THE WHAT? The UK government is working with Unilever to fund a global program to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
THE DETAILS The program will reach up to a billion people worldwide, and is designed to raise awareness of proper hand-washing technique and disinfection.
Both the Department for International Development and Unilever will invest £50 million a piece as well as providing more than 20 million hygiene products to developing countries, including in areas where there is little or no sanitation. The initiative will be led by Unilever-owned Domestos and Lifebuoy.
“Lifebuoy and Domestos have a proven track record of running hygiene awareness and education programmes successfully, and we hope that the work we will be able to drive jointly with UK aid will help save lives that could otherwise be impacted by coronavirus,” said Unilever CEO Alan Jope.
“As the world’s biggest soap company, we have a responsibility to help make soap and hygiene products more readily available, and to use our expertise to teach people to wash their hands effectively, whichever brand they choose to use.”
THE WHY? As International Development Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said, “Health experts have said washing your hands regularly and staying away from other people are the most effective ways to stop this virus from spreading and to save lives.
“Many people in the poorest countries lack access to basic handwashing products such as soap, or are not aware of the urgent need to change their behaviour. The UK government’s partnership with Unilever will make a real difference, helping to protect both developing countries and the UK from further infections.”