Lafarge and CARE announce their new partnership, which is a three-year agreement. For this occasion, a press conference was held today, in the presence of Arielle de Rothschild, Chair of CARE France, and Bruno Lafont, Chairman and CEO of Lafarge.
A partnership that transcends the CSR discussion
Lafarge, a leader in its field, is established on every continent, with 2,200 production sites. The company is conscious of the impact of its activities and has committed to integrate itself on a long-term basis within local communities around its sites and to contribute to their economic and social development. The signing of international agreements with civil society organisations is one of the ways to achieve this objective.
CARE is one of the most important NGOs in terms of international solidarity and is established in 70 countries. Convinced that the private sector "can also be part of the solution", CARE provides its expertise to companies active in countries of the South so that together they can put their energies to good use for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations.
An initial partnership was signed between Lafarge and CARE in 2003 for a five-year period, on the subject of the battle against HIV/AIDS. This co-operation has helped to create an effective and recognised health programme, which now enables all Lafarge employees in Africa, and often their local communities, to have free and anonymous access to HIV prevention, tests and treatment.
Three subjects on which the new partnership is working
In signing a new partnership with CARE, Lafarge, which has been working for many years on the subject of health in Africa, is extending its commitment in the field of health whilst opening two ambitious new projects aimed at strengthening the Group's contribution to local economic and social development. Lafarge and CARE have therefore chosen to work together on the following three programs:
- Distribution to other countries of the know-how developed by Lafarge in terms of programs to combat HIV and malaria, today mainly implemented in Africa;
- Development of a system to assess the social and economic impact on local communities of actions carried out by Lafarge in emerging countries, in order to get a picture and to draw lessons from the programs in place and to define a long-term strategic action plan;
- Launch of a programme aimed at helping poor people in emerging countries to have a higher quality of housing. A pilot initiative meeting this objective is about to be launched in Indonesia; its working platform will be the development of access to microcredit for improving their housing and the training of masons in partnership with local organisations.
CARE is an international solidarity association, which assists with development and in times of emergency. Whether it is microfinance, education, the battle against AIDS, access to drinking water and sanitation, the environment or economic development programmes, CARE fights all causes of poverty for 55 million people in more than 70 countries each year. CARE prioritises the central role played by women, the first victims of poverty, in implementing its programmes.
For further information, go to the website at: www.carefrance.org
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With more than 84,000 employees in 79 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 19 billion in 2008.
In 2009 and for the fifth year in a row, Lafarge was listed in the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.