Monday, January 9, 2012

Pakistanis Rank High on World Giving Index 2011

"Righteousness is not that ye turn your faces towards the east or the west, but righteousness is, one who believes in God, and the last day, and the angels, and the Book, and the prophets, and who gives wealth for His love to kindred, and orphans, and the poor, and the son of the road, beggars, and those in captivity; and who is steadfast in prayers, and gives alms." Quran 2:177

More Pakistanis gave to charities and the country saw the "largest jump in the rankings globally of 108 places, moving from 142nd to 34th in 2011", according to World Giving Index 2011. The report compiled by Charities Aid Foundation points out that "the floods did not lead to Pakistan's twenty-six percentage point rise in its World Giving Index score" because the survey was conducted before the 2010 floods.

World Giving Index Rankings in South Asia



The United States is ranked as the most generous in the world for charitable giving. Sri Lanka, ranking 8th in the world, leads philanthropy South Asia region. It is followed by Pakistan (ranked 34th globally) in second place, Bangladesh (ranked 78 globally) in third place, Nepal (ranked 84 globally) in fourth place, and India (ranked 91 globally) in last place.

It appears that the country scores in the World Giving Index reflect the breadth of participation rather than the amount of money given as percentage of income or gdp. Here's how the report explains it:

In order to reflect a culturally diverse planet, the report looks at three aspects of giving behavior. The questions that feed the report are:

1. Donated money to a charity?
2. Volunteered your time to an organization?
3. Helped a stranger, or someone you didn't know who needed help?


Pakistan does well in South Asia in terms of the percentage of gdp given as charity as well. Given the lack of full documentation, the estimates of giving in Pakistan range from a low of 1% to a high of 5% of GDP. The upper end of 5% is more than twice the 2.2% of gdp annually contributed by Americans who lead in the world in giving.

The low end of the estimate is by PCP that says Pakistanis contributed Rs.140 billion (US$1.7 billion), nearly 1% of the nation's gross domestic product of $170 billion in 2009.

The upper end of the estimate of 5% of GDP comes from Professor Anatol Lieven in his book Pakistan-A Hard Country. Lieven argues that the "levels of trust in Pakistani state institutions are extremely low, and for good reason. Partly in consequence, Pakistan has one of the lowest levels of tax collection outside Africa. On the other hand, charitable donations, at almost 5% of GDP, is one of the highest rates in the world".

The donations help organizations like Khana Ghar that feeds the hungry, Edhi Foundation which operates non-profit ambulance service, The Citizens Foundation which runs 700 schools serving 100,000 poor students, and Human Development Foundation which builds and operates schools and clinics for the poor.

Lieven lauds the work of TCF and several other charitable organizations, but he singles out Edhi Foundation for his most effusive praise of Pakistan's strong civil society filling the gaps left by the corrupt and incompetent government:

"There is no sight in Pakistan more moving than to visit some dusty, impoverished small town in arid wasteland, apparently abandoned by God and all sensible men and certainly abandoned by the Pakistani state and its own elected representatives- to see the flag of the Edhi Foundation flying over a concrete shack with a telephone, and the only ambulance in town standing in front. Here, if anywhere in Pakistan, lies the truth of human religion and human morality".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Philanthropy in Pakistan

Pakistan-A Hard Country

World Giving Index Report 2011

How Can Overseas Pakistanis Help Flood Victims?

Light a Candle, Don't Curse Darkness

Pakistan Center for Philanthropy

An Overview of Indian Philanthropy

Aaker Patel on Philathropy

Orangi Pilot Project

Three Cups of Tea

Volunteerism in America

Dr. Akhtar Hamid Khan's Vision

6 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story on community service requirement at elite schools in Pakistan:

The Social Service Society of Foundation Public School’s (FPS) A-Level campus is working on making this kind of work mandatory for all A-Level schools in the city.

According to Muneer Iqbal, the chairperson of the society, he and his peers are already in touch with students from other schools to push for this demand. Meanwhile, the school’s society plans to publicise the cause at events in different schools. “As youngsters, we should contribute to the society by helping those who are in need,” Iqbal said.

At the FPS A-Levels campus, all of the 120 first-year students have to do mandatory community service of 30 hours to be able to pass to the second year. They are free to choose what kind of work they want to do.

They can, for example, teach at government schools, tend to the elderly at shelter homes, or spend time with the mentally or physically challenged or those suffering from life-threatening diseases.

“Community service is greatly needed at government schools because they are in a deplorable state,” said Iqbal. “If educated people like us step forward, we can make a huge difference.”

Another student, Hamza Masood, also at FPS, believes that community service also gives students applying to universities abroad an edge. “Foreign universities prefer students who have done social service,” he said. “Even the top universities in Pakistan, like the Lahore University of Management Sciences, give credit to social service.”

But Masood does not do charity work because it will get him admission to a foreign university. According to him, at the end of the day it is satisfaction that one gets from helping the people that matters.

“I went to Dar ul Sukoon five months after I did community service there,” he said. “I was delighted when two children recognised me and called me by my name. They made me realise that our visits meant a lot to them.”

It seemed like students of other A-Level schools feel the same way. Saba Basit, who studies at Nixor College, believes that students should be made aware of how important serving the community was.

“Community service should be made mandatory but students should know what they are doing is important for the community rather than it being imposed upon them,” said Basit. “Social service does not only mean going to hospitals or old homes. It means that we can also help others in our neighborhoods as well.”....


http://tribune.com.pk/story/323138/small-ideas-big-impact-foundation-public-school-wants-mandatory-charity-at-a-levels/#comment-520994

Riaz Haq said...

Proctor & Gamble Pakistan wins award for corp social responsibility, reports The News:

The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton presented Proctor & Gamble (P&G) with the thirteenth annual Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for the company’s exceptional corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in Pakistan.

Bob McDonald, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Proctor & Gamble Company accepted the award in a ceremony held at the State Department in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

US Consul General in Karachi William Martin and P&G Pakistan Country Manager Faisal Sabzwari joined the ceremony in Washington via digital video conferencing.

Addressing a news conference at the Karachi Consulate, Martin said that this was the first time that a firm based in Pakistan had received this prestigious award.

He said this recognition is likely to help boost foreign investments in Pakistan as international organisations are bound to take notice of the quality work being conducted in the country. He stated that this award signified the interest American investors have in Pakistan.

He further said that this award had been presented to a firm run and managed by Pakistanis which highlights the progressive social attitude of the people here. Sabzwari said that P&G Pakistan had made massive investments in the country, the last one being a $40 million investment into a laundry manufacturing facility.

He also mentioned the new plant established by the organisation in Port Qasim. Speaking about the award, he said that this year, 62 nominations were received for American companies operating in 38 different countries. Of these, some 13 companies were selected as award finalists. P&G Pakistan and Nigeria were selected as the winners among this group.

P&G Pakistan was awarded the ACE for the company’s efforts under its ‘Live, Learn, and Thrive’ CSR programme, including humanitarian assistance efforts to provide clean drinking water, food, hygiene products. It also made medical care available to over 1.9 million affected residents after the devastating 2010 floods. It also established a network of schools and supported orphanages. “A total contribution of over $2 million was made in flood aid,” he said.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=88426&Cat=3

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn Op Ed by Asif Noorani titled "Well Done Pakistanis":

On my three official visits to Chennai, I had nothing much to do in the evenings except catching up with my reading and watching the idiot box in the river facing rooms that I was ensconced in at the Madras Club, until I made some good friends. My one big grouse was that Indian TV channels believed that only bad news about Pakistan was worth covering. But soon after I returned to Pakistan and started watching our own news channels more intently, I found, much to my horror, that our own TV journalists were doing the same not just when covering India but also their own country.

Sadly, there is hardly a TV news channel which gives coverage to the excellent work that some charities are doing in Pakistan. No other country in the Third World has so many non-profit organisations that help the downtrodden in so diverse fields and on such large scales.

Everyone, at least in Pakistan, knows about the great job the Edhi Foundation is doing in different spheres – from running cancer hospices and ambulance services (Edhi Foundation has the largest fleet in the world, as the Guinness Book of Records mentions) to providing shelter to battered women and education to poor children. Mr Edhi, who deserves nothing less than a Nobel Prize for Peace, is everywhere despite his old age. Wherever there is a calamity, he rushes to the site to provide help. If an unwanted child is left in one of his centres, he (and his wife, Bilqees) is there to take the infant under his protective wing.

The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore is doing a remarkable job too. Most of its patients are poor and unable to pay for the long drawn and expensive treatment provided by the hospital. The model is being replicated in Peshawar.

A state of the art health institution, the SIUT (Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation) and the Indus Hospital are both providing excellent services in the health sector. What is more they don’t charge anything. That goes for the LRBT (Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust) as well. I remember an affluent lady who could have got ophthalmic treatment in any country in the West but she opted to have her surgery done at the LRBT, which is cleaner than most private hospitals in Karachi and where treatment can be described as state-of-the-art. Cured and satisfied, she gave a hefty donation to the institution and continues to pay from out of her zakat to the institution every Ramazan.
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Many people buy nihari and naan for the poor who sit outside nihari joints. Karachi is dotted with what are more than mere soup kitchens. Edhi Foundation and Alamgir Trust are the ones who run these centres, where curry and naan are served twice a day. In Ramazan the beneficiaries swell manifold.

I was told by Umar Ghafoor, Chief Operating Officer, LRBT, that of the donations that the charity gets, 55 per cent comes from Pakistan and 45 per cent from the diaspora. Similar viewpoints were expressed by people at the helm of other non-profits as well.

I am afraid many people will go for my jugular because I have left quite a few organisations which are providing laudatory services to our people, particularly the ones outside Karachi. But I would only be too happy if my readers would write a paragraph about the philanthropists I have missed out.


http://dawn.com/2011/07/09/well-done-pakistanis/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's HuffingtonPost on zakat collection in Pakistan:

KARACHI, Pakistan — During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Muhammad Tashfeen Khan does what millions of other Pakistanis do: tries to keep his money from the government's religious tax collectors.

The wealthy businessman pulls all his savings from his bank account right before Ramadan starts so the government cannot deduct 2.5 percent as zakat, the annual donation many Muslims are religiously required to make as a basic tenet of the Islamic faith.

Khan and many other Pakistanis do this, not to avoid paying zakat, but to make sure the money doesn't go to the government, which is viewed by most people as incompetent and corrupt.

For many years, Pakistan required all Sunni Muslims, who make up a majority of the country's population, to pay zakat straight to the government. That regulation changed recently, but many Pakistanis seem unaware and continue to pull their money out of the banks to elude the state.

Instead, they pay zakat to needy individuals and hundreds of private charities operating in the country – some of which are actually fronts for Islamist militant organizations seeking money for both social welfare activities and militant activity.

"When it comes to zakat, or any other religious issue, I can't trust the government," said Khan, who runs a chain of private schools in the southern port city of Karachi. It's a "corrupt system, which hardly cares about the poor," he said.

A former religious affairs minister was imprisoned last year for allegedly cheating hundreds of thousands of Pakistani Muslims out of money while they were making the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Khan said he gives over $1,000 to individuals and private charities every Ramadan, an amount he indicated was greater than what he would pay if the government deducted zakat from his bank account. Ramadan began in July and is expected to end in the next few days, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

"By taking matters in my own hands, I am satisfied that it goes to the deserving people and charity organizations," said Khan.
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/ramadan-pakistanis-dodge-tax-collectors_n_1795840.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of India's Economic Times story about Edhi Foundation:

The name Edhi is omnipresent in Karachi with his eponymous ambulances parked every few kilometres in this bustling metropolis but the man himself is elusive. While the ambulances may just be a call away, it takes several calls over seven days to reach the person whom all of Pakistan reveres — Abdul Sattar Edhi. "Edhi saab, has left for a far-flung village in Baluchistan half-an-hour ago. There has been a disease outbreak with some deaths reported. Call later," says the operator from an Edhi centre. Another try, three days later, gets a response that they had lost touch with Edhi.

Next day, thinking that the renowned social worker was probably trying to avoid an Indian reporter, I rope in a local to get an appointment. Even this ploy fails as he gets a worrying answer: Edhi saab was untraceable and the coast guard had been roped in to look for him. On my final day in Karachi, I make a last ditch effort. This time, I was directed to another office.

And a call later, Edhi is on the line, "aap aafice mein aa jayen, main yahin hoon." I scramble to his small nondescript office in the crowded Boulton Market,a part of the Mithadar area in Karachi, police escort in tow, knowing fully well that a single call from any emergency anywhere in Karachi can take away my subject for good. "I am a sahafi (journalist) from India.

I have an appointment with Edhi Sahab," I tell the receptionist-cum-office girl. She points to the frail bearded old man sitting alone on a worn out sofa next to her table, wearing a well worn brown Pathani suit and a pair of black plastic slippers. It's humbling to watch the man who single-handedly changed the concept of social service in Pakistan, and in doing so, touched millions of lives, sit alone in his office without any pretensions, recouping from his arduous journey from Baluchistan.
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What started out in 1951 in a small room in Mithadar, with a capital of just Rs 2,300*, has over the years transformed into Pakistan's biggest and most respected welfare operation. Today, the Edhi Foundation and Edhi Trust run a whole gamut of welfare services for the poor and the downtrodden across Pakistan. Services ranging from ambulance services to burial of the dead to maternity to shelter for homeless and abandoned children, are rendered through a network of welfare centres, hospitals, laboratories and clinics, mostly free of cost. .

"My services run from Siachen to Nagar Parkar," says Edhi. On any given day, 2,000 Edhi ambulances run on the streets of Pakistan, 8,000 employees provide a plethora of welfare services, and 26,000 homeless reside in the Edhi centers totting up expenses of more than Rs 5 lakh daily.

Edhi has also crossed boundaries: Abdul Sattar Edhi International Foundation provides regular services, like burial, in New York, and will start hostels and medical services in London and many more countries. Another ambitious project Edhi has undertaken is the Edhi 50 Kilometer Project, wherein 500 centers will be constructed on all highways and major link roads of Pakistan. For a man who now uses a chopper, air ambulances and Chinese boats for relief work, the journey started with an old Hillman van five decades ago.
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Having such a well oiled set up in Pakistan why doesn't he turn to next door neighbour India that could do with some of his good welfare work? "India is the only country that stopped me from helping the poor. I wanted to go and help during the Kutch earthquake. The Indian government didn't allow me," he rues. But now, he says, its too late, he will have to start from the scratch. It's India's loss, Mr Edhi, completely our loss.


http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-12-23/news/30551210_1_karachi-abdul-sattar-edhi-ambulance

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BR story on Pakistan becoming the second largest food donor to WFP:

Pakistan has emerged to be the second largest donor to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) consequent to its donation of 75,000 metric tons of wheat to it.



WFP Coordinator for the programme, Amjad Jamal giving details of the country's support said the contribution valued at approximately US$25 million, has placed Pakistan as WFP's second largest donor country so far this year.



The assistance, he said has been announced at a time when critical funding shortages threatened the provision of emergency food assistance to almost one million displaced people in the country's north-west.



The wheat will be milled, fortified and then provided to families displaced by security operations or only recently able to return to their homes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).



Combined with much-needed contributions from other donors, it will allow WFP to distribute a full cereal ration to these groups until the end of the year.



Jamal mentioned that a shortage of resources had forced WFP to reduce rations from January.



This latest contribution follows sizeable in-kind donations from the federal government and provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan last year.



More than 70,000 metric tons of wheat was successfully delivered to both displaced and flood-affected communities in 2012, following a highly positive response from other donors to WFP's appeal for complementary "twinning" funds.



WFP's emergency response to the needs of displaced communities in the north-west is implemented under a new relief and recovery operation for Pakistan, launched on January 1, 2013.



Aiming to assist about 8 million people at a total cost of US$540 million over the next three years, the operation also seeks to improve economic opportunities and promote social inclusion in FATA, boost community resilience in disaster-prone locations, and prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition among young children and women in the country's most food-insecure districts.



WFP's partnership with the Government of Pakistan contributes to the National Zero Hunger Programme, drawing on the successes of other countries in the fight to eradicate hunger and undernutrition.



"This very timely contribution is greatly welcomed and demonstrates the Government's ownership of the development process and commitment to helping its people," WFP Country Director and Representative in Pakistan Jean-Luc Siblot, was quoted to have said.



The last thing, he said WFP want to do is to cut assistance for the poorest and most vulnerable, and this wheat will help us to restore the food basket to a level that fully meets basic needs.



International donor community is also expected to provide some US$23 million needed for WFP to mill, fortify, transport and distribute the wheat.



Additional funds will also be required to purchase other commodities in the food basket, including specialised nutritious products for young children.



WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting against hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.


http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/general-news/108397-pakistan-turns-second-largest-donor-to-wfp.html