Anti-epidemic Fund Steering Committee convenes first meeting

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, chaired the first meeting of the Anti-epidemic Fund Steering Committee this afternoon (February 26).
     The Legislative Council Finance Committee approved the injection of $30 billion into the Anti-epidemic Fund last Friday (February 21) in order to enhance the capability of the Government and other relevant parties in combating the COVID-19 epidemic, and to provide assistance or relief to enterprises and members of the public hard hit by the current epidemic or affected by anti-epidemic measures.
     The Steering Committee deliberated and approved the funding commitment for 24 measures at the meeting today. Relevant bureaux and departments will implement these measures as soon as possible to provide support to enterprises and members of the public. Bureaux and departments will report to the Steering Committee on the implementation details, progress and expenditure of measures under their purview to facilitate effective monitoring of the Fund's operation by the Steering Committee.
     Mr Cheung stressed, "To further strengthen Government's effort to combat the epidemic and provide assistance and relief to relevant enterprises and members of the public as soon as possible, bureaux and departments will take expeditious actions to address the pressing needs of the community promptly."
     The 24 approved measures and their funding commitments are as follows:
  Measures Funding Commitments
1. Enhancing support to the Hospital Authority in combatting the epidemic $4,700 million
2. Support local mask production $1,500 million
3. Global procurement of personal protective equipment $1,000 million
4. Support property management sector in anti-epidemic efforts $1,000 million
5. Technology applications to enable reusability of masks $800 million
6. Support construction sector in anti-epidemic efforts $710 million
7. Support cleansing and security staff engaged by Government and Hong Kong Housing Authority service contractors in anti-epidemic efforts $250 million
8. Installation of emergency alert system $150 million
9. Home quarantine support $50 million
10. Ex-gratia payment to households of the two public housing estates designated as quarantine centres $30 million
11. Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme $5,600 million
12. Food Licence Holders Subsidy Scheme $3,780 million
13. Subsidy for the transport sector $3,230 million
14. Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme $1,020 million
15. Special allowance for eligible Working Family Allowance and Student Financial Assistance households $990 million
16. Additional student study grant for 2019/20 school year $900 million
17. Rental waivers for tenants at the Science Park, industrial estates and Cyberport $380 million
18. Subsidies for live marine fish wholesale traders and fishing vessels with Mainland deckhands $270 million
19. Support to child care centres $220 million
20. Arts and Culture Sector Subsidy Scheme $150 million
21. Licensed Guesthouses Subsidy Scheme $150 million
22. Travel Agents Subsidy Scheme $140 million
23. Support to training bodies $90 million
24. Licensed Hawkers Subsidy Scheme $30 million
     The Steering Committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, and members include nine relevant Directors of Bureaux. The Steering Committee will continue to monitor the implementation of the measures, and the use of Fund, and to examine the progress reports from relevant bureaux and departments on a regular basis.

Ends/Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Issued at HKT 18:28