The EU’s private sector has been actively contributing to solutions to the COVID crisis in partner countries, alongside the Team Europe public response. Beyond financial contributions to local pandemic funds or other types of financial donation, it has undertaken a wide range of initiatives to provide medical and protection equipment and other health solutions.
Subsidiaries of AB InBev, the Belgian multinational drink and brewing company, have been involved in efforts to fight the pandemic in Africa.
In Mozambique, the Cervejas de Mocambique brewery has:
- launched a campaign to promote safe hygiene and sanitation practices, especially in busy places like markets and bus stops;
- replaced all billboard and digital advertising with educational messages from the Ministry of Health;
- donated 4,000 litres of hand sanitiser for hospitals and healthcare professionals;
- assisted bars and restaurants with preventive measures before they reopen; and
- launched an online platform connecting residents with local businesses offering goods and home delivery services.
In Nigeria, International Breweries Plc has donated 30 000 bottles of hand sanitiser, 60 000 bottles of nutritious non-alcoholic beverages, and funds for medical supplies such as test kits, personal protective equipment and infra-red thermometers.
Water for vulnerable communities
AB InBev supports the Sustainable Development Goals and broader global sustainable development agenda. It has five ambitious sustainability goals for 2025, aligned with the SDGs. Water stewardship is one such goal, and is already part of the efforts to fight the pandemic in countries like Botswana and Zambia.
In Botswana, Kgalagadi Breweries Limited has provided a 65,000-litre water bowser for areas experiencing shortages, together with 24,000 litres of hand sanitiser.
Meanwhile, Zambian Breweries is funding a project to bring water to vulnerable communities, and is lending trucks to distribute food and other essentials to those in need. It has also donated the use of a water bowser and helped build an industrial water borehole to alleviate water shortages and allow for frequent handwashing in densely populated areas. On top of this it has delivered more than 10,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, 3,000 face shields for frontline medical staff, and thousands of face masks to protect all employees and their families. And it has donated personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to help disinfect public places like Lusaka’s busy Munyaule market.
In both countries the companies have helped disseminate public health messages on posters, billboards and videos, encouraging people to follow preventive measures and stay at home.
Kgetsi ya tsie e kgonwa ke go tshwaraganelwa – in Botswana, this saying means that a challenge is easily tackled when people work together. This reflects the approach that AB InBev has embraced in its activities to combat COVID-19. And it mirrors the philosophy that Team Europe has championed as it continues working with its partner countries around the world to defeat this global pandemic and promote sustainable development.
As Jose Moran, Country Director of Zambian Breweries, says, “working together, we shall overcome this challenge.”