On Friday 18 August, The Coca‑Cola Foundation received a recognition award from New Zealand Red Cross for its contributions to the response, recovery and support for future resilience initiatives following the devastation by Cyclone Gabrielle and North Island weather emergencies in 2023.
Cyclone Gabrielle, which tore through the North Island in February 2023, led to unprecedented upheaval. Turning the lives of many Kiwis upside down, the cyclone left behind a trail of destruction, displacing nearly 10,000 Kiwis, decimating transport links, and isolating entire communities.
In response to this tragedy, The Coca‑Cola Foundation donated US$200,000 to the New Zealand Disaster Fund to help support relief efforts in communities most impacted by the severe weather events. The Disaster Fund supports communities and people whose homes and livelihoods were damaged during the devastating weather events earlier this year. Thanks to the Coca‑Cola Foundation and other donations from over 54,000 generous people and hundreds of businesses, New Zealand Red Cross Disaster Welfare and Support Teams were able to provide shelter, psychosocial support and critical supplies throughout the emergency response. In total, donations reached over $27 million.
“Disasters such as Cyclone Gabrielle leave a mark of devastation that underscores the indispensable value of resilience and cooperation," said Saadia Madsbjerg, Coca‑Cola Foundation President. "Our contribution to the New Zealand Disaster Fund mirrors our commitment to fostering stronger communities. We deeply appreciate this recognition, but more importantly, we're proud to have been part of the collective effort to help communities recover and prepare for the future.”
The prestigious Disaster Response Recognition Awards from New Zealand Red Cross recognises those who made significant donations to their New Zealand Disaster Fund. The Secretary General of New Zealand Red Cross, Sarah Stuart-Black presented the limited-edition token of appreciation to Debbie Frost, Executive Assistant for Coca‑Cola Oceania.
New Zealand Red Cross will continue their work and focus on helping to ensure communities are better supported and prepared for future disasters, through their Resilience Investment Programme. While there has been incredible progress in the last six months, the road to full recovery is ongoing.
The Coca‑Cola Company and The Coca‑Cola Foundation – along with a network of local bottling partners across the world – support the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement through financial contributions, beverage donations, employee volunteering, and by sharing marketing assets, expertise and more.
For updates about the ongoing impact made by New Zealand Red Cross, please visit www.redcross.org.nz.
The Coca‑Cola Foundation’s mission is to make a difference in communities around the world where The Coca‑Cola Company operates and where our employees live and work. We support transformative ideas and institutions that address complex global challenges and that leave a measurable and lasting impact. Our giving is focused on sustainable access to safe water, climate resilience and disaster risk preparedness and response, circular economy, economic empowerment, and causes impacting our hometown community. Since its inception in 1984, The Coca‑Cola Foundation has awarded grants of over $1.5 billion in service of its mandate to strengthen communities across the world.