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International year for the eradication of poverty

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Embargo lam, Monday 1 January 1996 AID29 29 December 1995


1996 is the United Nations International Year for the Eradication of Poverty and AusAID - the Australian Agency for International Development - is the key government agency responsible for tackling poverty around the world.

AusAID's $1.6 billion program focuses mainly on our near neighbours in Asia and the South Pacific.

Activities range from small credit schemes for rural women to improving roads in remote areas of Papua New Guinea. All activities are screened for their impact on women and the environment.

AusAID will be providing material on its poverty eradication programs throughout the year. The following facts may be useful for journalists preparing stories:


• one in every five people lives in extreme poverty (1.5 billion people) • half the world's poor live in South Asia • half of all Africans live in extreme poverty, most in rural Sub Saharan Africa (Africans make up 16 per cent of world's poor)

• one billion people do not have access to basic needs like clean water and sanitation • more than three million people die each year from preventable diseases like tuberculosis and malaria • every hour, 1400 children under five will die from malnutrition and preventable

childhood diseases • AusAID provided $100m last financial year for health and population activities - seven per cent of the total aid budget • basic education is crucial to fighting poverty - in 1995-96, $25m is provided for basic

education; vocational, technical and distance education and literacy programs. • overall, about 16 per cent of AusAID's budget goes to the education and training sector • non government organisations receive $100m from AusAID for their grass roots work tackling poverty.

AusAID media contacts: Donelle Wheeler (Director Public Affairs) 06-276 4960 015-488 954 06-239 6936 (h) Geoff Adlide 06-276 4967

Andrea McLaughlin 06-276 4966

Wendy Levy 06-276 4968

A u s t r a l i a n A g e n c y f o r I n t e r n a t i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t