Australia announces additional support to reduce poverty in Indonesia

Media release

4 April 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia will provide an additional $99 million over the next two years for Indonesia's flagship poverty reduction program.

Senator Carr said the National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM) is benefitting around 40 million of Indonesia's poorest people through community grants, allowing the community to decide where the needs are greatest.

"Today I'm visiting Manarul Huda Madrasah, an Islamic School that has already seen the benefits of Australian aid through school building repairs and better sanitation facilities," Senator Carr said.

"Under the PNPM program, more than 30,000 schools and 7,800 health facilities have been built or rehabilitated since 2008.

"PNPM also helps children to get into schools like this one in villages all over Indonesia, by providing scholarships and building better roads and facilities.

"More than 177,000 students have benefitted from scholarships under the program since 2008."

Senator Carr said President Yudhoyono has made improving the lives of his country's poorest a priority and Australia is proud to assist with this work.

"Almost 120 million Indonesians, nearly half the population, live on less than $2 a day," Senator Carr said.

"Australia's funding will help marginalised groups such as people living with HIV and people with disabilities to benefit from the program.

"It will also provide targeted support to remote villages in Papua and West Papua, including training for local school graduates in basic engineering skills to build critical village infrastructure."

The funding will also help to expand PNPM Generasi, a program that will provide health and education grants across 5000 villages by the end of 2014.

By 2011, an estimated four million people in more than 3,000 villages had already benefitted from this program.

The program provides pre- and post-natal care, neonatal care such as immunisations, and ensures children can get to school and complete their studies.

To date, more than 64,000 children have been vaccinated, and more than 28,000 women had access to a mid-wife during labour.

The new funding brings Australia's total support for PNPM to $314 million between 2009 and 2015.

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