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Press Releases & Updates

26 APR 2013

Nearly 99 million small-scale farmers in China trapped in poverty -- Oxfam Rice Sale 2013 to raise funds in support of the agency’s work in China

A press conference for Oxfam Rice Sale 2013 was held today (26 April). At the conference, Oxfam Hong Kong Council Vice-Chair Bernard Chan said that there are currently 98,990,000 small-scale farmers in Mainland China whose annual income is lower than the national poverty alleviation standard of 2,300 yuan. The rural population in the Mainland is last reported at 262,610,000. Despite an increase in the overall living standard in the country, this large group of people still lacks access to basic resources and is living in poverty. Oxfam Hong Kong Director General Stephen Fisher calls for support for the upcoming Oxfam Rice Sale 2013 which starts on 4 May. All donations will go towards the Oxfam China Development Fund which supports Oxfam’s work in China. The fundraising target of the event is over HK$2.6 million.

Over the past 26 years, Oxfam has allocated more than HK$800 million to over 2,000 poverty alleviation, development and emergency relief projects in 29 provinces/regions in Mainland China. The agency’s current work in the Mainland focuses on assisting poor farmers as well as migrant workers and their families.

“In rural China, we launch integrative community development programmes that are driven by the community – repairing basic infrastructure, enhancing livelihoods, providing small loans and building people’s capacity to cope with disasters. In the cities, we assist migrant workers by providing training, legal support and services that help them adapt to urban life. Recently, more and more of these migrant workers have returned to their hometowns because they couldn’t get adjusted to the cities. We also help this particular group of people utilise what they have learned in the cities to start a new life back in the villages, such as setting up co-operatives and small businesses,” said Chan.

Fisher urges the public to support the upcoming Oxfam Rice Sale 2013, which will help raise funds for Oxfam’s work against poverty in Mainland China. Oxfam Rice Sale was held in Macau for the first time last year. This year, there will be a total of over 200 rice stalls across Hong Kong and Macau.

This year’s Oxfam Rice Sale will feature two new rice packets specially designed by renowned illustrator behind the well-loved design brand Chocolate Rain – Prudence Mak. These new rice packets will be available for sale in Hong Kong on the first and second weekends in May. More information about our work in China and Oxfam Rice Sale 2013 is available on our website: www.oxfam.org.hk

Oxfam has also been assisting the survivors of the recent earthquake in Ya’an, Sichuan. Fisher said that Oxfam staff had finished distributing the first two batches of supplies that were promptly delivered to the disaster area, assisting close to 7,000 people. The next round of relief work, set to start next month, will focus on the more remote areas of the quake-stricken region. A more concrete plan for relief and rehabilitation will be announced after assessment is done.

“Oxfam’s emergency appeal for the Ya’an earthquake aims to raise HK$3 million. All donations will be used towards post-quake relief and rehabilitation. Oxfam directly handles the acquisition, quotation and distribution of all relief supplies; the entire process is open, just and transparent. We also have strict auditing and monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure that all donations are well spent,” said Fisher.

 

Oxfam Rice Sale 2013

 

Date

Venue

Hong Kong

4-5 May (Sat and Sun), 11-12 May (Sat and Sun)

200+ sites across Hong Kong

Macau

25-26 May (Sat and Sun)

20+ sites across Macau and Taipa

Website

www.oxfam.org.hk/cdf2013

 

-End-

Oxfam China Development Fund

Oxfam Hong Kong has been working in Mainland China since 1987. In 1992, we set up the Oxfam China Development Fund, which finances our poverty alleviation and emergency relief projects across the Mainland, in both rural and urban areas. Oxfam has supported millions of people through more than 2,000 projects in 29 provinces/regions since 1987, including small-scale infrastructure projects, livelihood development, micro-credit, training, advocacy, capacity building, public education and more. In all, Oxfam Hong Kong has allocated more than HK$800 million for programmes in Mainland China.

About Oxfam

Oxfam is dedicated to fighting poverty and inequity worldwide. The international and independent development and humanitarian organisation tackles poverty in four main ways: sustainable development in poor communities, disaster relief, local, national and global advocacy, and education with Hong Kong youth. Established in Hong Kong in 1976, Oxfam Hong Kong is a founding member of Oxfam, an international confederation that has assisted poor people in 94 countries. Oxfam Hong Kong alone has supported poor people in over 70 countries/regions.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Melanie Chan
Communications Officer
Tel: 852 3120 5175 / 852 9654 2048
Email: melaniec@oxfam.org.hk

Cindy Chan
Communications Officer
Tel: 852 3120 5201 / 852 6749 6230
Email: cindyc@oxfam.org.hk