Thursday, February 24, 2011

Number Of People In Poverty Halved In Tibet

Poverty relief authorities in China's Tibet Autonomous Region recently said that the number of Tibetan farmers and herders living in absolute poverty (less than $258 per capita income) was nearly cut in half over the last five years. In 2005, there were around 965,000 people in absolute poverty, but currently it's estimated that the number is down to about 500,000. The main reason behind this large drop is the 2,160 poverty-relief projects that were implemented in Tibet over the last five years, to provide "vocational training for farmers and herders in poverty, upgrade infrastructure, foster Tibetan-specific industries such as traditional arts and crafts, tourism, food and herb processing, and eradicate endemic conditions that prevented people from earning a living" (Xinhua). There have also been a large growth in agricultural development zones, which advance new technologies and increase agricultural production. All of these measures have contributed to rising per capita incomes, reaching almost $610, over double what they were in 2005. As a goal, poverty relief organizations in Tibet want to ensure that over the next five years an annual 13-percent growth rate of incomes of people in poverty continue.

- Brock McNairy