MIL-OSI Asia-Pac: Poverty commission meets

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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Chief Executive Carrie Lam today chaired the sixth meeting of the fourth-term Commission on Poverty (CoP).

At the meeting, members were comprehensively briefed on the poverty alleviation policies and measures undertaken by the current-term Government in different major areas. Government departments also made reports on the latest progress of their projects.

Over the past five years, the recurrent expenditure on social welfare surged 71% from $65.3 billion in 2017-18 to $111.8 billion in 2022-23, constituting the greatest increase in such spending among different terms of Government.

In the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Government introduced various one-off counter-cyclical measures to stabilise the economy and employment situation while easing the financial hardship of the grassroots. The size of the poor population in 2020 decreased substantially from the pre-intervention 1.65 million to 0.55 million, lifting some 1.1 million people out of poverty and reducing the poverty rate by 15.7 percentage points.

In addition, since July 2017, the Community Care Fund has introduced 23 new assistance programmes, benefiting 1.23 million people through an increased financial commitment to around $20.8 billion.

At the same time, the number of projects funded by the Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Fund increased by 319. The total amount of funding involved rose by $260 million, assisting 260,000 more citizens.

Members affirmed the current-term Government’s overall achievements in poverty alleviation and anticipated that the next term of Government would continue to care for the needs of the grassroots and address the poverty issue.

Mrs Lam said: “The CoP is an important partner of the Government in driving work in support of the underprivileged. Apart from providing valuable advice to the Government, the CoP has also allocated funding through the Community Care Fund and the Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Fund to support measures to plug existing gaps or launch pilot measures, fully demonstrating the collaboration between the community, business sector and the Government, as well as public participation.”

She also sincerely thanked the CoP for actively participating in poverty alleviation work and providing constructive advice to ensure that the Government’s initiatives could better meet the needs of different groups.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News