One third of children on welfare skip meals in Hong Kong, NGO survey finds


Children do not eat three meals a day because they need to pay for other essentials, says Society for Community Organisation

Wong Tsui-kai |

Latest Articles

Hong Kong musician Serrini sets up scholarship for HKU art students

‘Squid Game’ is Netflix’s biggest tv show ever

Breakthrough in pig-to-human transplants with new test

‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission’ is a must-watch for fans and new viewers

Hong Kong Disneyland makes “happiest place on earth” a little less happy

This image may be republished, The Society for Community Organization conducted a survey on child poverty, Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and social welfare.

Thirty-five per cent of children on welfare in Hong Kong have to skip meals to pay for other essentials, according to a new survey.

Hong Kong non-profit group the Society for Community Organisation (SoCo) conducted the survey on child poverty ahead of Children’s Day on November 20.

According to government statistics, there are more than 56,000 children on welfare in the city, out of 237,000 children living below Hong Kong’s poverty threshold. With a total youth population of slightly more than one million, it means almost a quarter of children in Hong Kong are living in relative poverty.

We tried surviving on HK$15 per meal for a week: here's what happened

SoCo said the city’s welfare system needs reform, as neither the basic allowances nor new needs of children have been reviewed in the past 20 years. It also said the way needs are measured is flawed, as it does not properly calculate increases in cost of living.

Education can be a way for many young people to escape poverty, but SoCo noted that welfare in Hong Kong does not include funding for extracurricular activities such as cultural or sports activities, or for technological resources.

Speaking to Young Post, SoCo Community Organiser Sze Lai-shan said the method of calculating whether families qualify for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) needs to be changed.

Climate change can be solved by ending poverty, not focusing on fossil fuel use, says one Danish economist

“The government has refused to adopt a basic budgetary approach to calculate the level of support recipients get,” she said. “They insist there is enough coverage but in reality that is not true. For example, the rent people pay for sublet homes is abnormal.”

“There is a very real problem of people not getting enough money for food, and food banks generally don’t serve those on CSSA. These are basic needs.”