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40 Hour Famine reaches new heights

40 Hour Famine reaches new heights

New Zealand's biggest youth fundraising event this week broke all previous records.

So far the 40 Hour Famine, held in March, has raised $2.58m, up 10 per cent on last year and eclipsing the previous record of $2.57m raised in 2001.

But aid agency World Vision, which organises the Famine, says the total will go higher yet, as money raised during the event continues to come in.

World Vision executive director Helen Green said today the result was a tribute to New Zealanders' ongoing generosity.

"These kind of events can easily flourish for a few years and then enthusiasm wanes but the 40 Hour Famine goes from strength to strength," she said.

Mrs Green urged participants still to bank Famine income to do so immediately, even if it was only small amounts, and not to be afraid about being a bit late.

"We set a target of $2.7m this year. If things continue I am confident we can reach and perhaps even exceed it," she said.

Money from this year's 40 Hour Famine will assist street children and victims of exploitative child labour in Africa and Asia. It will also support food relief programmes in several impoverished African countries.

The 2003 Famine was the 28th to be held in New Zealand. About 135,000 mainly young people raise money by fasting during the 40 Hour Famine weekend.

Approx income raised by region:

West Auckland, North Shore and Northland - $486,647

Central, Eastern and South Auckland - $417,479

Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Cape - $360,022

Taranaki, Hawkes Bay - $249,863

Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim - $414,794

Otago, Canterbury - $525,649

Unspecified - $125,000

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