Scarlett Johansson visits Oxfam’s health care, education and women’s programs

General, Media Releases article written on the 20 Feb 2007

New Delhi:  Actor Scarlett Johansson is currently in India with international development agency Oxfam visiting its programs with poor communities, the organization said today. Scarlett has met with children in the slums and at schools in Delhi and learned about the need for basic education, healthcare and about the issues of violence against women.
Scarlett has traveled with Oxfam to learn more about its campaigning work with poor people, how local communities in India are campaigning for change and how Western governments must be more responsive to the needs of developing countries.
Currently 100 million children are out of school worldwide; the majority of those are girls, and thousands die each day from preventable diseases. In India, 40 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys will never complete a basic education.
Oxfam’s South Asia Regional Director, Ashvin Dayal, said it was very important that Scarlett was part of the call to end poverty.
“We are delighted that Scarlett is supporting Oxfam and our work to help end global poverty,” Ashvin Dayal said. “High-profile support helps us to raise awareness of these issues and urge governments and leaders worldwide to act."

“Getting children into school and making sure everyone has access to basic healthcare are crucial tools in the fight against poverty.”

“In Utter Pradesh alone, 70% girls have never enrolled in a school. Despite the huge strides that have been made by the Government of India on education in recent years, India is still home to the largest out of school population in the world today.”
Key Facts:
One billion people live day after day without clean water, and two billion without a basic toilet.
Diarrhea, a disease of dirty water, is the biggest killer of under-fives in poor countries, resulting in 6,000 preventable deaths each day.
In New Delhi, India, only one per cent of connections have 24-hour water supply.
Indians living below US$1 per day: 34.7% (and 2 in 3 people live on less than $2 a day).
Notes to Editors
Scarlett has interacted with children who are part of the “9-Is-Mine” campaign. The “9-Is-Mine” campaign is being run by children across India. The campaign has already collected over 200,000 signatures of children and is urging the Indian Government to meet its promises on healthcare and education, by pledging 9 percent of GDP to basic healthcare and education. The campaign in India is part of a worldwide movement to Make Poverty History, which demands education and basic healthcare for all.

For further information, please contact:  Marlene McIntyre on 0407 5155 559