The new decade came with many promises, but two months in, Covid-19 took the world by storm, evolving into a full blown pandemic. The disease which was first reported in Wuhan, China towards the end of 2019 has now impacted 200 countries and territories, with 787,233 reported cases as of 31st March 2020 and 37,844 deaths globally. In Pakistan, the tally stands at 1870 cases, which will no doubt rise when Covid-19 testing is conducted on a mass scale. 

The pandemic is not only affecting the economy and pushing the health care systems of countries to the limit, it is also directly impacting a particular segment of society which is more vulnerable to the imposition of curfews and lockdowns. While a lockdown is pertinent to flattening the curve and delaying the Covid-19 outbreak, it makes life difficult for Pakistan’s population, 40% of which will be under the poverty line by June 2020. 

In a time of crisis, PepsiCo is stepping up to collaborate with charitable organisations to provide meals to people in the country who previously relied on daily wages for their sustenance.

“In the face of this unprecedented crisis, PepsiCo will be at the forefront of providing assistance to the most vulnerable. PepsiCo is launching the ‘Millions of Meals’ program to meet essential nutrition needs of impacted people across Pakistan. We are identifying passionate and dedicated partners who can very quickly make “Millions of meals” available to those in need. We are a resilient nation and we will overcome this challenge together.”
Furqan Ahmed Syed, CEO PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan

The ‘millions of meals’ program is partly funded by The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, which is investing to aid the most vulnerable in numerous countries and is partnering with peers and the public sector to maximise impact. 

While the fall out from Covid-19 will be severe, programs such as #MillionsOfMeals will ensure that Pakistan’s most vulnerable faction of society will not have to pay the price of the very measures implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus and protect them.

It is heartening to see big corporations like PepsiCo stepping up and doing their part to make things easier for the masses in these challenging times.