The Coca-Cola Foundation Awards $1 Million in Grants to Organizations Supporting Afghan Refugees and U.S. Service Members, With Focus on Women and Girls

The Coca‑Cola Foundation Awards $1 Million in Grants to Organizations Supporting Afghan Refugees and U.S. Service Members, With Focus on Women and Girls


The Coca‑Cola Foundation, the global philanthropic arm of The Coca‑Cola Company, has awarded grants totaling $1 million to three nonprofit organizations providing relief to communities impacted by the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“This is a global, multi-faceted crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Saadia Madsbjerg, president, The Coca‑Cola Foundation. “We hope these grants will be meaningful in assisting our partners in the short term and the long term as they provide displaced Afghan families with critical services and provide support to U.S. service members who are playing an important role in helping Afghan refugees.”

These grants will support immediate and long-term needs of Afghan refugees with a focus on women and girls, as well as U.S. military service members and their families through three nonprofit organizations: 

- USA for UNHCR—which protects refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people and empowers them with hope and opportunity—will support UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to provide shelter and critical household items to meet the daily basic needs of Afghans seeking refuge in the neighboring country of Pakistan, including tents, meal preparation kits and items for collecting and storing clean drinking water. The Coca‑Cola Foundation provided a previous grant in 2015 to help UNHCR support Syrian refugees. 

- The International Rescue Committee (IRC)—which helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict or disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their futures—will deliver emergency response and support resettlement efforts in countries where Afghan evacuees are arriving, like the United States, Uganda, Mexico, and Europe. 

- The United Service Organization (USO)—which aims to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their service —will provide immediate support services to help address the emotional, mental, and physical needs of U.S. service members who are returning home from evacuation efforts in Afghanistan or who are involved in post-evacuation activities such as helping evacuees at U.S. military bases. Earlier this year, The Coca‑Cola Foundation also awarded a separate grant to help fund USO programs that deliver support to service members stationed abroad, as well as transition programming that provides resources for service members and military spouses. 

Since the beginning of 2021, 600,000 Afghans have fled their homes due to violence, according to UNHCR. Most of those who have been forced to flee are women and children. New arrivals in other countries will need access to basic necessities as well as services like translators, job training, school enrollment and navigating the path to secure legal documentation.

Empowering women is a core giving priority for The Coca‑Cola Foundation. Separately, female empowerment has long been a priority of The Coca‑Cola Company. 

Photo credit: IRC