Our COVID-19 response

The HEINEKEN Africa Foundation commits 5 million euros to support communities to protect themselves in the fight against COVID-19.

Amsterdam 26 August 2020 – On the occasion of World Water Week, the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation commits 5 million euros to fight COVID-19 in Africa in the coming year. As a first step, the Foundation will support WaterAid and World Vision with 2.5 million euros. With this support vulnerable communities in 8 countries in sub-Saharan Africa will receive access to water, soap and hygiene information. 

Africa is experiencing a continuing increase in Covid-19 cases in a growing number of countries. Coordination between the public and private sectors is essential to fight the spread of the virus. Amongst the measures being taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19, hand washing is known to be particularly effective. Unfortunately, the majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have the possibility to wash their hands with water and soap at home.  

Since 2007 the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation has focussed on improving the health of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa, committing over 10 million Euros to 119 projects. A key focus for the Foundation has been improving water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). As WASH plays an important role in reducing the spread of Covid-19, the Foundation will seek to increase its impact by partnering with two leading NGOs in this field - WaterAid and World Vision. An initial 2.5 million euros grant will allow them to set up handwashing facilities and provide hygiene information in health centres, markets and community settings in eight countries.  

The partnership with WaterAid and World Vision is the first phase in the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation’s commitment to support the fight against Covid-19. As the pandemic develops, the Foundation will review where additional support is needed most for the first half of 2021 based on the developing needs of communities.  

“Clean water, decent sanitation and hygiene is a basic human right but unfortunately many  vulnerable communities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, do not have access to it. Water, sanitation and hygiene is on our agenda for many years already and I am happy that we will scale up and accelerate our efforts in this field because handwashing with soap not only helps to protects against the spread of COVID-19 but also against many other infectious diseases. Together with these two strong partners, I hope we can make a difference for communities during these very challenging times and after,” said Suzanne Giele, the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation General Manager.