Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ22: Disaster Relief Fund

     Following is a question by the Hon Claudia Mo and a written reply by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (October 16):


     Earlier on, the Government sought funding approval from this Council to inject $100 million into the Disaster Relief Fund ("the Fund") for providing emergency relief to earthquake victims in Sichuan Province on the Mainland. However, some members of the public have queried the allocation of funds to the mainland authorities and they worry that the funds will ultimately be misappropriated for improper uses, or will even go into the pockets of corrupt officials. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the latest situation regarding the usage of the aforesaid funds of $100 million; among such funds, the amounts allocated to non-governmental organizations ("NGOs") and government authorities outside Hong Kong as well as their uses respectively; whether the authorities have any concrete plan to regularly monitor the actual uses of the funds and their effectiveness;

(b) given that NGOs allocated with funds are required to submit evaluation reports and audited accounts within six months after completion of the disaster relief programmes, but government authorities outside Hong Kong allocated with funds are not required to submit evaluation reports within a specific period of time, of the measures put in place by the authorities to ensure that the funds allocated to government authorities outside Hong Kong are properly spent;

(c) of the details of the allocations made by the Government through the Fund to places outside Hong Kong in each of the past five years (set out in the table attached); and

(d) with respect to NGOs or government authorities outside Hong Kong found to have used the funds improperly, whether the authorities have put in place mechanisms to immediately terminate the allocation of funds to them and recover the allocated funds; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; whether the authorities will blacklist such government authorities and NGOs and reject their future applications for funds?



     On April 20 of this year, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit Lushan county of Ya'an in Sichuan Province. On May 3, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) approved an injection of HK$100 million to the Disaster Relief Fund (the Fund). The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee also endorsed the proposal of the HKSAR Government to donate $100 million to the Sichuan Provincial People's Government (the Provincial Government) to provide emergency relief for the earthquake victims at its meeting held on May 8.

(a) and (b) On May 15 of this year, with a view to supporting the Provincial Government's disaster relief work, the HKSAR Government donated $100 million to the Provincial Government, via a designated account opened by the Provincial Government to handle the donations from Hong Kong and Macau in respect of the earthquake in Lushan. According to the Provincial Government, the donation will mainly be used to purchase emergency relief equipment (including medical, transportation, fire-fighting, environmental hygiene and rescue) and related items. Following the prevailing practice, the HKSAR Government has also requested the Provincial Government to submit an evaluation report on the use of the donation after the completion of the disaster relief work. In view of the relatively large scale of the disaster relief work co-ordinated at the government level and the need for more time for completion, we have not set a specified time frame for government authorities outside Hong Kong within which they have to submit the reports. Nevertheless, as regards the current donation, the HKSAR Government has kept close contact with the local government authorities on the use of the donation through the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Chengdu. We understand that the procurement process is still underway. Same as before, in response to LegCo's concerns on injection to the Fund, we will report to the Finance Committee of LegCo on the use of the donation after receiving the relevant report from the Provincial Government.

(c) Details of grants from the Fund in the past five years (2008-09 to 2012-13) are set out at the Annex.

(d) All grants from the Fund shall be used for designated purposes to support individual disaster relief programmes. Should there be any proven case of improper use of grants, the amount concerned shall be returned to the Fund in full. Records will also be kept for reference in considering future applications for grants.

Ends/Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:01


Print this page