International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

"At a time of multiple global crises, the poorest and most vulnerable have a special claim on our attention. We know that, in any recession, those hurt first—and worst—are the poor. According to recent estimates, the global economic crisis has claimed at least 50 million jobs this year. As many as 100 million more people are expected to fall below the poverty line in 2009.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
17 October 2009

According to the latest data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, one in four children in Hong Kong belongs to the lowest income group (based on a classification system under which families are divided into five equal portions based on their family incomes). This is about ten times worse than Denmark, and is the worst situation among developed nations such as the US, the UK, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, France and Sweden. There is also research evidence showing that upward mobility is a big concern. According to a study conducted by the University of Hong Kong in 2005, children of fathers coming from the lowest income group are much more likely to be poor than children of fathers from the other groups.

How much attention have these poor children got from the government of Hong Kong, where the Chief Executive made the astonishing claim yesterday that poverty means those with income below the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance level?

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