A development program aimed at reducing poverty in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has started operation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Beijing office announced Wednesday.
The US$55 million program was backed by a US$25.1 million loan from the IFAD, and the remainder will be financed by the government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The program is expected to introduce innovative development tools to 10 poor counties in northern and southern Xinjiang, including natural resource management, renewable energy, marketing and skill training for women.
The IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eliminating poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.
Since its operation in 1978, the IFAD has provided financing for 20 programs in China, totaling US$498.22 million.
(Xinhua News Agency February 15, 2007)