Total number of poor people in HK reached 1.65 in 2020, a historical high


28th January 2023 – (Hong Kong) Josephine Lee Yuk Chi, Chief Executive Officer, St. James’ Settlement said on a radio program today (28th) that the number of poor people in Hong Kong reached 1.65 million in 2020, which is a record high. In the past, the government or social welfare organisations could carry out different projects to support grassroots life. However, the lack of comprehensive data analysis failed to effectively and quickly put resources in the hands of those in need.

According to the “Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report 2020” released by the government at the end of 2021, the number of poor people in Hong Kong in 2020 increased by 1/4 compared with 1.32 million 10 years ago, and the number reached a record high. In the past 10 years, the child poverty population has been consistently hovering between 220,000 and 270,000, indicating that grassroots families often limit children’s learning and development opportunities due to lack of resources, leading to intergenerational poverty. Lee said that the past years of poverty alleviation experience shows that the government, social welfare organisations, enterprises, and foundations have not been able to effectively and quickly transfer resources to those in need due to lack of comprehensive data analysis. After becoming a member of the Commission on Poverty, Lee hopes to achieve precise poverty alleviation, master big data analysis, and focus on poverty alleviation projects with high effectiveness.

St. James’ Settlement is a non-governmental charitable organisation in Hong Kong. It provides continuing care, family and counselling, rehabilitation, youth and community centre services. It aims at helping the needy to cope with social challenges. It has a wide range of beneficiaries, from children, teenagers, the elderly to the minority groups such as the mentally disabled and the East Asian Expatriate. St. James’ Settlement has been actively operating social housing projects in recent years. Currently, there are 4 projects in operation, all of which are located in areas where subdivided housing is concentrated. So far, it has helped more than 400 families.