(TibetanReview.net, Jan08’19) – Given China’s national goal – set in 2015 and reaffirmed last year – of eliminating poverty by 2020 to create a moderately prosperous society, the city government of Tibet’s capital Lhasa has claimed to have achieved that target last year.
The city government announced Jan 7 that the last remaining 44,439 people were taken off the poverty list last year, signaling a victory in the campaign against destitution, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 7. Poverty is defined by per capita annual income being below 2,300 yuan (around US$ 335) at 2010 prices.
As to how poverty was eliminated, Pi Zhishuai, deputy director of the Lhasa poverty reduction office, has said that through creating jobs, relocation from less-inhabitable places, education funding and social welfare programmes, residents perplexed by poverty now earned much more than they used to.
Lhasa is the first to complete its poverty reduction target, leading other cities in Tibet Autonomous Region, he has said.
The Lhasa government was stated to have spent more than 9.3 billion yuan (US$ 1.35 billion) to create jobs by developing modern farming, craft-making and other industries. Another 1.4 billion yuan ($ 200 million) was stated to have been spent on financing resettlement in more habitable places.
Besides, a big chunk of investment, roughly 800 million yuan, was reported to have been spent on free food, free dormitories, and scholarships for children of farmers and herders.
The report said that a total of 181,000 people across the TAR were taken off the poverty list in 2018. It added that about 110,000 people still lived below the poverty line.
The reported said that the poverty rate in the TAR had dropped to 7.9 percent by the end of 2017 from 25.2 percent at the end of 2015.