PepsiCo and Lebanese Red Cross enter two-year partnership to expand access to relief systems in Lebanon

PepsiCo and the Lebanese Red Cross (“LRC”) have announced a two-year partnership to ensure provision of medical services to communities impacted by ongoing crises in the country. The announcement comes just one year after a deadly explosion devastated Beirut, and amidst an ongoing economic downturn and global pandemic.

For the first year of the partnership, The PepsiCo Foundation has committed USD 250,000, which will enable LRC to sustain their existing health and relief operations and ensure aid goes to those in need.

“We are proud to partner with the Lebanese Red Cross, Lebanon’s number one emergency medical and relief services provider, to bring relief to thousands during this tumultuous time,” said Eugene Willemsen, PepsiCo’s CEO for Africa, Middle East, and South Asia (AMESA). “The Middle East is not just somewhere we operate; it is our home. We’ve been present here for over 60 years through our communities, employees, bottlers, and local government partners. Lebanon has always held a special place in the hearts of PepsiCo associates and working with the Lebanese Red Cross is reflective of our commitment to the country and its people as they weather these unprecedented crises.”

To demonstrate PepsiCo’s commitment to the region, senior leaders Eugene Willemsen, CEO of Africa and South Asia; Aamer Sheikh, President and General Manager for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan; and Jon Banner President of The PepsiCo Foundation (virtually) met with Walid Assaf, Chairman and General Manager of Société Moderne Libanaise pour le Commerce (SMLC) and, Dr. Antoine Zoghbi, President of the Lebanese Red Cross to discuss the challenges facing local communities.

“Now more than ever, the Lebanese Red Cross needs the help of trusted partners to be able to continue providing its life-saving services to the population throughout Lebanon. PepsiCo has been at our side during the worst crises in the past two years, and we are now proud to enter into this key partnership,” said Georges Kettaneh, Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross, adding: “Together, we will ensure that more than 4000 persons benefit from our health services over the next two years.”

“Our message to Lebanon is clear: we will continue to stand by you,” said Aamer Sheikh, “Our commitment to the Lebanese is unwavering and we will always seek ways to support through our partners and local organizations.”

The PepsiCo Foundation initially stepped in to support LRC in February 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, donating USD 150,000 to purchase personal protective equipment for volunteers. In August 2020, PepsiCo, The PepsiCo Foundation and SMLC donated USD 1 million to the Lebanese Red Cross, the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon, Beit el Baraka, Al Fanar, March Lebanon, Nusaned and Offre Joie in response to the devastating explosion in Beirut.  With these funds, the organizations and NGOs managed to rehabilitate homes, small businesses and schools and provide essential medical care to children with cancer and people wounded during the blast.

“At this critical juncture, collective collaboration is of vital importance, and over the past year we have shown what is possible when we come together and expand access to critical resources,” said Jon Banner, President of the PepsiCo Foundation. “With a focus on the most distressed communities, we believe that this work will bring continued assistance to the region in a way that is impactful and meaningful to the lives of many.  Based on our successful history of working with LRC and other Lebanese non-profits, we are certain that this partnership will bring relief to thousands across the country.”

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