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JAKARTA, Indonesia (TEMPO Interactive) - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has donated a total of US$3.54 million during 2002 to support various programs in 40 regencies in nine Indonesian provinces.

UNICEF Indonesia Chairman Steven Allen, announced this in his speech at the Annual Review and Planning Meeting in Jakarta, last week.

He said the programs including pregnant women’s health, children’s birth certificate, improving nutrition for mothers and children, and good basic education.

They also included protection for children and advocacy in terms of decision making to increase funds for children.

The nine provinces are Banten (2 regencies), West Java (5), Central Java (6), East Java (6), West Nusa Tenggara (3), East Nusa Tenggara (6), South Sulawesi (5), Papua (5), and Maluku (2).

"Aid totaling a minimum of US$50,000 will be provided each year over a five- year period (2001-2005)," said Allen.

He called on people to show greater interest over problems in the border areas with East Timor, as security in the area is at the fifth level, based on the UN standard.

"Under such conditions, no UNICEF staff can be stationed there, except for local staff," said Allen.

However, he said, this can be overcome through cooperation with local NGOs.

Recently, UNICEF even carried out programs through local government officials, such as the holding of emergency educational programs for children.

KABAR-IRIAN ("Irian News") Websites: http://www.irja.org/index2.shtml and http://www.kabar-irian.com 

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