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Matt Damon on his Stella Artois partnership to tackle the global water crisis

The actor Matt Damon has spoken of his partnership with Stella Artois and non-governmental organization Water.org in tackling the lack of clean water and sanitation around the world.

At a CNBC panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Damon told host Tania Bryer: "Access to clean water and sanitation is just not something we think about, we solved this problem in the West 100 years ago. So to clear that first hurdle of just explaining that there is an issue has been a challenge for us."

Damon has partnered with the Belgian beer brand Stella Artois in its "Buy a lady a drink" campaign, inviting people to purchase a branded chalice. Stella Artois donates $6.25 to Water.org for every glass bought.


"It's called 'Buy a lady a drink' because this is predominantly an issue about women and girls…it's the women in these families who are in charge of collecting water, and what that means oftentimes is that young girls aren't in school," Damon told Bryer.

Ricardo Tadeu, zone president Africa at AB InBev, parent company of Stella Artois, said that it is important for brands to have a cause they care about.

"It's really important to have a cause that we believe, that we can be a driving force behind it and of course water is our main ingredient…one of the important things (is) that when a brand stands for something like this is finding the right mechanics that can really add value for the brand, for the consumers and really drive the resources behind the cause."

Water.org and Stella Artois have worked together to bring 800,000 people clean water for five years, Tadeu said, and the partnership is aiming to reach 3.5 million people by 2020. Tadeu encouraged other companies to work with Water.org.

"We talk about whether it is our generation or the next generation (that will have clean water), but we will make sure it's our generation, but it depends on the engagement of people everywhere, the engagement of public companies, other brands, all are invited to participate…

"In our calculations, if ourselves Stella Artois in five, ten years can double our efforts and we can bring to the table 50 more brands or companies around the world, that could be a solution," he said.


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