We’re living in extraordinary times, with unprecedented circumstances. Besides wrecking human nerves, the novel coronavirus pandemic is shaking strong world economies to their core.
With the IMF having already declared a virus-triggered global recession, struggling economies of developing countries like Pakistan are set to suffer the most. What’s worse still is that the grim fact that the current situation may just be the beginning of more challenging times ahead.
As of today, the virus has killed over 30 people in Pakistan as it tightens its grip on the country with confirmed cases nearing 2,300 and suspected ones running in the thousands. Almost the entire economy is paralyzed as all big and small business hubs get locked down.
While social distancing is being urged, the measure achieves little when it comes to the people living below or close to the poverty line.
And in Pakistan, such people amount to millions. Pakistan’s national poverty ratio stands somewhere between 32 to 40 percent. It means that over 80 million Pakistanis are living in poverty. A vast majority of such people comprises daily-wagers who in the current lockdown are scrambling to meet their essential nutrition needs.
Pepsi and Lays have stepped up and rolled-out their ‘Millions of Meals’ initiative. The aim of this program is to make millions of meals available to communities that are impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The brands have partnered with reputed charitable organizations of Pakistan for the disbursement of these meals nationwide. To announce the program, Pepsi and Lays released an official announcement on their social media platforms earlier this week:
Today, we announce our commitment to provide millions of meals to support struggling families of Pakistan that are finding it difficult to make ends meet in these tough times.
— pepsipakistan (@pepsipakistan) March 30, 2020
“In the face of this unprecedented crisis, PepsiCo will be at the forefront of providing assistance to the most vulnerable,” shares Furqan Ahmed Syed, CEO PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“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,” he adds.
With the global virus terror only growing by the day, there is no end to lockdowns that can be seen in the foreseeable future. In such a grim situation, the Millions of Meals program by Pepsi and Lays will surely make things easier for Pakistan’s financially challenged masses.
It’s only through care and support that we can beat a challenge of this unparalleled magnitude. Those who can, must keep their support alive to save many of our fellow citizens from starvation.