Over the last few decades, the world has witnessed an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Sadly, this trend is set to continue as a result of growing population pressures, unplanned urbanisation, climate change and environmental degradation.
Poor communities in developing countries are disproportionately affected by disasters which leave people impacted even more vulnerable to future shocks. When disasters strike, schools close, livelihoods are destroyed and community infrastructure is damaged. Families living in poorly built, unsafe housing must also invest time and money to repair or rebuild, depleting their meagre savings and setting them back from moving out of poverty.
Our response work
The Government of HKSAR Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) was established on 1 December 1993 following the introduction of a resolution under section 29 of the Public Finance Ordinance into the Legislative Council. It is to provide a ready mechanism for Hong Kong to respond swiftly to international appeals for humanitarian aid in relief of disasters that occur outside Hong Kong.
This funding can only be applied for by locally registered NGOs in Hong Kong and specifically for disaster relief work all over the world. Habitat Hong Kong has applied to the DRF and successfully carried out disaster relief work in areas and countries such as Bangladesh, India, Fiji, Mainland China, Philippines, Nepal and Vietnam.
Habitat Hong Kong has received 13 grants from the DRF since 2013.