The Quality Education Fund suffered a financial loss of HK$860 million but the organisation pledged that no qualifying school projects would be affected as a consequence. The capital balance of the fund stood at HK$6.28 billion in August and dropped to HK$5.42 billion by the end of last November due to the global financial crisis. The fund is expected to reveal its latest balance by the end of this month. Despite the fund's worsening financial condition, QEF steering committee chairman Pang Yiu-kai this week said that deserving projects would not be affected. 'Our actuary has made a calculation that even if the fund's market value dropped to a level lower than where we first started, it is estimated the interest yield would still be enough to fund school projects,' Mr Pang said. He also stressed that the operation of the fund was still healthy and that the committee would stick to a prudent investment strategy while diversifying risks with safe investment tools. The QEF was established in 1998 with a capital of HK$5 billion to support community initiatives that promote quality education. In the 2007-08 school year, the fund received 648 applications. Of these, 503 projects were approved with grants ranging from HK$13,000 to about HK$5.7 million. Funding amounted to a total of about HK$144 million. For the school years of 2009 to 2011, the fund has set up new priority themes which will be effective in April.