UN-HABITAT and Coca Cola on Tuesday took their collaboration a notch higher when they signed an agreement to improve community access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in selected countries in Asia, Africa and South America.
Tuesday’s agreement builds on the earlier partnership between UN-HABITAT and Coca Cola which undertook water conservation, sanitation and clean drinking water projects in India and Nepal over a three year period.
In the agreement signed at the ongoing Fifth Session of the World Urban Forum taking place in Rio de Janeiro, the two partners agreed to undertake water and sanitation projects in the three continents as part of UN-HABITAT’s ongoing regional programmes on water and sanitation for cities in those places.
Speaking during the occasion, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka said the agency was always looking for partners to help it reach its intended audience- the communities. In Coca Cola, she said, UN-HABITAT had met a perfect match.
“Gone are the days when one could achieve something by going it alone. We all need partnerships and the partnership we have with Coca Cola is the best example of such partnerships.
Clean water and sanitation is the key to human development and are the basic requirements to improving the living conditions of the urban poor. Lack of access to sanitation is the single biggest cause of diseases among women, and key contributing factor to adolescent girls dropping out of school,” she said.
Mr. Atul Singh, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Coca Cola Company said his organization and the United Nations system enjoy a long standing partnership that includes advocacy and implementation of projects in a wide range of areas.
The two organizations will identify and undertake projects to improve access to safe drinking water in a USD one million partnership and they will both contribute equally. The projects are to be carried out in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, while in South America, Brazil has been identified as the country to undertake these projects with a proposal on the table on rainwater harvesting.