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Lotto funding tackles poverty in south Asia – May 11th 2012

Lottery funding supports vital work around the world, with even distant lands in need of assistance receiving crucial financial backing to support communities, families and children.

The Big Lottery Fund is one of the UK’s lotto money distribution bodies, operating to provide money to drive projects both in Great Britain and around the world.

One of its latest endeavours is to build a boat classroom in two of the most disadvantaged countries in the world -Bangladesh and Myanmar.

This week, life-saving health and education organisations in the south-Asian nations were granted over £1.2 million in funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s International Communities programme, which supports efforts to tackle poverty and deprivation.

In Bangladesh, WaterAid has been awarded £376,930 of lotto financing to provide access to fresh water, sanitation and hygiene services in the Khuna region, with this coastal area being particularly prone to storms and cyclones, cutting people off from fresh water and putting lives in danger.

Some 121,000 adults and children will benefit from the support of the Big Lottery Fund, while 12 cyclone shelters will be upgraded in the area to ensure women and disabled people are protected.

Furthermore, the Bangladeshi schoolchildren will benefit from two boat classrooms that are being built by Learning For Life UK with the help of £473,589 in lotto financing.

The vessels will be used by the 15 villages that are isolated by flooding during the nine-month monsoon season, providing lessons five days a week and library facilities.

Finally, Save the Children has been given £440,000 to improve maternal and newborn health services in 130 villages in Myanmar- formerly Burma.

The region has the highest mortality rates for under-fives in South East Asia and the lotto funding will be used to train 260 community health volunteers in nutrition, early illness detection and maternal and newborn care.

Also, medical supplies will be provided to support this work.

Big Lottery Fund chief executive officer Peter Wanless said: “The funding announced today will literally save lives by providing disadvantaged communities with vital health and education services that most people would simply take for granted.”

He added that thanks to the lottery money people from these countries “face a brighter future … and we are proud to be able to support them”.