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Poverty Reduction Campaign Launched In Bolivia

UN Volunteers Programme Launches Poverty Reduction Campaign In Bolivia

Some 1,200 Bolivian university graduates will fan out across the South American country over the next two years to fight poverty, empower women and promote small and family businesses under a new United Nations Volunteers (<"">UN V) programme.

The project, officially launched in La Paz on Wednesday by President Carlos Mesa and UN Development Programme Resident Representative Alfredo Marty, stems from the World Bank - Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative under which international creditors excused a significant part of Bolivia's debt on condition the funds be invested in poverty reduction.

“I want to emphasize and thank, on behalf of UNDP and the UN Volunteers programme, the selfless commitment made by these young women and men, for the less advantaged of their country,” Mr. Marty said at the ceremony in the Presidential Palace.

Each semester the programme will mobilize 300 UN Volunteers who have completed their education in a number of fields such as law, management, sociology, medicine, economics, and engineering within the framework of the Bolivian 'Strategy to Fight Poverty ', and reach out to every municipality that requests assistance.

"They are the key players in the effort to reduce poverty and inequality in Bolivia, one of Latin America's least developed countries,” Cesar Guedes, Programme Specialist for Latin America at UNV headquarters in Bonn, Germany, said.

Administered by UNDP, the UN Volunteers programme is the branch of the UN that supports sustainable human development globally through the mobilization of volunteers.

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