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(Note: The title of this comment was edited shortly after posting for better clarity) Third: what do the percentages in poverty in 2005("poverty levels in the villages just before resettlement began were between 36% and 66%. For Nakai district as a whole they averaged 55%, compared to a national average of 34%.") mean? The percentages I cited were estimated by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, Switzerland, working with the Department of Statistics (DOS) (see http://www.laoatlas.net, or buy the Atlas itself, which is a real work of art!), using the national Expenditure and Consumption Survey of 2002/3 (LECS) and the 2005 Census. They used techniques of small-area estimation to get estimates at the village level, something which is not possible with the LECS data alone. The figures tell us that 55% of people in Nakai district were below the national poverty line. This poverty line was designed to cover basic needs of 2100 calories plus a small allowance for non-food consumption. So we’re talking quite severe poverty in the area. Of course it varied between villages, so in some villages around 64% were able to provide for basic needs (still below the national average), whereas in others it was as low as 34%. Of course we need to bear in mind that, as with all statistical techniques, there is some margin of error here. But it still gives the most accurate available picture of poverty rates before the project.