Tibetan Regions of China: Help for the Roof of the World

** Update: Between 1990 and 2016, ROKPA carried out a total of 457 projects in the Tibetan Areas of China. Since the death of former president Dr. Akong Rinpoche in 2013, our engagement in the Tibetan Areas of Chinahas unfortunately become more difficult every year. We are currently able to continue to support only a few projects in this region. **

The Tibetan Regions of China are some of the poorest regions in the world. Comparable with Europe in area, only around 6 million people live there, scratching a living from arable land and livestock farming. Settlements situated between 3,000 and 5,500 meters above sea level, it is the highest region inhabited by people in the world.

The winters in the Himalayas are extremely long and cold, and the summers short. Changes in the climate constitute an immediate threat to the lives of the people living there, who live traditionally as farmers and nomads.

ROKPA's activities concentrate on East Tibet, which extends over the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the four Provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan and Gansu. Often in these very remote areas, there are only a few roads, which are usually difficult to negotiate. The inhabitants live in humble conditions or in complete poverty, without state support or basic medical care.

Facts & Figures

Population:approx. 6 million (about one third of the Tibetans live in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, the other two thirds in the Eastern provinces)
Gross domestic product per head (in US$):4,500 (Switzerland: 59'400)
Child mortality (under the age of 5):15% (Switzerland: 0.4%)
Adult literacy rate:60% (70% of Men, 50% of Women)
Life expectancy:67 Years (Switzerland: 83 Years)
Health:There is an acute shortage of doctors  -  one doctor is responsible for around 15,000 inhabitants (Switzerland: 1 doctor per 244 inhabitants)

Source: There are no reliable official data for the Tibetan areas of China. The figures given are estimates from experts in July of 2017.