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Unilever joins forces with ‘Manudam Mehewara’ Emergency Relief initiative


Average read time: 4 minutes

Officials from Unilever Sri Lanka, Dialog Axiata PLC and Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement at the inauguration event of Unilever joining forces with the ‘Manudam Mehewara’ humanitarian programme

Unilever Sri Lanka recently joined forces with the ‘Manudam Mehewara’ multi-corporation humanitarian alliance initiated by Dialog Axiata PLC, MAS Holdings, Hemas Holdings PLC, execution partner Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and independent auditor PwC Sri Lanka, together with CBL Group, Citi, Sunshine Holdings PLC and Huawei Technologies Lanka Co Pvt Ltd, to provide emergency relief to families affected by the ongoing economic crisis in the country. Unilever has donated in cash, and also in kind - courtesy of its flagship brands - Sunlight and Lifebuoy.

Personnel from Unilever Sri Lanka distributing an emergency relief pack to a family in Colombo
Chandika Dayaratne, Head of Distributive Trade - Customer Development, Unilever Sri Lanka distributing an emergency relief pack to a family in Grandpass, Colombo

Whilst taking steps towards building the nation, the emergency relief aims to assist 200,000 vulnerable Sri Lankan families. The relief is currently being distributed across all 25 districts, where over 100,000 families in need have been assisted to date. The funds are utilized to purchase dry rations - dietary staples such as rice, dhal and so on, to address the critical requirement of providing emergency relief until a sustainable benefit transfer system has been executed in the country through an effective economic recovery plan.

Personnel from Unilever Sri Lanka distributing an emergency relief pack to a family in Colombo
Neluka Wikramanayake, Corporate Communications Manager, Unilever Sri Lanka distributing an emergency relief pack to a family in Grandpass, Colombo

Expressing her views on this project, Nilushi Jayatileke, Marketing Director, Personal Care and Beauty & Wellbeing of Unilever Sri Lanka’s said, “It moves us deeply to see the economic hardships and unprecedented challenges faced by our fellow Sri Lankans. At Unilever, we believe in making sustainable living commonplace. Many of our purpose-led brands have always considered it a responsibility to help build a sustainable Sri Lanka by facilitating a better quality of life for our people.”

She further added “Whilst all of us have been doing our part as corporates, the national crisis which we are faced with today is of a much greater magnitude than what a single brand or single corporate can do to make an impactful change. This is where the power of the collective plays an important role. I would like to congratulate Dialog, Sarvodaya and the other founding partners for launching Manudam Mehewara, to create a platform to bring together the power of the collective, in order to help our fellow Sri Lankans in a way that would make a scalable impact.”

Speaking on this occasion, Navin Pieris, Group Chief Officer, Dialog Enterprise, Dialog Axiata PLC said, “As a trusted digital companion for over 17 million Sri Lankans, we have recognised the emergency to step forward and assist those in dire need. Teaming up with an entity like Unilever will be both beneficial and resourceful as we need to work together to alleviate the problem that is taking place in our nation. Working alongside like-minded companies will bring much gratitude to all of us when supporting families across Sri Lanka.”

Speaking about the programme, Kamal Gamage, Acting Executive Director, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement stated, “We at Sarvodaya are thrilled to have Unilever join us in this humanitarian effort and be a part of this timely initiative. As a social service organisation, working with our like-minded partners in harmony will help ease the strain on our people who are going through these difficult times. I would like to extend our thanks to Unilever for partaking in this initiative, for we are confident that it will strengthen our programme further.”

Manudam Mehewara emergency relief packs
Manudam Mehewara emergency relief packs

Over the past 84 years, Unilever has been deeply rooted in Sri Lankan society, curating a landscape that preserves and nurtures the true Sri Lankan way of life. It is one of the largest FMCG companies in the country and produces 96% of its products locally to the strictest manufacturing standards. The company’s portfolio comprises 30 market leading brands including Sunlight, Signal, Lifebuoy, Knorr and many others, through which it positively impacts the lives of 21 million Sri Lankans every day. Enhancing the livelihoods of the communities it operates in will continue to be at the forefront of its efforts.

*Photographed left to right - Harsha Samaranayake, Senior General Manager – Brand and Media, Group Marketing of Dialog Axiata PLC; Kamal Gamage, Acting Executive Director, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement; Navin Pieris, Group Chief Officer, Dialog Enterprise, Dialog Axiata PLC; Nilushi Jayatileke, Marketing Director – Personal Care and Beauty & Wellbeing, Unilever Sri Lanka; Sharmila Bandara, Marketing Director – Home Care & Nutrition, Unilever Sri Lanka; Channa Tennakoon, Head of Media & Activation, Unilever Sri Lanka; and Harini Rajadasa, Head of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs and External Communications, Unilever Sri Lanka

Read the press release in Sinhala (PDF 195.78 KB) 

Read the press release in Tamil  (PDF 134.1 KB)

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