Date
20 September 2017
Syria is among the places mentioned in the Belt and Road funding program for youth exchanges even though the country falls under high risk category for travelers. Photos: Reuters, HK govt
Syria is among the places mentioned in the Belt and Road funding program for youth exchanges even though the country falls under high risk category for travelers. Photos: Reuters, HK govt

Details unveiled on funding for Belt & Road youth exchanges

The Home Affairs Bureau and the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education have on Monday unveiled details of the “Funding Scheme for Exchange in Belt & Road Countries”, according to information posted on the government website.

Under the scheme, Hong Kong youth aged 15 to 29 will be encouraged to take part in exchange programs in the so-called belt and road countries on a matching grant basis.

The daily subsidy for programs in countries such as Syria and Lebanon is up to HK$680 per person per day. China is included among the subsidized destinations, with the subsidy reaching HK$476 a day.

According to a leaflet, the highest subsidy amount of HK$1,360 per person day is allocated to central and western Asian countries, such as Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan.

The scheme will provide funding to registered non-profit making organizations and statutory bodies to organize such exchange programs.

The maximum subsidy amount for each application is HK$300,000. Applications entailing subsidy amount below HK$100,000 will not be accepted. The application deadline is May 16.

It is, however, worth noting that several of the destination countries listed in the government’s document are listed on the Security Bureau’s Outbound Travel Alert system as posing “severe threat” (such as Syria) and “significant threat” (such as Egypt, Lebanon, Nepal and Pakistan) to travelers.

Meanwhile, standnews.com reported that the government is setting up a scholarship under the belt and road program to enable outstanding Indonesian students to pursue undergraduate studies in Hong Kong starting from the 2016/17 academic year.

Up to ten Indonesian students would be given up to HK$120,000 in the form of scholarships to study in the city.

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EL/AC/RC

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