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Monday, November 11, 2002

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced an initial $100 million commitment to support an initiative to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS in India.

The new effort, the India AIDS Initiative, will expand access to proven HIV prevention interventions among mobile populations. The initiative will also work to combat societal stigma surrounding the disease and increase awareness and leadership on HIV/AIDS through a nation-wide communication and advocacy effort.

According to the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) – Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation...

An estimated 28% of pensioners have an income below the official UK poverty line (eg. £81 a week in 1999-2000 after tax and housing costs). (IPPR 2002).

Older women are the poorest. In 1999, 25% of widowed older women were found to be living on incomes of £80 a week or less. (Help the Aged 1999).

In 1999/2000, 70% of pensioner households depended on state benefits for at least 50% of their income. (Age Concern 2001).

The current level of the basic state pension in 2002 is £75.50 a week (single) and £120.70 (couple). If the link between earnings and the basic state pension had not been broken in 1980 the pension would now be worth £105.70 a week (single) and £169 (couple). (Hansard 1/7/2002).

In 1979 the basic state pension was 23% of male average earnings. Today it is only 16%. NPC 2002.

In 1997, an estimated 39% of pensioners were means-tested. This is likely to increase to 57% by 2003. (Hansard 25/6/2002).