More than 500 people packed into a community hall in Sham Shui Po yesterday for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, while nearby 80 activists called for action against hardship in Hong Kong. They were joining millions of people globally in the 'Stand Up and Speak Out' campaign to call for action against poverty and inequality, and to urge governments to abide by the UN Millennium Development Goals to end poverty. In Hong Kong, 500 people stood for two minutes at Lai Kok Community Hall and pledged to defeat extreme poverty in a gathering organised by the Art of Living Foundation, an international NGO dedicated to helping people eliminate stress and improve their health. Participant Rebecca Kwong How-wah said: 'Hong Kong is a rich city, but there are still many poor people.' Meanwhile, the Society for Community Organisation (Soco) renewed its call for more government assistance to end poverty. More than 80 underprivileged people joined yesterday's event on a Sham Shui Po roof to urge the government to provide more relief measures for the disadvantaged. Soco director Ho Hei-wah said: 'Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has pledged to fight poverty in his election platform, but he showed little care and concern about the poor in his policy address.' The group called on the government to draw a poverty line at half the median household income to identify who needed help and to restore the Commission on Poverty, which was disbanded in June. On the Child Development Fund, which aims to provide more development opportunities for deprived children, Mr Ho said the HK$300 million grant was insufficient and urged an increase to HK$3 billion. Lai Chun-kit, 32, has been jobless for two years and lives on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments of HK$1,630 a month. 'I can only spend about HK$50 a day. It's too little. Should I spend the money to go to job interviews or feed my stomach?' asked the Sham Shui Po resident. The action campaign is aimed at reminding governments around the world to keep the promises they made at the United Nations Millennium Summit, when they set goals to halve the percentage of people whose income was less than US$1 a day or who suffered from hunger from 1990 levels by 2015. Last year, a record 23.5 million people joined the campaign, organised by groups including the Art of Living Foundation, Global Call to Action Against Poverty, unions, governments, and faith, welfare and youth groups.