US ac­torMatt Da­mon takes to fo­rum stage to build ac­cess to clean wa­ter

China Daily (Canada) - - XI’S VISIT - By REUTERS in Davos

US movie star Matt Da­mon used Davos to drum up sup­port for his char­ity, Wa­ter, on Tues­day, af­ter get­ting a new mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar com­mit­ment from Bel­gian brewer Stella Ar­tois.

“The poor­est of the poor pay more than the mid­dle class in many coun­tries as they were shut out of the in­fra­struc­ture,” Da­mon said at a panel dis­cus­sion hosted by the An­heuserBusch InBev beer brand at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum.

The char­ity is try­ing to raise a $55 mil­lion fund that would pro­vide mi­croloans to fi­nance projects that build ac­cess to clean­wa­terinde­vel­op­ing­coun­tries. It has al­ready de­ployed an $11 mil­lion fund, Da­mon­said.

“Peo­ple want to par­tic­i­pate in their own so­lu­tion, they want a handup­no­ta­hand­out,” he­said.

Stella Ar­tois said it­was­com­mit­ting $4.8 mil­lion over four years to the char­ity, at a time when AB InBev is mov­ing into Africa, where ac­cess to clean wa­ter can be lim­ited.

“Wa­ter is our num­ber one in­gre­di­ent soweare very wa­ter­con­scious,” Ri­cardo Tadeu, AB InBev’s head of Africa, said. The brewer’s sup­port for the char­ity pre­cedes AB InBev’s $100 bil­lion-plus ac­qui­si­tion last year of SABMiller, which ex­tended its reach in Africa as well as Latin Amer­ica.

“We’ve been able to see tan­gi­ble re­sults and a tan­gi­ble im­pact,” said Christina Choi, global brand vice-pres­i­dent of Stella Ar­tois.

Stella will also con­tinue its “Buy a Lady a Drink” cam­paign, in which pro­ceeds from each sale of a lim­ited-edi­tion beer glass are do­nated to Da­mon’s char­ity, pro­vid­ingth­ee­quiv­a­lent fund­ing for five years of clean drink­ing wa­ter for one per­son.

Lack of ac­cess to wa­ter dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fects women and chil­dren, as they of­ten spend hours each day col­lect­ing it in­stead of go­ing to school or work­ing.

In the two years since the project was launched, Stella said it has sold more than 225,000 glasses and do­nated more than $3 mil­lion to the char­ity. It said its new com­mit­ment aims to help 3.5 mil­lion peo­ple get ac­cess to clean­wa­ter.

The brewer said it would also do­nate money for each six- and 12-pack of beer pur­chased in theUnited States and Bri­tain.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.