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December 16, 2004

Alcoa Foundation Invests Nearly $250,000 in Programs to Improve Quality of Life in Guinea; Part of $1 Million Investment Over 4 Years

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 16, 2004--Alcoa Foundation announced today that it has invested nearly $250,000 in three programs to improve educational and family planning services in Guinea, West Africa. This most recent investment brings total charitable investments in the country to approximately $1 million since 2001. The recipients of this year's grants include:

-- EngenderHealth, Inc., which received a two-year grant totaling $141,370 for a program aimed at improving the quality of maternal and child health services offered in the Boke prefecture.

-- International Rescue Committee (IRC), which received a $57,700 grant to partner with Today's Women International Network (TWIN), a Guinean organization that provides training to young women vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

-- School-to-School International, which received a $45,300 grant to improve teaching conditions in primary schools near Conakry so that future generations can break the cycle of poverty prevalent in Guinea.

The grants are part of Alcoa Foundation's commitment to improving the quality of life of Alcoa communities worldwide. Alcoa's presence in Guinea includes acting as managing partner of Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG) and holding an equity position in Halco Mining, which is a majority owner of CBG. With operations in Kamsar and Sangaredi, CBG serves the alumina and chemicals market through the mining of bauxite. In addition, Alcoa World Alumina LLC is exploring the possibility of jointly developing a 1.5 million metric ton per year (mtpy) alumina refinery in Guinea with Alcan Inc. and the Government of the Republic of Guinea. A feasibility study for the refinery is expected to be completed by mid-2005.

"With the active involvement of Alcoa management, we have built private-public partnerships with the Ministry of Health, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and non-governmental organizations to develop systemic and sustainable solutions in Guinea," said Ibrahima Danso, managing director of Alcoa-Guinea. "Alcoa has worked closely with NGOs to build a better quality of life in Guinea, and our commitment is further demonstrated by these most recent grants from Alcoa Foundation."

The grant to EngenderHealth, a non-profit organization based in New York City, will go toward implementing a Safe Motherhood Program at five health centers and their satellite health posts in the Boke district in Guinea. The program will educate participants about modern family planning methods, infectious diseases and complications that can arise during child birth. Approximately $75,000 in grant money will be distributed this year and $67,000 will be distributed in 2005.

The grant to the IRC, also based in New York City, will fund the second phase of a program that aims to prepare participants to begin their own businesses as a sustainable means of supporting themselves. In 2005, the women will receive business training that will build on the vocational training and health education that they received during the first phase of the project.

The grant to School-to-School International, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, will fund the Alcoa School Health Education project at approximately 16 elementary schools in the Kamsar and Sangaredi areas. The project - which will involve teachers, parents, community members, and local education and health officials - will address issues such as nutrition, hygiene, school sanitation, malaria, and HIV/AIDS.

About Alcoa Foundation

In 2003, Alcoa Foundation made $15 million in grants around the world. Communities where Alcoa has a presence are the primary focus of its grantmaking programs. Through disaster relief grants and employee engagement initiatives like ACTION and Bravo!, additional resources are made available to our communities. The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit, under Community.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 120,000 employees in 42 countries and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001. More information can be found at

Note to Editors: There should be an accent over the "e" in the word "Boke" throughout the release.