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Tibet Sees Sharp Drop in Poverty-stricken Population
The efforts of both the Tibet Autonomous Regional government and the central government of China to reduce poverty in this southwestern region have paid off.

The number of locals with a per capita income of 1,300 yuan (US$157.19) has dropped to the current 1.07 million from 1. 48 million in 2001. The ratio of poverty-stricken population to the region's total population has dropped to 47.95 percent from 68.28 percent, according to the region's leading group for poverty reduction and development.

The central government of China has always attached great importance to reducing poverty in the region and has designated Tibet a special region to which the central government will offer special support in poverty elimination.

Last year, the central government allocated 290 million yuan (US$35.06 million) for poverty reduction projects in the region. The regional government provided over 60 million yuan (US$7. 26 million) for the same purpose.

The poverty reduction projects, which focus on re-adjusting agricultural structure and raising the income of local farmers and herdsmen, have helped 73,600 locals shake off poverty by growing improved highland barley and Tibetan medicinal herbs and by breeding goats, chicken and pigs.

Meanwhile, other provinces and autonomous regions of China also contributed to poverty reduction in the region.

Last year, 83 work units under the administration of the regional government and the central government provided 67.7 million yuan (US$8.19 million) for poverty reduction projects in the region. And more than 110 government officials from other areas were sent to Tibet to train locals in practical skills and help implement poverty reduction projects.

The net per capita income of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet surged 11 percent year-on-year to reach a record 1,690 yuan (US$204.35 US) last year, the latest statistics have shown.

(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2004)

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