Billionaire George Soros pledged Monday new funding of 47.4 million dollars to boost economic models that would help 500,000 people break out of poverty in 10 African countries.
Soros, founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations, and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, launched the second and final phase (2011-15) of Millennium Villages, which already received pledges of 72 million dollars, including money from Soros.
Both Soros and Sachs said at UN headquarters that the Millennium Villages project, which started in 2005, has been successful. Its main target is to allow poor villagers achieve the goal of economic self-sufficiency by 2015.
"It's a big challenge, but the project has come a long way since 2005 to help the needy," Soros said at a news conference.
Soros said the final phase involves partnering agricultural programmes with business, which is being carried out in many poor regions in Africa.
Project Millennium Villages has reached 500,000 people in 80 villages in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
The UN Millennium Development Goals called for lifting people living on less than 2.5 dollars a day out of that state of extreme poverty by 2015. -Sapa-dpa