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Indonesia wins USD 400m health and education grant

Indonesia will receive a USD 400m package for health and education from the Asian Development Bank, according to local media reports, in order to meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals

Indonesia will receive a USD 400m package for health and education from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), according to local media reports.

ADB, which is headquartered in the Philippines, said the aid would support Indonesia's ongoing efforts to meet targets in the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on poverty reduction, health, education and gender equity.

The bank added that the package will facilitate the expansion of public sector health and education expenditures, and assist the government in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the additional expenditure.

The bank added that despite overall progress in many areas, significant disparities also still exist between the country's most affluent and poorest families on a number of UN MDG targets, such as infant mortality rates and between regions. The bank noted that to date, Indonesia's progress toward meeting MDG benchmarks has been mixed.

In the health sector, maternal mortality rates in Indonesia, while decreasing, are still significantly higher than those seen in neighbouring South-East Asian nations, the bank said. HIV and AIDS rates are also on the rise.

Alfredo Perdiguero, a senior economist at the bank's South-East Asia department, said: "The primary beneficiaries of ADB's support will be women and children from poor households who currently lack sufficient access to quality education and health services."

30th September 2008

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