Africare News Release
Africare Partners With Mars to Assist Children in Cocoa-Producing Communities
WASHINGTON, DC, April 25, 2007 — Mars, Incorporated, announced that it will partner with Africare to implement a three-year project aimed at improving the quality of life for communities in Ghana. The program will place a special emphasis on services to children in cocoa-producing communities.
“This partnership is symbolic of the commitment that both Africare and Mars have made to the continent of Africa,” noted Africare President Julius E. Coles. “It’s an important step toward establishing strong, self-sustainable economies in Ghana that will support and provide vital services like health care to its communities, especially for underserved populations.”
West Africa is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global crop. Ghana is ranked as a leading producer, second only to its neighbor, Cote d’Ivoire. Cocoa is critical to the Ghana’s economic growth and is considered a major export crop.
Mars, Incorporated, has turned to the veteran development nonprofit, Africare, to bring the new program to Ghana. Together, these organizations will work to make a positive difference in the lives of West African cocoa farmers and their communities.
“We strive to reach out to the poorest of the poor through our programs,” noted Coles. “This collaboration has given us opportunity to do just that.”
Africare began assisting Ghana in the 1980s with a project, in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA, then PMA) and the Ghanaian Ministry of Health, to improve the management and distribution of essential pharmaceuticals ? especially to the poorest, most isolated clinics. Work of other types, from food production to school construction to HIV prevention, has followed over the years.