The government’s disaster relief fund has spent 77.75 percent of its grants on mainland China since its establishment in 1994, the annual report by its advisory committee revealed.
The fund has granted HK$1.75 billion since it was formed, of which HK$1.36 billion was used for relief programmes in the mainland as of March 31. Mainland governments and authorities received 50.54 percent of the total grants awarded since its establishment, followed by 16.24 percent to World Vision Hong Kong.
In the period 2014-15, 18 applications were received from relief organisations, compared to 30 in 2013-14. Among them, 15 were approved, two were rejected, and one was withdrawn.
Apart from the withdrawn case, the average processing time of the 17 applications was seven working days. Mainland governments and authorities did not apply in 2014-15.
The fund spent the most in 2014-15 for earthquake victims in Yunnan Province, China, granting HK$23.07 million. This was followed by HK$10.66 million in grants to flood victims in Hunan Province, Guizhou Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Hong Kong also provided relief to flood victims in Jammu and Kashmir, India; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Serbia; and Malawi. The victims received food, hygiene kits, beds, clothing, and other essential items.
Relief organisations in receipt of grants are required to submit to the committee an evaluation report and the audited accounts of the approved relief programme within six months of the project’s completion.
Of the 18 reports received, none spent more than five percent of an individual grant to cover overheads or other administrative costs. All relief projects were delivered according to the approved schedules.
The committee added that all relief programmes achieved the target number of beneficiaries, providing emergency relief to some 560,000 disaster victims.
The annual report also mentioned that a final report from the Ya’an Municipal People’s Government on the use of HK$100 million in donations from the Hong Kong government in 2013 had been received in January and submitted to the Legislative Council for perusal.
The fund’s advisory committee is composed of:
- The Chief Secretary, who is the chairman;
- Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury and Secretary for Labour and Welfare;
- Executive Council members Cheng Yiu-tong and Starry Lee Wai-king;
- Legislative Council members Cheung Kwok-che and Priscilla Leung Mei-fun;
- Tik Chi-yuen and Leo Kung Lin-cheng;
- Alice Yuk Tak-fun – whose term ended on December 31, 2014;
- A Chief Executive Officer (Administration).