Super-rich in move to ease African poverty

Thursday, September 14, 2006

US economist Jeffrey Sachs has been pursuing the strategy since 2004 through his non-profit Millennium Promise group. It aims to tackle myriad problems of poverty all at once by providing villagers with relatively inexpensive technologies and approaches, including mosquito nets to prevent malaria and stoves with chimneys to reduce deadly indoor air pollution. FINANCIER and philanthropist George Soros has offered $US50 million ($A66 million) to support a vast social experiment that aims to help villages in Africa escape grinding poverty.

The announcement came on the same day that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it was teaming with the Rockefeller Foundation to commit $US150 million ($A200 million) to increasing agricultural productivity in Africa.

Mr Soros’ money will, among other things, pay for fertilisers and improved seeds to raise crop yields, classrooms to improve literacy and health clinics to reduce deaths in 33 villages in 10 African countries.

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Source: The Age (link opens in a new window)