on flood response activities and use its convening power to create an enabling environment to address operational challenges. Additionally, USAID will facilitate contacts through its network of relationships with the local business and diaspora of Pakistani nationals abroad for identifying possible partnership opportunities.
The Company, in turn, will collaborate with USAID in flood-affected areas following a hybrid approach of creating a social and commercial impact. Additionally, The Company will initiate community-based rural development initiatives in and around flood-affected areas and drive clean drinking water initiatives.
Speaking at the event, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, said, “The diaspora and the private sector are uniquely positioned to help with flood recovery.”
Fahad Ashraf, Vice-President of Coca-Cola Pakistan and Afghanistan, added that, “The most agile and sustainable way the private sector can kick-start economic recovery is by investing in economic supply chains that target communities from disaster-hit regions. Through this partnership, we aim to improve human impact and economic development, whist expanding our commercial and humanitarian footprint. Last year, The Coca-Cola Foundation, the global philanthropic arm of The Company, provided a grant of USD 250,000 to CARE International which supported immediate relief efforts with essential supplies. Through the National Disaster Authority (NDMA), Coca‑Cola Içecek Pakistan also provided 120,000 liters of clean drinking water.