Poverty the target of child fund

The government's Commission on Poverty has started a study into setting up a child development fund in Hong Kong.

After its fifth meeting yesterday, the chairman of the commission's task force on children and youth, Philemon Choi Yuen-wan, said members reviewed overseas experience in setting up child development funds.

Dr Choi said the funds were a relatively recent development in Britain and the United States, with the dominant overseas models aiming to promote long-term savings habits and improving financial literacy among the younger generation and their families.

'Today we had the first formal discussion on the applicability of overseas experience in setting up a child development fund in Hong Kong,' Dr Choi said. 'The task force considered that such a fund, if implemented in Hong Kong, should be adapted to address local needs.'

He said members also discussed the purpose and possible design of such a fund, such as whether the fund should be used to address specific needs during childhood, or for subsequent development when entering adulthood, and the relationship with the wide array of existing services.

Dr Choi said there was, however, a need to avoid duplication with existing funds and services, and the taskforce would continue to explore proposals to help reduce risks of inter-generational poverty.