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Australian Government Commits $358M In Aid To Asia-Pacific Region For Attainment Of 3 MDGs

“The Australian government has committed A$390.9 million (around $358 million) through its AusAID program to help countries in the Asia-Pacific region attain three Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — poverty and hunger, universal education and maternal health,” SciDev.Net reports. “The aid, spread over four years, will finance nutrient supplements and supplementary feeding to over one million people, provide 100,000 vision screenings and 10,000 sight restoring surgeries, as well as support an additional 1.2 million children to have a better education and help 900,000 women to access improved maternal and child health services,” the news service writes, noting “AusAID spokesperson Sophie Gordon tells SciDev.Net that research will help ensure that the aid will go towards achieving these targets.” The news service adds, “AusAID did not give a breakdown on how much of the funding will actually be used for research, though its policy framework revealed that medical and agricultural research together with education will be the flagship of the aid program” (Sarmiento, 8/12).