Peace Corps, USAID and Coca-Cola Announce Partnership to Strengthen Training on Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Nations

October 12, 2012

Trainings to launch in West Africa in 2013

Washington – The Peace Corps has announced a strategic partnership with the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) – a long-standing public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola) – to improve local capacity to deliver sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for the reduction of waterborne disease around the world.  WADA will work with the Peace Corps’ WASH initiative to raise awareness and build capacity among Peace Corps and community trainers around sustainable water supply and sanitation services, as well as improved hygiene behaviors. The program will focus especially on women in the communities and countries served.

“Our volunteers’ intimate knowledge of cultural and community practices, plus their commitment to sustainable health projects, make this training-focused partnership a perfect fit for Peace Corps,” said Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “For decades, Peace Corps volunteers have worked to help communities have access to clean water, one of our most precious natural resources. Coca-Cola and USAID are strong partners in this sector, and we are happy to expand our work together around the world. We are excited to work with an established and successful partnership such as the Water and Development Alliance to build our volunteer capacity in this area.”

Sustainable water resources and services are essential for ensuring healthy communities, economies, and ecosystems. Through WADA, USAID and Coca-Cola are addressing community water needs in developing countries as part of their joint commitment to improving global water security.  The partnership with the Peace Corps will expand that impact and enhance the long-term sustainability of WASH investments around the world.

“In Africa, Coca-Cola is focused on sustainable community water projects that help communities uplift themselves," said William Asiko, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. "Effective training of community members will ensure community ownership and management of program infrastructure. We are therefore honored to support the training of more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers and their counterparts from local organizations to increase communities’ capacity for sustainable water management.

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said, “We are pleased to strengthen our longstanding and important collaboration with the Peace Corps by drawing on their grassroots presence to help build local capacity in WASH. This new relationship has great potential to extend the strategic reach of our water partnership with Coca-Cola around the world.”

To start, a Peace Corps WASH technical specialist will provide approximately 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers and their local counterparts with WASH training curriculum and materials as well as deliver in-country training of trainers on WASH-related topics. All efforts are structured to enable widespread dissemination of information and best practices among community stakeholder. The trainings and materials will launch in West Africa and will be adapted for Peace Corps’ use worldwide.

In addition to this training program, Peace Corps volunteers are involved with WASH projects through construction or repair of community and school latrines and water supply systems, including gravity flow, rainwater catchment and well technologies.

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The Water and Development Alliance (WADA) is a unique partnership between the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that addresses community water needs in developing countries around the world.  In conjunction with local USAID Missions and Coca-Cola system partners (foundations and bottling facilities), and with support from the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), WADA contributes to protecting and improving the sustainability of watersheds, increasing access to water supply and sanitation services for the world’s poor, and enhancing productive uses of water. With a combined investment of $31.8 million since 2005, WADA is having a positive impact on the lives of people and the health of ecosystems in 23 countries worldwide, 18 of which are in Africa.

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF), established by The Coca-Cola Company in 2001, is the entity that coordinates The Company’s corporate social investment programs and implements community initiatives in Africa. The Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) is the Foundation's flagship water program and is the umbrella under which all future water programs will fall. Launched in 2009, RAIN is a public-private partnership made possible through a six-year, $30 million commitment from The Coca-Cola Company. The initiative will provide sustainable, clean water sources, hygiene education and sanitation services to millions of people throughout Africa. The Foundation also supports many other community initiatives throughout Africa, including HIV/AIDS & malaria prevention, access to education, job creation and humanitarian assistance.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. Their work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade, global health, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. USAID provides assistance in five regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Eurasia, and the Middle East.

With headquarters in Washington, D.C., USAID's strength is its field offices around the world. They work in close partnership with private voluntary organizations, indigenous organizations, universities, American businesses, international agencies, other governments, and other U.S. Government agencies. USAID has working relationships with more than 3,500 American companies and over 300 U.S.-based private voluntary organizations.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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