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The Coca-Cola Company's Haiti Hope Project Momentum Continues With Investment From United States Government

19.08.2010 13:21 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and the United States Government, acting through the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), today announced that USAID will provide an initial contribution of $1 million to the Haiti Hope Project, a public-private initiative that aims to develop a sustainable mango industry in Haiti. In March 2010, The Coca-Cola Company launched the Haiti Hope Project with the introduction of its Odwalla Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid, whose profits directly support the Project. Total investment in the Haiti Hope Project now reaches $7.5 million, with $3.5 million from The Coca-Cola Company, $3 million from the Inter-American Development Banks Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and $1 million from the United States Government. TechnoServe will be implementing the Project on the ground. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund recently announced that it will contribute over $500,000 to support the formation and financing of mango producer groups, nurseries and collection centers to benefit farmers. With more than 60 percent of the Haitian population deriving revenue from agriculture, the Haiti Hope Project focuses on improving local mango farming capacity, thereby helping to promote economic growth and sustainable development. The Project aims to empower 25,000 Haitian farmers by doubling their farm income. This initiative builds on a similar collaboration between The Coca-Cola Company and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve mango and passion fruit value chains in Kenya and Uganda. The goals of the Haiti Hope Project are to contribute to the long-term development of Haiti by doubling farm income and improving the standard of living of farmers and their families, with a particular focus on women farmers. Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company stated, «The Coca-Cola Company and the U. S. Government, through the Department of State and USAID, have worked successfully together on projects around the world that have made a significant difference in communities. We welcome the opportunity to partner with USAID in Haiti and to augment the sustainable agriculture work they already are undertaking in the country. Together, we are committed to the long-term economic development and revitalization of Haiti.» The United States Government publicly announced their financial support of the Project in coordination with the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission meeting held on August 17 in Haiti. «Haiti’s agricultural sector is critical to the countrys long-term economic growth. That’s why we are focusing so much of our reconstruction efforts in this area,» said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. «This effort complements other public-private partnerships that we’ve launched in Haiti since the earthquake to unlock innovative, locally-driven approaches to meeting urgent development challenges. We are pleased to contribute $1 million in USAID funding to this effort and look forward to working with our project partners to maximize the benefits of this project and help sustainably advance Haiti’s long-term recovery.» «Empowering the people of Haiti and embracing their entrepreneurial spirit, while working in alignment with the Government of Haiti’s priorities, will be critical in helping Haiti build back better,» said U. S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten. As the Project activities continue throughout the year, efforts will focus on enabling mango farmers to organize into small groups to increase production and improve supply linkages. Skill assessment and technical training will be facilitated by experts on the ground in Haiti to help farmers diversify their income and stabilize their revenues in the face of food insecurity.

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