Founded in 2017, Generocity is a social interest group that advocates increased official development assistance (ODA) from Hong Kong. With huge fiscal reserves, we believe the HKSAR government can and should pursue the goal of improving the welfare of developing countries by providing more ODA. Mechanisms for doing so might include a rise in the current emergency disaster relief funding or contributing to effective long-term health and anti-poverty programs.
WHY? THINK ABOUT HONG KONG AND OUR WORLD...
STORIES LIKE THESE ARE TOO COMMON:
In several locations in Senegal, it took an average of 9.7 hours for each household to collect water, including the time to travel, wait in line, and fill the container. Because the wells were shallow and the water not cleaned, water-borne diseases were common.
HOW CAN DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE HELP?
Denmark funded training for farmers in Bangladesh. Families in the program increased their income 17% more than similar families outside the program. They also grew a greater variety of crops and were less likely to suffer food shortages. The benefits exceeded the cost of the program within a year.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency paid HK$43 million to build wells, tanks, and pumps to supply water for about 100,000 people in 12 locations in Senegal. Water-borne disease greatly decreased. Girls who had walked kilometers daily to fetch water now have more time for school. Farm animals became healthier and more profitable.
Sleeping under bed nets like this one can prevent mosquito bites and malaria. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created in 2002 to fight three of the world’s most devastating diseases. By 2018, it spent HK$300 billion worldwide and saved about 27 million lives, more than triple the population of Hong Kong.
HOW DID THE WORLD RESPOND?
Established in 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s Target 17.2 calls for developed economies to contribute at least 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) as ODA. A number of countries, including Sweden, Luxembourg and the UK, meet this goal, and many other nations donate substantial amounts.
HOW DID HONG KONG RESPOND?
Currently, the Hong Kong government gives very little official development aid, far below what other developed economies donate per capita.
There is currently no spending on recurring development assistance, though the Hong Kong government does spend a variable amount on emergency disaster relief, ranging in recent years from HK$41 million (in 2011-2) to HK$354 million (in 2010-1), or 0.0014% to 0.012% of the 2018 GNI of HK$3.0 trillion. For comparison, the Hong Kong government allocates 15%, 14% and 13% of Hong Kong's government's budget (or 2.9%, 2.6% and 2.6% of Hong Kong’s GNI) to education, health, and infrastructure, respectively.
Generocity was founded to promote the concept of development assistance by Hong Kong. Through public engagement and communication efforts, it is hoped that the idea can receive support among citizens. Ultimately, we wish to persuade the government to change its development assistance policy.
We must recognise the current aid situation before advocating changes. To understand the reality of the existing Disaster Relief Fund, we communicate with non-governmental organisations participating in the DRF in Hong Kong. In general, they are very supportive of the fund. More information will be provided in the future.
To determine the views of the public, we collaborated with the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme to conduct a survey, which we published in the journal PLOS ONE in 2018. The median of the portion of the Hong Kong government’s budget that people want to be spent on the Disaster Relief Fund is 2.4%.
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