New program to boost livelihoods of ethnic Tibetans in China

Oct. 20, 2014 – A new program will support efforts to improve sustainable livelihoods of up to 18,000 ethnic Tibetans in China’s Sichuan province, Creative Associates International announced today. Focusing on communities in and around the provincial capital of Chengdu, the U.S.-supported program will sharpen the entrepreneurial skills of ethnic Tibetans working in areas such as eco-tourism, as well as boost productivity of herders, artisans and business owners. It will also enhance the competitiveness of ethnic Tibetan businesses in local, regional and international markets. Called the “Sichuan Market Development Project (previously Support for Ethnic Tibetans in China),” the five-year, $7.5-million program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development is projected to reach 18,000 ethnic Tibetans directly, while indirectly more than 70,000 will see economic gains. “Creative believes in inclusive economic growth that lifts up all members of a community,” says M. Charito Kruvant, CEO of Creative. “This program will provide ethnic Tibetans with the skills and knowledge to achieve sustainable livelihoods and also reap the benefits of a changing and growing market economy.” Economic development in China’s Western region in recent years has created significant growth but has also presented challenges for traditional, pastoral ethnic Tibetans.

Combining local knowledge with livelihoods expertise

Creative’s implementing team has extensive experience in economic growth, sustainable livelihoods and agriculture, as well as strong relationships with both the Chinese government and the ethnic Tibetan community. The program team includes two local partner organizations: Machik, an organization with expertise promoting entrepreneurship in Western China; and SynTao Co., a Chinese investment firm emphasizing socially responsible investment in ethnic Tibetan-owned businesses. Two international organizations—Aid to Artisans and Plateau Perspectives—are part of Creative’s implementing team. Adding to the expertise of its partners, Creative has a trusted track record of implementing livelihoods projects in challenging environments including Yemen, Pakistan and Colombia. “Creative’s extensive on-the-ground experience improving value chains in emerging economies and crisis-affected communities globally prepares us well for improving the livelihoods of ethnic Tibetans in this region,” says Monty Palmer, Director of Creative’s Economic Stabilization and Recovery practice area. “We look forward to combining our expertise with the local knowledge and experience of our partners to bring economic gains to traditional ethnic Tibetan communities.” Through grant-making and training, the program will deliver technical expertise and capacity building to trusted local organizations with a long history of livelihoods work in ethnic Tibetan communities.

About Creative Associates International

Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, economic growth, governance and transitions from conflict to peace. Creative is the second-largest company owned by women that works with the U.S. government. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has active projects in more than 15 countries. Since 1977, it has worked in nearly 90 countries and on almost every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflict-affected environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems.

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