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Fund shocked by Bali attacks; committed to work

TEAR Fund New Zealand

For Immediate Release: 03/10/05

TEAR Fund shocked by Bali attacks; committed to continuing its work there

TEAR Fund is shocked and saddened by the terrorist attacks carried out in Bali on Saturday night, however is determined to remain on the island to continue its work.

"While we remember those who have been killed or injured in this tragedy, we should also remember the effect on the urban and rural poor of Bali," says Richard Barter, TEAR Fund's Microenterprise Development Manager.

Mr Barter has spent time in Bali every year since 1995, running TEAR Fund's Microenterprise programmes there. He returned to New Zealand only 48 hours prior to Saturday night's attacks.

Those affected most severely by this tragedy are those living below the poverty line. "The immense difference following the 2002 bombing was heartbreaking," says Mr Barter. "I saw how the economic impact was felt right around the island; no family was left unaffected."

Over the three years since the first attacks, TEAR Fund, one of the few aid organisations working in the region, has increased its programmes in Bali.

"Since 2002 our Microenterprise programmes have been needed more than ever. Small loans to the poor to establish businesses have helped many families to get through these incredibly difficult times. It has also helped to bring together Bali's many different religious groups", says Mr Barter.

"If extreme poverty can be removed as a basis for manipulation by terrorist groups, we can create a platform for building stability and peace in the region."

TEAR Fund is accepting funds for the poor in Bali. Visit www.tearfund.org.nz or call 0800 800 777 to donate.


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