Partnership story

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UNDP and Coca-Cola work together to rehabilitate water and sanitation systems in tsunami-affected countries


The goal of this partnership was to support the long-term reconstruction effort with a focus on sustainable, community-based water and sanitation activities in remote, tsunami-affected areas of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives.

The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and its bottling partners immediately used manufacturing capability for the large scale production of bottled drinking water and harnessed the distribution and logistics reach of its business system to meet the needs of local communities and various relief and government agencies in affected areas. TCCC contributed just over US$1 million of its direct cash support to the United Nations Foundation (UNF), which, along with the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) helped to coordinate a partnership initiative with UNDP designed to build on the UN’s post-tsunami recovery efforts in the region.

The partnership is helping remote, tsunami-hit areas of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Thailand to “build back better” by expanding community access to water and sanitation services and infrastructure. For example, in the fishing village of Sanga-U, located at the southern tip of Thailand’s Lanta Island, 10 check dams have been built to collect and retain rainwater for 117 households.

The partnership extends far beyond traditional corporate philanthropy by harnessing the Coca-Cola system’s non-cash resources, skills and competencies. For example, in November 2005 TCCC loaned one of its Asia-based managers to the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok on a one-year assignment, where he played an instrumental role in managing the partnership activities across the region and building long-term relationships with the UNDP and UNF with a focus on water sustainability.