Child Hunger is Cited as Growing Problem in Hong Kong

Posted August 18th, 2011 at 3:00 am (UTC-5)
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A new study commissioned by Oxfam found tens of thousands of children are regularly going hungry amid the glitter and prosperity of Hong Kong.

The study, performed by Hong Kong University and released Thursday, found children go hungry in one-sixth of families living below the poverty line. That includes more than 140,000 families in the city of 7 million people.

The embarrassing finding comes a day after a high-profile visit to Hong Kong by Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who promoted a series of measures to boost the autonomous territory's economy.

An Oxfam spokesman said the situation has been aggravated by rising world food prices and is expected to get worse through the remainder of this year.

The study was based on interviews with 600 families with children under the age of 15. It found children in 16 percent of the families were in a state of “high food insecurity” and that about one-third of the families did not have enough food at some times.

There has been rising public anger in Hong Kong because of a growing disparity between the circumstances of the very rich and the poor. The territory has about 100,000 people — or one in 70 — with assets of at least $1 million.