.- Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced an additional $15-million government contribution to support the international World Youth Day gathering next year, reported The Age.
Sydney is hosting the event, which is expected to draw 500,000 young people and Pope Benedict XVI. This amount is in addition to the original $20 million the government had already committed.
The announcment came last week, after the Catholic bishops made an appeal for extra event funding.
"World Youth Day will be a great opportunity to showcase Sydney, Australia, and the youth of our country to the world," Howard was quoted as saying.
WYD 2008 will be the largest-ever single gathering of people in Sydney and the largest-ever Catholic gathering in Australia.