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Famine Funds to Help Children in Crisis

Famine Funds to Help Children in Crisis

World Vision hopes to break its fundraising record with this year's 40 Hour Famine, as young people across the country respond to its call to help children in desperate situations.

The theme of this year's Famine is Spread the Word...Help Children in Crisis. World Vision is hoping to raise $3 million from the Famine, money that will be used to help children affected by crises, including the tsunami in south Asia, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Last year 130,000 New Zealanders took part in the famine, and broke the 2003 record with almost $2.8 million.

World Vision's Youth Marketing Manager, Lisa Trail, says the devastating Boxing Day tsunami touched a chord with New Zealanders. "We have had estimates from the field that half the victims were children, which is heartbreaking. And for the children who survived, many were orphaned, and somehow have to cope with losing their parents as well," she says.

"But just as the tsunami wrecked millions of lives, we're all too aware of the ongoing 'AIDS tsunami' that is devastating the lives of millions of children in Africa and Asia. And that 'tsunami' isn't stopping; it just keeps coming."

Funds raised in this year's Famine will be used to help children in Tanzania, Mongolia, India, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Angola, Malawi, Rwanda and Tsunami-affected countries in Asia.

Lisa Trail says the Famine will support three kinds of work this year: Relief work for emergencies, rehabilitation work to assist child labourers and street children, and development work to help communities overcome poverty and the impact of HIV/AIDS.

The 40 Hour Famine begins at 8pm on Friday 18 March and finishes at 11am on Sunday 20 March (daylight saving).

ENDS

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