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Poverty Alleviation Fund Improves Lifes in Tibet
The Chinese government allocated nearly 300 million yuan (US$36.1 million) last year to the poverty alleviation program of west China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Besides the 267 million yuan (US$32.2 million) earmarked by the central government, the regional authorities arranged 38 million yuan (US$4.6 million) to support the program.

Thanks to this spending, 256 projects concerning production and the daily lives of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet were completed, including on energy, water conservancy, road construction and drinking water.

Last year in the region, more than 11,300 people got power for their daily life, an additional 18,523 hectares of farmland were irrigated, 66,300 people were given access to better transport conditions, and 13,700 people began to have drinking water.

Tibet witnessed its 15th consecutive good year for both agriculture and animal husbandry, increasing its grain and grass production by 1.105 million kilograms and 114.07 million kilograms respectively.

Last year Tibet also established poverty-relief facilities for 8,816 people in 1,603 households.

The poverty alleviation program is entering a new stage in Tibet, according to Zhao Xianzhong, a local senior official in charge of the program.

In the past, the program mainly targeted meeting basic requirements of food and clothing for Tibetans suffering extreme poverty. Now it aims to focus on the social and economic development of the agricultural and pastoral areas and the overall improvement of the living standards and comprehensive quality of farmers and herdsmen in the areas, Zhao said.

Over the next three years, the Chinese government intends to meet the basic requirements for food and clothing for more than 50,000 extremely poor Tibetans.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2003)

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