With one move, Coca Cola has restored some of our faith in humanity by showing incredible compassion in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. Last month, the beverage giant decided to suspend its brand advertising so that it could donate all the money to the Philippines instead.
That’s right. Despite the fact that the company’s revenues are declining, it decided that humanity was more important than money. The November 18th announcement stated that the company would be donating more than $2.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions for disaster relief and recovery following Haiyan’s devastation.
“We would like to express our deepest sympathies to those affected by this tragic disaster in the Philippines,” said Coca Cola Chairman and CEO, Muhtar Kent. “Our dedicated associates are on the ground offering assistance, and we are commited to helping the communities rebuild.”
The total number of known fatalities for Typhoon Haiyan continues to rise, and on December 4th hit 5,719. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reports that an additional 1,779 people are still missing, many of which may have also lost their lives. According to the United Nations, about 11 million people were affected by the storm—and many were left homeless. Haiyan also caused an estimated $390 million in infrastructure damages, with an additional $400 million in lost crops. Haiyan has been reported as the deadliest Philippine typhoon of record.
Recovery efforts will be ongoing for years to come, but every little bit helps. As we move forward and, eventually, complete initial relief efforts, we also need to keep in mind the how the storm’s devastation will continue to affect Filipinos in the long term. While nothing can replace the people lost to the storm, we can help get farmland up and functioning, houses rebuilt, families relocated, and more. Let’s hope that companies like Coca Cola continue their relief efforts, keeping awareness and compassion high.