Call for healthier food handouts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 March, 2008, 12:00am

Asylum seekers in Hong Kong have urged the government to provide sufficient fresh and nutritional food to meet their children's basic needs.

The human rights group Asylum Seekers and Refugees' Voice (ASRV) launched a complaint yesterday under the Legislative Council Redress System, expressing concerns over insufficient welfare assistance provided to asylum seekers' children.

They said continued poor quality food might cause or worsen malnutrition in the children.

The government provides food it says is worth HK$450 per month per child at designated food stores and HK$900 per adult. But it does not provide any cash allowance for asylum seekers or torture claimants.

Asylum seekers called for the administration to provide supermarket coupons, allowing them to freely choose their food, thus ensuring their diet met people's nutritional needs. They also raised concerns over school expenses not covered by the government.