Poverty Relief Project in Xinjiang Successful

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) poverty relief project in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China has been a total success, UNDP representative Kerstin Leitner said Saturday in Urumqi.

The UNDP official made the remarks at the end of her tour of four towns under the aid of the project, located at the southern end of the Taklimakan Desert.

About 30,000 people from 6,350 families in the Hotan and Moyu counties benefited from the project that received 11.6 million yuan in loans from the UNDP and 5.7 million yuan from local governments.

According to official statistics, these people had an average annual income of 847 yuan in 1999, compared to 420 yuan in 1996 when the project was launched.

More than 980 families built new houses during this period.

Beneficiaries were first trained in farming, handicraft and other areas before they were granted small loans, to ensure the success of the project.

Some 99 percent of the beneficiaries repaid the loans, according to local officials.

“The UNDP Xinjiang project has set a good example for poverty relief efforts in other areas,” said Leitner.

(People’s Daily)

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