In early September 2019, the Coca-Cola Company and its Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed their commitment to the Project Last Mile partnership.

Project Last Mile aims to assist governments in reducing barriers in accessing essential medicines across Africa, and to strengthen national health systems. The partners’ commitment enables Project Last Mile to continue applying proven private-sector expertise in support of the Global Fund’s goal of saving 16 million lives in its new replenish commitment between 2021 and 2023.

In pursuit of this goal, Project Last Mile will deepen its investment in the countries in which it currently operates, while aiming to launch at least five new programs. 

Project Last Mile is an innovative public-private partnership founded in 2014 that leverages the Coca-Cola system’s supply-chain and marketing expertise to support African governments in reaching the ‘last mile’ – delivering life-saving medicines to the hardest-to-reach communities. Project Last Mile also taps into Coca-Cola’s vast networks of successful service providers and cutting-edge innovations to reduce the supply and demand barriers governments face in delivering critical health commodities and services.

Following an initial investment of more than US$21 million by partners in 2014, Project Last Mile has provided support to 10 countries in Africa. This work enhances the impact of multi-million-dollar investments made by donor partners in public health systems across Africa by ensuring critical health commodities reach communities most in need.

“I am delighted to announce that Project Last Mile will be renewed for another five years, allowing us to deepen our investment in countries where the partnership is currently active and launch at least five new projects,” said Maserame Mouyeme, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director for Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa. “By removing obstacles in delivering medicines and accessing health services, we hope to save more lives, faster. To achieve this objective, the partners collectively expect to invest an additional US$20 million in financial and in-kind support.” 

Some of Project Last Mile’s key programmes reducing barriers to medicines and health services include:

  • Applying Coca-Cola’s extensive route-to-market and logistics expertise to develop a more efficient and sustainable distribution network for health commodities following the Ebola crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone
  • Supporting the Ministry of Health in Mozambique to redesign distribution and delivery networks to amplify the impact of a $515 million-dollar investment in the national health system by the Global Fund
  • Supporting the National Department of Health in South Africa to build innovative distribution models for chronic medication, improving access and quality of services for two million patients across the country
  • Leveraging Coca-Cola’s marketing expertise to increase awareness and demand for HIV prevention services across high-risk populations in eSwatini, Lesotho, and South Africa

The partners’ commitment to renew their support enables Project Last Mile to continue serving Ministries of Health in spearheading long-term, critical improvements across the health system. Project Last Mile is proud to continue to work with a powerful coalition of public, private, civil society and academic partners who share a common belief that collaboration between the public and private sectors can effectively and sustainably address challenges in global health