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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (June 19, 2001 – Radio New Zealand International)---The Solomon Islands' reproductive health program is to be boosted with funding from Japan.

Radio New Zealand International correspondent George Atkin reports from Honiara.

"The Japanese government, through the Fiji-based United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], will be providing US$ 264,000 to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to carry out the reproductive health program.

"A spokeswoman for the Embassy of Japan in Honiara says the fund will be handed over to the ministry next week.

"The spokeswoman says the Solomon Islands is classified as a priority country for UNFPA assistance by the International Conference on Population and Development indicators because, among other reasons, it has a high population growth rate of 3.5 percent and a high total fertility rate of 6.4 percent.

"She says with the financial assistance the project will be able to provide emergency reproductive health care to the displaced population of Guadalcanal and Malaita, the two provinces greatly affected by two years of ethnic fighting."

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

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