A programme has been launched to promote mutual understanding between locals and new arrivals from the mainland to create a harmonious society. The year-long scheme, which is estimated to cost $2.12 million, will also help to integrate mainlanders into the local community. Speaking at the programme's launching ceremony, Secretary for Home Affairs Lam Woon-kwong, said the Government had improved services for the immigrants in the areas of education, employment and social welfare to help them settle down in a new environment. 'But there remains some misunderstandings and discrimination in the community towards new arrivals. This has hindered our efforts to build a harmonious society, and led to unfair treatment of some new arrivals,' Mr Lam said. 'Accordingly, a decision was taken last year to implement an in- depth programme to improve the situation. A wide range of activities involving both locals and new arrivals are planned.' Mr Lam said the new arrivals had exerted a positive influence on Hong Kong's development, and contributed to its dynamism and culture. The guests joined a group of mainland women making sweet dumplings, and were entertained by a school choir comprising both local and immigrant children.