Our COVID-19 response

“We've been working urgently over the past year to stop the spread of the virus by sharing crucial hygiene messages and providing lasting access to water, sanitation and hygiene. With the support of the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation, we are working in less privileged communities to scale up our COVID-19 response," said Maureen Nkandu, WaterAid South Africa.   

Amsterdam 29 March 2021 – Last year, during World Water Week, the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation launched its COVID-19 response program and committed 5 million euros to fight COVID-19 in Africa. As a first step, the Foundation supported WaterAid and World Vision with 2.5 million euros. They implemented projects in 8 sub-Saharan Africa countries to give vulnerable communities access to water, soap and important hygiene information.  

In this first phase of the response program, more than 30 million people were reached with crucial hygiene messages via tv, radio and print campaigns. Over 1,000 hand washing stations were installed in markets, schools and health centres. Giving 1.5 million people the ability to wash their hands. In addition, 978 people were trained to manage and maintain the hand washing facilities.  

Since 2007, the objective of the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation is to improve the health of people living in sub-Saharan Africa. A key focus for the Foundation has been improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). As WASH plays an important role, not only in reducing the spread of COVID-19, but other infectious diseases as well, the Foundation will continue to increase its impacts in this field in strong collaboration with its partners, WaterAid and World Vision.  

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