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Australia gives $104 million to fighting malaria

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SYDNEY (AP) - Australia will spend more than 100 million Australian dollars ($104 million) over the next four years to help reduce deaths from malaria in the Asia-Pacific region.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced at a malaria conference in Sydney on Friday the money would support several country and regional programs. They include a program that aims to control drug-resistant malaria along the lower Mekong River and anti-malaria efforts in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

The World Health Organization says the region had more than 30 million malaria cases and around 42,000 deaths in 2010.

Most malaria deaths occur in Africa, but 64 percent of the Asia-Pacific population is exposed to the mosquito-borne illness.

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