In a bid to check the menace,of malaria in SolomoA Islands (in the southwest Pacific Ocean), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will provide US $548,000 for community-based malaria development programme. The archipelago has a high incidepce of malaria, with a national rate of 207 cases per 1,000 poDple in 1996. The disease has adversely affected local economy and education because of high rates of student and worker absenteeism. The number of cases have reduced by half since a malaria control programme started five years ago. UNDP will focus on two of the most affected regions the Western and Choiseul provinces. Under the programme, local women's groups will distribute treated mosquito nets in around 2,000 communities and also promote health education.

A UNDP project aims at preserving the unique biodiversity on Socotra Island in Yemen. The Global Environment Fadlity has approved a US $4.9 million package for the project. Over a third of the island's plants are found only there. Many of them are valuable food and fodder sources, or medicinal species known only to the islanders. The project will also help the Yemeni government make improvements in health, education, renewable energy use and water and sanitation services In the island.

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