Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Philanthropy Lagging in India and Pakistan

Indian billionaire Azim Premji and Pakistani billionaire Malik Riaz Husain have recently made news by their generous pledges to help their disadvantaged fellow South Asians.

While Premji, the third richest among India's 50-odd billionaires, has announced $2 billion donation to improve public education, billionaire Malik Riaz has pledged 75% of his wealth to help Pakistan's flood victims rebuild.

Prior to Premji's $2 billion pledge, the biggest philanthropist in India was Bill Gates, an American, whose foundation is contributing $1.6 billion to help India's poor.

Beyond these high-profile pledges, the state of philanthropy in South Asia, especially in India, is not particularly healthy. Charity contributions in India make up only 0.6% of GDP, significantly lagging behind 2.2% in the United States, 1.3% in the UK, 1.2% in Canada, and 1% of GDP in Pakistan, according to data reported by Bain & Company, and Pakistan Center for Philanthropy.

Pakistanis contributed Rs.140 billion (US$1.7 billion), nearly 1% of the nation's gross domestic product of $170 billion in 2009, according to PCP. Their donations help organizations like Khana Ghar that feeds the hungry, Edhi Foundation which operates non-profit ambulance service and Human Development Foundation which builds and operates schools and clinics for the poor.

Indians gave $7.5 billion to charities, about 0.6% of India's GDP. The donations supported Indian organization like Akshaya Patra which feeds the hungry, and Premji's Foundation that is helping improve primary education to shift away from rote learning to creative thinking.

One of the measures of the goodness of a nation, particularly its middle class, is its level of civic engagement.

By this measure, advanced western nations lead the pack with the United States in #1 position, followed by Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Holland, Canada, and lo and behold! Sri Lanka.

In South Asia, Pakistan is a distant second to Sri Lanka's 51% participation rate. Pakistan's participation rate of 42% ranks it at 27, the same as Israel.

India lags far behind with the participation rate of only 28% ranking it at 48 among 130 nations, according to a recent Gallup poll on civic engagement that included 130 nations.

While 53% of Sri Lankans gave money to charity and 53% volunteered time, 51% of Pakistanis contributed money and 27% volunteered time. In India, 28% donated money and 18% volunteered time. Comparable figures for the top-ranking United States are 65% and 43%.

Although South Asians are more generous than the Brazilians (0.3% of GDP) and the Chinese (0.1% of GDP), charity continues to lag in South Asia (Pakistan 1%, India 0.6%) in spite of the rising number of high net worth individuals and families. Bain research shows that nearly 40 percent of India's wealth is controlled by the top 5 percent of India's households. And the top 1% of Indians control about 16% of India's wealth.

The growing disparities created by the heavily skewed benefits of economic growth accruing to a few creates the potential for serious social unrest, unless the newly rich begin to share their wealth to address the widespread hunger, poverty and deprivation in South Asia. I think it is time for the rich in India and Pakistan to begin to emulate the fine example of generosity being set by Premji and Malik Riaz.

Here's a video clip of Malik Riaz's interview with CNN:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

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


Anonymous said...

I think it is unwise to appeal to the philanthrophy of the rich to alleviate social inequality.

The US is on a per capita basis very generous philanthrophy as % of GDP wise however it is by far the most unequal nation in the developed world.

Frankly I view Premjis $2 billion gift more a PR exercise as Wipro of late has been trying very hard to get good press like Infosys with its middle class founders do.

Premji ofcourse hails from old money and unlike all other large IT companies controls something like 80% of Wipro share.Infy founders own less than 5% of shares.

The way he has shoved out very competent professionals like Vivek Paul to make way for the succession of his eldest son is more the instincts of a 'lala company' than a diversified modern MNC he wants Wipro to be perceived by contrast NO IMMEDIATE RELATIVES of founders are allowed to work in Infosys as per Infosys code of ethics.

The solution and indeed the responsibility of addressing inequality has to come from the state which needs to provide high quality education to all and actively enforce legislation against gender,caste and disability discrimination..

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "I think it is unwise to appeal to the philanthrophy of the rich to alleviate social inequality."

This is not an appeal. It's a reminder that philanthropy to alleviate peoples' suffering is in the best enlightened self-interest of the wealthy who constitute a small island of prosperity in the midst of a vast ocean of abject poverty in countries like India.

anon: "The US is on a per capita basis very generous philanthrophy as % of GDP wise however it is by far the most unequal nation in the developed world."

The US being unequal does not imply that it has millions of poor who are going hungry or being left illiterate and sick, which is the case in South Asia, particularly India.

The European style tax-payer funded safety net is good, but civil society and philanthropy are essential parts of a functioning democracy.

Eventually, the bulk of the money comes from the high-income segments of society.

Imran said...

Also, TCF (The Citizens Foundation) should be mentioned, it runs hundred’s of schools with 90+ thousand kids. They just raised 900K in Seattle last week ..

Pavan said...

Thanks Riaz,
I think corporate India has to dish out a lot of money to political parties which is also a form of investment. They also get tax breaks. So they prefer this route to philanthropy. After all you can give only so much. Also a large part of the money is donated to religious or cultural trusts with their own agendas. An interesting point is that only 10% of the total amount donated is by corporates and individuals. The rest is by the government! In case of the US, 75% is donated by individuals. I got this detail from the link you had provided on Indian philanthropy. Pavan

Anonymous said...

This is not an appeal. It's a reminder that philanthropy to alleviate peoples' suffering is in the best enlightened self-interest of the wealthy who constitute a small island of prosperity in the midst of a vast ocean of abject poverty in countries like India.

how? charity does not bridge structural inequality it is basically a PR stunt to be seen as a 'good guy' possibly to further corporate corporate or political ambitions(I hear premji is looking for a career in politics post handing Wipro over to his 'beta')

The US being unequal does not imply that it has millions of poor who are going hungry or being left illiterate and sick, which is the case in South Asia, particularly India.

I think I stated the most unequal DEVELOPED country quite prominently

But even then 20% of children in the US don't have medical insurance and that's a pretty sorry state of affairs.

and please Pakistan is a lot poorer than India so lets leave out the 'particularly India' part of it.India doesn't survive of international charity or ..ahem..enlightened self interest driven aid like Pakistan does.

Incidentally why aren't you quoting 2011 figures for comparing poverty etc between india and pakistan ?

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "Incidentally why aren't you quoting 2011 figures for comparing poverty etc between india and pakistan ? "

What 2011 figures are you talking about? Please give me a reference and link to credible data from an international organization.

The last piece of data that can be used to compare India and Pakistan hunger and poverty came from IFPRI and OPHI, and it is as follows:

Based on hunger data collected from 2003 to 2008, IFPRI reported that Pakistan's hunger index score improved over the last three consecutive years reported since 2008 from 21.7 (2008) to 21.0 (2009) to 19.1 (2010) and its ranking rose from 61 to 58 to 52. During the same period, India's index score worsened from 23.7 to 23.9 to 24.1 and its ranking moved from 66 to 65 to 67 on a list of 84 nations.

OPHI 2010 country briefings on India and Pakistan contain the following comparisons of multi-dimensional (MPI) and income poverty figures:

MPI= 55%,Under$1.25=42%,Under$2=76%


Lesotho MPI=48%,Under$1.25=43%,Under$2=62%

Haiti MPI=57%,Under$1.25=55%,Under$2=72%


Among other South Asian nations, MPI index measures poverty in Bangladesh at 58 per cent and 65 per cent in Nepal.

Anonymous said...


I fully agree with your comment about South Asians (or may be Asians in general) not donating enough money.

But I am not sure, if I agree with the reference you provided.

According to your link Mr Malik Riaz Hussain has donated upwards of $2 billion, but it seems his networth is hardly $800 million.

In case of Azeem Premzi he has large shareholding in WIPRO, but it simply does not add up for Mr Hussain.

Again, I don't want to criticize. Its just that something seems wrong.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a VOA story about the state of philanthropy:

Experts say Indians have a long culture of giving, but much of it goes to household staff, the immediate community or the local temple.

They say a culture of organized, charitable giving by rich Indians and corporations has been slow to develop, even though the number of super-rich is growing rapidly as the economy races ahead.

India has 52 billionaires and over 125,000 millionaires. But philanthropy expert Priya Vishwanath, says barring a handful, large-scale giving has lagged among the wealthy.

"If you consider high-net worth giving either the way it is practiced in the United States, or United Kingdom, I think India has a long way to go….for instance there are serious doubts whether the kind of pledges that Bill Gates or Warren Buffet have made, whether that kind of giving can actually take place in India," said Vishwanath. "But having said that, the examples of Premji are all encouraging signs of high net-worth individuals engaging with philanthropy."

In India, individual and corporate donations made up 10 per cent of all charitable giving in 2009, compared to 75 per cent in the United States, according to a study by global consultancy Bains.

Experts say since India's wealth has mostly been created in the past decade, many of the rich may not yet be ready to part with their money. But they say a changing mindset to philanthropy will happen sooner rather than later.

There have been growing calls for India's wealthy to do more for poor people, whose lives have not been touched by the economic boom. Nearly 500 million people live on less than two dollars a day. Millions of children are malnourished and out of school.

Riaz Haq said...

Pavan: "An interesting point is that only 10% of the total amount donated is by corporates and individuals."

South Asians do have a long culture of giving, but much of it goes to household staff, the immediate community or the local place of worship.

Here are some interesting facts about giving in India:

1. The culture of organized, charitable giving by rich Indians and corporations has been slow to develop, even though the number of super-rich is growing rapidly as the economy grows rapidly.

2. India has 52 billionaires and over 125,000 millionaires.

3. And, as you said about India, individual and corporate donations made up 10 per cent of all charitable giving in 2009, compared to 75 per cent in the United States and 34% in UK, according to a study by global consultancy Bain & Co. The rest of it comes from federal, state and local governments.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am with you there. I am not sure about Pakistan, but Indians tend to hardly give any money to charities, but they readily cough up money for religious causes.

There is hardly a day when we don't have strangers asking for donations for some religious dining. Temples like Tirupati end up earning to the tune of over 500 crores per year, and it surprises me that the very same people who empty their pockets in the Tirumala hundi, hardly pay a penny to the needy.

With my limited interactions with Chinese colleagues I know that its even worse for them. Many of them officially don't have a concept of God - so religious donations are ruled out. And donations for charity are even more rare with them.

I guess US is way better in that regards. Partly it may be because of the general affluence. It may be also because being a relatively new society, where almost everyone has been a migrant within the last 5 generations. It makes sense to give to a society that made you rich.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece on "strategic philanthropy" in Pakistan as presented at Asian Philanthropy Conference:

Zubair Bhatti’s conference paper for the APPC Hanoi Conference shows many optimistic signs for the future of strategic philanthropy in Pakistan. Of the estimated six million Pakistanis living outside Pakistan, around 3.9 million sent home a total of US$5.5 billion from 2006 to 2007—through formal banking channels. The Ministry of Labor and Overseas Pakistanis even placed the estimated remittances at some US$8 billion—contributed by around 7 million persons “of Pakistani origin.”

And this isn’t even the good news yet. Even more positive is the observation that these remittances, and the philanthropic purposes for which they are sometimes allocated, are beginning to be “aimed at long-term social change,” showing the relative maturity of overseas Pakistanis when it comes to strategic giving. According to Bhatti: “Strategic giving is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan. Among the Muslims of the subcontinent, a proud tradition of philanthropy as an instrument of social change has long co-existed with the dominant impulse of helping the poor.” At present, more signs are pointing towards the giving public’s preference for institutional, if not strategic, methods and channels for giving. These include the following:

• The rising number of NGOs, as well as the increasing visibility of their work and their fund-raising activities;
• The proliferation of major advertisements on billboards, newspapers, and TV screens showing charitable organisations and their campaigns;
• The increasing willingness of donors to allocate their donations, including Zakat, to organisations “rather than to the poor in the family or immediate locality according to the traditional interpretation of Zakat;”
• The growing interest in corporate social responsibility among wealthy businessmen;
• American Pakistanis’ utilisation of personal foundations and funding organisations in allocating and disbursing large sums of money toward charitable causes; and
• The large percentage of funds being raised by local Pakistani NGOs from the diaspora community.

Bhatti cites several “drivers of change” in this shift toward a more strategic philanthropic perspective in Pakistan. First is the observation that overseas Pakistanis “are more educated, more aware, more affluent... than Pakistanis back home... [They] have seen the role of strategic philanthropy in [more advanced] societies.”

Next is the aging population of first-generation Pakistani emigrants and their propensity to be involved in charitable activities given their affluence, their prominence, and the amount of free time they have on their hands. Related to this is the rise in status of medical professionals who left Pakistan in the 1970s to study in medical colleges, and who now find themselves in a position “where they can use their financial resources and contacts to mobilize funds for their alma mater and other related social causes.”

As the population of Pakistani professionals in other countries matures and reaches out, so does the maturity and reach of its professional associations. Bhatti shares that, in the United States, the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in North America (APNAA)—a 10,000-strong organisation—supports strategic philanthropy through health and education initiatives in rural areas. Also in the Unites States, “the growing size of remittances... represents greater opportunities for organized fund-raising.”

satwa gunam said...

Please read about Sir ratan tata trust which does a great job. They might be contributing to an extent of 2000 crore every year.

Beyond that, there are lot of ngo to which ordinary middle class contibute. I would not know how these numbers are churned out by these surveying agency.

However the giving attitude has to go up to handle the challenge of widening gap between rich and poor

satwa gunam said...

It is not the question of who is number one or number two and what is important is that enough to handle the challenge of the society.

satwa gunam said...

As per this site there are approximately 35000 ngo which are registered or data collection by indinangos.

Pavan said...

Thanks. True, The magnitude of the requirement of funds is so high that all this giving can only make a dent. Therefore the need for well organised and broader based giving. For instance if you need to feed say 200 million hungry people @ Rs 20 per day, you need Rs 400 crore or Rs 1,50,000 crore per annum which is 2.5% of GDP! The sheer numbers are so many which magnifies the problem. However if th top ten percent of the population or 100 million people contribute say Rs 50 a day, you can collect that kind of money. The government needs to get its act together even to use that kind of money if it ever becomes available. Pavan

Riaz Haq said...

Donations to religious institutions are a big part of giving everywhere, including the United States, India and Pakistan.

And, in the United States, donations to places of worship qualify for tax deduction.

Here's some US data for you:

• Giving USA, a non-profit foundation that studies philanthropy in the United States, in its 2008 report found 33.4% of estimated total giving, $103.32 billion, went to houses of worship and denominational organizations in 2007.

• Five percent of American Christians overall (8% of all Protestants and 2% of Catholics) tithe, according to a 2008 study of giving by the Barna Group, in Ventura, Calif. Protestants gave their church an average of $1,705 per household and Catholics gave $984, while those in non-Christian faiths gave an average $905, Barna found.

• Six in 10 people gave something to their house of worship last year, according to the 2008 Baylor Religion Survey, based on 1,700 U.S. adults, released in September. About 47% gave less than $500, about the same as in 2005.

satwa gunam said...

as far as pakistan goes, it was claim by one organization within pakistan. There are no other objective data but for a news item given. News item are the most easily manifestable in pakistn is well known in the world.

satwa gunam said...

More than institution it is the unorganization philanthropy which goes a long way.

This mountaineer shares his experience that when he start his adventures, it was individual from middle class which contributed rather than institution.

Smaller the organization is better placed in servicing rather than big centrlaized as it become powerhose of finance and corruptin like our governments.

Riaz Haq said...

Pranab Mukherjee has just revealed the outlines of India's 2011 budget.

I think the double digit increases of 24% and 20% on education and health care in 2011 Indian budget are a much-needed welcome change.

What is not reassuring, however, is the fact that social spending still lags defense in India, a country with the world's largest population of poor, hungry, illiterate and sick people.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a BBC report on British aid to India:

The government is expected to freeze the level of assistance given to India at £295m ($480m) a year. But why does a nuclear power with its own space programme need British aid?

In a widely-signalled move, it is anticipated that International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell will announce the amount of aid given to India will be maintained at 2009/10 levels.

But the decision has attracted criticism from newspapers and politicians who say the UK taxpayer does not need to donate to a state that is itself a foreign aid donor, which is classified by the World Bank as a middle income country (MIC) and whose economy is growing at nearly 10% a year.

However, advocates of aid say a third of the planet's population who are below the World Bank's extreme poverty line live in India. They also argue half of all children in the country are malnourished and it does not have the tax base to eliminate poverty though internal wealth redistribution.

Andy Sumner of the Institute of Development Studies says: "If UK aid was reduced, there is no guarantee that the funding to the poorest states where most of India's chronically poor live would be topped up by the Indian government."

Although the Department for International Development's budget has been unaffected by the government's spending cuts programme, the UK is expected to stop direct aid to 16 countries, including Russia, China, Vietnam, Serbia and Iraq.

Shubham Singh Tomar said...

I think taxes should also be counted as ''philanthropy''.
tax revenues as %age of GDP
china ; 17 %
India; 17.7 %
pakistan ; 8 %
hope you understand what i'm tryin' to say !!

Riaz Haq said...

One of the measures of the goodness of a nation, particularly its middle class, is its level of civic engagement.

By this measure, advanced western nations lead the pack with the United States in #1 position, followed by Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Holland, Canada, and lo and behold! Sri Lanka.

In South Asia, Pakistan is a distant second to Sri Lanka's 51% participation rate. Pakistan's participation rate of 42% ranks it at 27, the same as Israel.

India lags far behind with the participation rate of only 28% ranking it at 48 among 130 nations, according to a recent Gallup poll on civic engagement that included 130 nations.

While 53% of Sri Lankans gave money to charity and 53% volunteered time, 51% of Pakistanis contributed money and 27% volunteered time. In India, 28% donated money and 18% volunteered time. Comparable figures for the top-ranking United States are 65% and 43%.

Anand Jodhani said...

Mr Haq

How selective are you in choosing information to prove your points.

1. Considering all your parameters, social involvement, charity etc etc etc, tell me honestly, given a choice would you rather be born in India or Pakistan today.

Between India and China I would be born in China, and if US was included I would rather be born in US.
Don't present any patriotic arguments against this. All said and done, it is economic development which matters. True, India has the most hungry mouths in the world, but the number has come down rapidly in the last decade primarily due to economic development.

Economic development is the single largest contributor to poverty alleviation. True India's wealth has mostly benefited the rich, but it is now trickling down to the poor. Average wages are rising quickly and so are coverage of government's social programmes because the government has more resources at its disposal(after stupid defense budgets and interest payments take away their chunks from the fiscal budget).

2. You will agree when I say that fifteen years from now, the disparity between India and Pakistan is going to be as much as between India and China now. You can continue to post your musings, bashing up India and showing Pakistan better in every field.
But just saying things are better doesn't actually improve them. Its called fundamental realism.

3. But India can definitely do better on charity. Charity also develops in phases just like economy. India is in the second phase where the novou riche are slowing beginning to accept the concept and with the next generation there will be a lot more participation.

4. The maximum contribution in India is to religious causes today. I pray that people understand the broader issues of poverty and come out of the quagmire called religion.
Religion has caused more deaths in our country than all the wars put together.
But next 25 yrs, as we grow literate and get our intellectual capital, we will surely let go of this devilish concept which spreads more hatred then foster peace.
But Pakistan I guess wants to get Talibanised, so I don't know what will be the literacy rate then.

5. Visit
to get some idea about what is happening on the economic and social front in your country.

Prepared by your beloved partners and donors American defense dept(Also time we all started to understand that these Americans are nobody's friends, just do everything to further their own interests including their current operations in Libya. They dint do anything in Egypt or Yemen cuz they have no oil, but Libya yes, has oil, so they have to intervene).

5. And lastly, get your house in order before you pin-point outside. You don't even have a consistent democracy in the last 60 years. Did you also notice most of the autocracies/dictatorships in the world are in Islamic countries. Any idea why?
Dictatorships work fine in oil rich kingdoms cuz the royal families exploit the oil resources and people are spared. But in poor countries like Pakistan Egypt etc. it aint gonna work, don't you think

Riaz Haq said...

Anand: "Considering all your parameters, social involvement, charity etc etc etc, tell me honestly, given a choice would you rather be born in India or Pakistan today."

It's strange that you make such a preposterous without first doing a real fact-based comparison based on first-hand information.

I have personally visited and compared life in two nations and I can tell you with first-hand knowledge that an average Pakistani lives a better life than an average Indian.

Doing an objective comparison using UNDP and WHO data will show you that Pakistanis on average live three years ago longer, and are less poor, hungry and sick than their Indian counterparts.

I also suggest you read the following:




Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on Bill Gates and Warren Buffet visit to India to encourage giving by India's rich:

Two of the world's richest men are in India to urge tycoons there to give away a share of their fortune for charity.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett met Indian industrialists at a Delhi hotel.

It is yet to be seen how many of India's 55 billionaires will part with some of their their wealth.

Correspondents say that charitable giving on a large scale in India is yet to take off.

But Bill Gates said that it was not his intention to make anyone feel guilty about not contributing enough.

"Our goal is just to talk about philanthropy and learning from other people, " he said.

"But we're not trying to make anyone feel guilty. We're just here to talk about why we do it and see if there's a chance to work together."

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have been successful in encouraging some of the wealthiest people in the US and China to contribute to charity.

Indian billionaires who have followed suit include Wipro chairman Azim Premji, who donated £2 bn (£1.24 bn) to educational causes and, more recently, GM Rao, the chairman of the GMR group who pledged $340m (3210m) to charity.

Anonymous said...

Article on Indian philanthropy.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Article on Indian philanthropy."

Thx for sharing the article by Aaker Patel.

Here are some excerpts from it:

"Indians have culture but not civilization. Culture is how we entertain ourselves; civilization is how we entertain others. Culture is our attitude to beauty and ugliness, to power, to religion, and to family. It shows in our music, in what makes us laugh. Civilization is our attitude to mankind. It’s defined as social development of an advanced stage, but civilization never actually arrives; it is only reached for. It assumes there is high purpose to life, to wealth, to culture. It believes that man will exhibit the signs of his evolution. He will improve upon man. For this he must build—but what?"

The Birlas built six temples (India always being in urgent need of more religion).

They built temples in Jaipur, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Kolkata. Most of these are to Lakshminarayan, and these are only the big ones. No Indian family has built more, or bigger, temples than the Birlas, and that is their contribution to our culture.

Mukesh Ambani is building on Altamount Road a structure called Antilla, the most expensive home in history.

Its architects Hirsch Bedner say their estimate for it is around $2 billion. That is Rs9,000 crore, and four people will live in this house. That is Ambani’s contribution to our culture.

The Birlas built schools for the rich, and the Ambanis made a school for millionaires.

At the Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital (“Compassionate Quality Healthcare”), a check-up for headaches costs Rs2,850.

At the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (“Every Life Matters”), the wellness check-up costs Rs5,000.

At the Tata Memorial Hospital, which treats cancer, healthcare is free.

Rajashree Birla says Indians “don’t have the mindset to give away large amounts of money to charity”. The act of leaving “just a little bit for their children”, she says, “happens only in the US”.

“It calls for very large-heartedness,” she says, “I don’t see this happening in the Indian context in the near future at least.”

She’s right about our mindset and culture, but wrong in assuming that the problem is about large-heartedness: It is actually about a lack of civilization.

She’s wrong also about this not happening in future: It already has happened in India.

Of Tata Sons’ 398,563 shares, 65.8% is held by charitable trusts (Ratan Tata owns 0.84%).

How much money are we talking about? Tata Sons’ net profit last year was Rs3,780 crore.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting discussion on channeling foreign aid through government vs non-government orgs in Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD // Growing international aid flows into terrorism-torn Pakistan are vulnerable to widespread abuse because of endemic nepotism within the government and domestic non-government organisations, according to non-profit sector insiders. The threat is exacerbated by negligent management by international donors, whose ability to audit projects is limited both by security-related restrictions on the movement of personnel and their susceptibility to elitist social circles dominated by their clientele, NGO managers and consultants said in a series of interviews.

NGOs emerged as an alternative recipient of foreign aid to Pakistan in the late 1980s, following the withdrawal of Soviet occupation forces from neighbouring Afghanistan and decreasing US funds, and became the preferred recipients as relations between the government and its erstwhile allies deteriorated in the 1990s. The role of the NGOs increased as civil war flared in Afghanistan and more refugees poured into Pakistan. However, many NGOs were formed not by idealists, but "by well-educated people with social and political connections," said Arshed Bhatti, an Islamabad-based consultant to NGOs .

Often, they are relatives and cronies of military officers, politicians, civil servants and judges that "invest in 5-to-9pm socialising [with Pakistani and foreign officials], and execute the agreements the next 9am-to-5pm", he said. Subsequently, a large chunk of funding keeps going to the same people, who take two bites at foreign funding by forming their own NGOs and working as lobbyists for others, Mr Bhatti said.

Research by The National revealed numerous examples of human rights NGOs with trustees who are senior government functionaries, including serving federal and provincial ministers, all of whom are in a position to lobby for and secure funding from both international donors and the Pakistani government. Baber Javed, programme manager for the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy, which certifies corporate social responsibility initiatives for the government, said problems within the non-profit sector were largely attributable to the restrictive practices of major international NGOs, including the humanitarian arms of the United Nations.

He said those big players had each developed pools of four or five local NGOs, and worked exclusively with them, leading to an elite grouping of some 40 to 50 organisations. That compares to 95,000 total NGOs in Pakistan, of which 65,000 were officially registered, according to a 2001 study published by Johns Hopkins University. Asma Jehangir, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a Lahore-based NGO, said the Pakistani government's funding of NGOs was particularly questionable....

Riaz Haq said...

Here are summary and salient points of Anatol Lieven's Pakistan: A Hard Country:

In the past decade Pakistan has emerged as a country of immense importance. Large, heavily populated, strategically placed between Iran, Afghanistan and India, Pakistan has since its creation just over sixty years ago been pulled in several different, irreconcilable directions.

In the wake of Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons, Osama Bin Laden's presence in its unpoliceable border areas, its shelter of the Afghan Taleban, and the spread of terrorist attacks by groups based in Pakistan to London, Bombay and New York, there is a clear need to understand this remarkable and highly contradictory place.

Far from seeing Pakistan as the failed state often portrayed in the media, Lieven's extraordinary new book instead treats it as a viable and coherent state that, within limits and by the standards of its own region rather than the West, does work. Lieven argues strongly against US actions that would risk destroying that state in the illusory search for victory in Afghanistan.

This work is based on a profound and sophisticated analysis of Pakistan's history and its social, religious and political structures. Lieven has interviewed hundreds of Pakistanis at every level of society, from leading politicians and soldiers to village mullahs and rickshaw drivers. In particular, his examination of the roots of popular sympathy for the Taleban in Pakistan draws on the testimony of people whose views are rarely consulted by Western analysts.

1. For most of the years since 1947, Pakistan has had higher economic growth rates than did India. Pakistan does not have the same pockets of extreme poverty, or for that matter the extreme wealth. The level of economic equality in Pakistan is relatively high.

2. Charitable donations run almost five percent of gdp, one of the highest percentages in the world and this reflects the emphasis on alms-giving in Islam.

3. A good quotation from a businessmen: “One of the main problems for Pakistan is that our democrats have tried to be dictators and our dictators have tried to be democrats.”

4. Agriculture pays virtually no tax and the government lends lots of money to businesses and doesn’t seriously ask for it back. As a result Pakistan collects far less revenue than does India, even comparing areas of comparable per capita income. If Pakistan were a state of India, it still would be considerably richer per capita than India’s poorest regions, such as Bihar.

5. The Pakistani state is nonetheless a lot more stable than most people think. In part this is because of the conservative structure of kinship and landholder power in the country.

6. The main threats to the future of Pakistan have to do with ecology and water, not politics.

7. The end of the book has a very interesting discussion about how U.S. actions in Pakistan affect different coalitions, feelings of humiliation, relative status relationships, etc.

Definitely recommended, as are Lieven’s books on the Baltics and Ukraine.


Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an Op Ed by Bilal Baloch published in The Guardian:

China's trade presence in Pakistan has been growing for decades. The steady, indirect approach is something either to marvel at for the emerging superpower's foresight, or to note down for its good fortune. In 2010, trade between the two countries reached a whopping $8.7bn: not bad for a nation wrestling with militancy. Above all else, the Chinese have come to represent reliability in Pakistan in a way that the Americans simply have not – despite the fact that the US, too, pumps billions of dollars into Pakistan every year.

The Americans, clearly, are not getting the right kind of bang for their buck. China has truly won the hearts of the populace, if not minds; this, in turn, has cultivated trust between the two countries. Yet, for the Chinese to nurture and build connections in Pakistani civil society may be a long way away, as the hyper-politicised people of Pakistan are far removed from the political leanings of the Chinese. Enter, America.

For both legal and security reasons, the US does not carry out extensive trade in Pakistan. After all, without the necessary security for Americans, Pakistan represents a high-risk destination; and of this Pakistanis themselves are perhaps most disadvantaged. But this does not mean that trade relationships in the future should be discounted. Looking at the success of the Chinese approach, a long-term strategy to create jobs and business opportunities for Pakistanis and Americans is plausible. Currently, however, Pakistanis are disenchanted by American foreign policy.

Pakisatani anti-Americanism has always been interpreted as ideological abhorrence of the US. This may be the case for the militant minority that causes the biggest headache, but, in fact, that anti-Americanism may be driven more generally by an asymmetry of information – and what Pakistanis perceive as US support for a government that does not cater well to the needs of its own people. But the current most significant American exports to Pakistan – Facebook and Twitter – have changed the face of communication opportunities available to regular Pakistanis. Some 20 million Pakistanis are frequently online: that's 10-15% of the population. This incidental creation of a virtual civil society has not gone unnoticed: last week, the American consulate organised an international social media summit in Karachi, where internet-savvy journalists and bloggers came together from neighbouring countries and throughout Pakistan to discuss ventures such as "Harass Map" in Pakistan. It's these citizen connections, enabling Pakistanis themselves to build civil society in Pakistan, that can overcome security concerns both locally and internationally.

China may have discovered trade as a key to Pakistan's strategic value; but the US is better-placed to make the relationships that will count.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some interesting excerpts from Anatol Lieven's "Pakistan-A Hard Country" on the role of religion and a description of Edhi Foundation as the essence of Pakistan's real civil society:

"Charities with a religious character tend to more favored and more trusted. It is also true of Pakistan's most famous charitable institution by far, Edhi Foundation, which is nonreligious; however, Abdus Sattar Edhi is himself a deeply religious man, known by the public at large as Maulana (a Muslim distinguished by his piety and learning)even though he is not a Muslim scholar and in fact greatly dislikes being called this.

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".

Another excerpt from Lieven's book:

"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".

Lieven quotes the following commandment (2:172) from the Quran:

"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."

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts from Asif Noorani's Op Ed published in Pakistan Link:

.....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. ...

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 Ramadan.

LRBT has 16 hospitals all over Pakistan, two of which – one in Karachi and the other in Lahore – are the best equipped ophthalmic institutions in the country. There are also 41 community centers where ophthalmic technicians examine patients and decide whether they can be treated as outpatients or are in need of surgery. As many as one-third of all OPD patients with problems of vision in the country are treated in one of the LRBT institutions and one-fourth of ophthalmic surgeries are done in the 16 eye hospitals run by the not-for-profit organization.

There is no institution that I have watched more closely than The Citizens Foundation. Fifteen years ago, five or six friends from affluent families, who met every weekend, grumbled about the flaws in our country. Finally, one of them said, “OK, enough is enough. Either we make a positive contribution to alleviate the miseries of the unprivileged people in Pakistan or we just shut up.” There was a pause and then everyone was convinced that they ought to join hands and work in one field. The one they chose was education, for the lack of it was the main cause of many ills that the country suffered from. They agreed on a target of setting up five schools for children of economically underprivileged parents in the first year.

The goal was achieved and the bar was raised. Today they have as many as 731 schools in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir (also Northern Areas). The fee structure is incredibly low because Pakistanis in and out of the country have been donating generously to TCF. Non-Pakistanis are also impressed with the institution and try to help it in many ways. The well known Indian novelist and columnist Shobhaa De donated more than Rs 50,000 that she had earned through her weekly columns for Dawn, when I wrote to her about the great job TCF has been doing for so many years.

Partnering TCF is the Honehar Foundation which provides vocational training to young men in Karachi. But that’s not the only place that they want to professionally help our youth. Construction on four such projects in smaller towns is on at a rapid pace. My friend, Nighat Mir, who is a member of the foundation’s steering committee, informs me that very soon work will commence on an institute meant exclusively for young women in Karachi.

Moreover, I recently learnt about the Aman Foundation and the excellent work that it is doing. It provides nutritious food to students at lunch time at 10 chools in Khuda ki basti.....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post story titled "Pakistan's Only True Living Hero" about Abdus Sattar Edhi:

His name is Abdul Sattar Edhi. He is a legend in Pakistan, where he has been hailed as a Mahatma Gandhi and Father Teresa — and denounced as an infidel, communist and madman. In a patronage-based nation where wealth and bluster often pass for leadership and cruelty is more common than mercy, he may be Pakistan’s only true living hero.

I first found my way to Edhi’s office in the summer of 2010. I knew little of him then, except that he had founded a free ambulance service for the public. At the scene of every train crash or terrorist bombing, Edhi Foundation ambulances always rushed about. I knew many Pakistanis admired him, and I had seen photos of an old man with the flowing white beard of a wise elder or a Muslim cleric.

I was not expecting the slyly subversive and cranky octogenarian who sat at his desk under a portrait of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He didn’t say much at first, but he handed me some photographs of a tiny girl with gashes in her face. She had been found in a garbage pit, partly eaten by dogs, and was rescued by his volunteers. Later she was sent abroad for surgery and adopted by a family in Canada.

“Some people strangle illegitimate children. Others just dump them to die. We believe there is no such thing as an illegitimate person,” Edhi said. Indeed, he had spent 40 years helping social outcasts, from unwanted infants to the unclaimed dead. He had opened programs for abandoned girls, AIDS patients and senile shut-ins. Far more than an ambulance service, it was a philosophy.

I asked whether he was a religious man, and he shook his head. “My religion is humanity. It is the only religion that matters,” he said. This was a startling statement to hear in an Islamic republic. Later, I learned that some Muslim clerics had banned mosques from helping Edhi, but that admirers greeted him as “maulana sahib,” a term of religious respect.

There were other contradictions: Edhi was the product of a prominent business clan, but he had been drawn early to a humbler calling. After serving briefly in Parliament, he grew disillusioned with politics and rejected organized charity as placating rather than empowering the poor. In the 1960s, he turned full-time to his fledgling mission in the slums.

“I decided not to knock on the door of the industrialists and the landlords, because they are the root cause of all our social problems,” he told me. “The rich have deprived the people of their rights, and the state does not take responsibility for their welfare. It is my dream to build a welfare state in Pakistan, but I have not seen it come in my lifetime.”
He is not an easy man to be around, demanding that his acolytes give up even small luxuries. Yet his army of volunteers and ambulance drivers, some rescued from lost lives, revere him, and Bilquis, after four decades at his side, remains his tireless partner and ally.

Edhi, ever the crusader, still dreams of building a modern welfare state that will be at least another generation in the making, but his wife’s greatest joy is in saving one child at a time, and in pampering brides whom no one in Pakistan would once have thought fit to marry.

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.”....

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.

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.
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.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan paradox. 105th in per capita GDP. 4th in philanthropy.

PAKISTAN is a country of paradoxes: while we rank 105th in terms of Gross National Income (GNI), we are placed fourth in the world for the amount we give to charity as a percentage of our per capita income.

As a result, some 45,000 not-for-profit organisations flourish across the country, making life a little less unbearable for millions. One of them is the Rasheed Memorial Welfare Organisation, located 35 kilometres north of Hyderabad towards Mirpurkhas.

I visited Rasheedabad, the organisation’s ongoing project in the heart of lower Sindh’s mango belt, a couple of months ago on the urging of an old friend who works there. Iqbal Samad is an ex-general manager of Pakistan Railways who, together with his wife, have made the community their home.

When I entered the walled township, I was amazed by its cleanliness: there was not a scrap of paper or a plastic bag in sight. This to me always indicates an attention to detail that is sadly missing in most of our public spaces. While showing me around, Iqbal bent down to pick up a candy wrapper in full view of a group of schoolchildren.

The project is the brainchild of a retired air commodore, Shabbir Ahmed Khan, who lost his son, flight-lieutenant Rasheed, in a tragic flying accident. He and a group of his colleagues and friends established RMWO in his memory in the late 1990s. Since then, they have raised an astounding Rs1.6 billion, or over $150 million.

They started off by gradually buying 100 acres of land, and then established the infrastructure as donations poured in from organisations and individuals from around the world. The RMWO model is simple: buildings and facilities are created for organisations working in the fields of education, health, environment and socio-economics.

Thus, several established and well-known organisations like the Layton Rehmatullah Trust and the Citizens Foundation have begun operations in these well-designed facilities. Housing has been built for staff, and a clean and healthy environment makes Rasheedabad a very attractive place to live in. A notable feature is the fact that all the buildings have been designed free of cost by well-known architects.

A school for deaf children is being run by the Family Educational Services Foundation. When I visited it, scores of kids were on a break, and waved cheerfully. The head teacher was conversant in sign language and showed us around, taking great pride in the facilities which included a computer lab.

It was the same story at the Citizens Foundation school where a very self-confident young principal recounted her pupils’ many accomplishments. Again, everything was spick and span, and the students wore immaculate uniforms.

A technical training centre teaches a range of subjects ranging from air-conditioning to motorcycle repairs. Students here are sponsored by corporations. A microcredit bank has bought sewing machines for 41 women after training them in the vocational centre.

I was delighted to learn that RMWO is building a large facility for Karachi’s Darul Sakoon. When completed next year, it will have space for 250 special children and 100 senior citizens. This remarkable organisation has been looking after kids, mostly abandoned by parents as they are mentally or physically challenged, for many years.

When I was running a private university in Karachi a few years ago, I urged students to devote part of their weekends to spending time with the children of Darul Sakoon. And Tabitha, my youngest stepdaughter, came from England to work here as a volunteer in her gap year. I was also able to find generous donors who enabled the selfless Sister Ruth of the Franciscan Order to buy a van and instal a lift. So this charitable organisation has a special place in my heart.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan, having poor social and economic indicators, tops the list of charity giving countries. This was confirmed in a research study by Aga Khan Foundation in 1998, which revealed that most Pakistanis give away charity or volunteer time every year, amounting to Rs 70 billion. This amount might have increased manifold over the period as Pakistan’s GDP growth has been on an average 4 per cent per annum.


The private sector’s charitable organisations, some reputable hospitals or welfare entities also collect zakat and other donations. Reputable organisations like Edhi Foundation, Chhipa Welfare Association, Alamgir Welfare Trust, Indus Hospital Karachi, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) of Civil Hospital Karachi, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT), The Citizens Foundation, and scores of others in different parts of Pakistan.
They often make an appeal to the general public in the media or through other modes of advertisement for donations from zakat, ahead of Ramzan. Some faith-based or community-based charity organisations are also working effectively and efficiently in Pakistan and they also accept donations.
Prominent among them are Al Khidmat Foundation — welfare wing of Jamaat-e-Islami; Khidmat Khalq Foundation — welfare organisation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Caritas — Pakistan’s branch of the international Catholic organisation, Jamiat-e-Punjabi-Saudagaran-e-Delhi, Aga Khan Development Network, Pakistan Hindu Council, etc.
As no official data or record is available to quantify the size of individual charity in Pakistan, it is estimated that at least Rs 400 billion is given away by individuals every year in Pakistan as charity from zakat, sadqa or donations.
Read also: On-screen Ramzan
According to Dr Siddiqi, the bulk of zakat money is given to individuals or relatives or people in dire need whereas a big portion of zakat goes to madrassas, also in an undocumented mode because of the religious belief that charity must be given secretly.
The mechanism of distributing charity money is still primitive and traditional in Pakistan. One can recall that in October 2014 around eight to ten dacoits had looted an Edhi centre in Mithadar Karachi and whisked away five kilogrammes of gold and currency worth Rs 20 million (including some foreign currency).
The money is either deposited as charity or as “amanat” at the Edhi centre, which runs the largest ambulance service in Pakistan, besides running old age homes, orphanages, etc. With such a huge network of ambulance operation across Pakistan the management style of Edhi Foundation is quite inclusive in nature. Maulana Abdus Sattar Edhi is currently ill and his son Faisal and daughter Kubra Edhi are personally handling all finance related operations of Edhi Foundation.
Similarly, many other organisations in Karachi like Chhipa Welfare Association and Sailani Welfare Trust, Alamgir Welfare Trust are some other organisations doing excellent charity work in Karachi city by not only providing free food and ambulances (by Chhipa) and healthcare support and provision of interest-free loans or equipment to youth for starting their own businesses (by Alamgir).
But no audited accounts of these organisations are available. As against these reputable organisations, some other major organisations like LRBT, The Citizens Foundation, or Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust manage their audited accounts and the details are available on their websites.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to develop #CSR framework for public-private partnership for social sector investments and #HDI growth

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Pakistan develop best practices models to strengthen collaboration between the government, businesses and civil society organisations for the delivery of social services and poverty reduction.

The ADB assistance will lead to developing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) frameworks and partnership models for effective linkages between public, private and civil society sectors.

The models aims to ‘building capacity of key stakeholders to strengthen partnerships; and establishing philanthropy and civil society organisation (CSO) networks to facilitate sustainable governance structures to contribute to inclusive social sector development and poverty alleviation in Pakistan’.

The ADB technical assistance will also enhance the capacity for resource mobilisation and CSR contribution of private sector and SCOs in Pakistan, according to ADB.

“Pakistan has experienced periods of strong economic growth. However, the resilience of the economy has been tested by exogenous and endogenous shocks and periods of macroeconomic instability. Sustainable social development and poverty alleviation has lagged behind economic growth,” the bank noted.

Pakistan ranks 146th out of 186 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI). Its progress in HDI and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were below many peer countries.

Pakistan’s expenditure on social sector at 0.8 per cent on health and 1.8pc on education is very low by world standards. The result is a large social sector deficit which is a drag on sustainable, inclusive economic growth and poverty alleviation, and creates risks to social stability.

It is clear that the magnitude of the social sector service delivery is beyond the fiscal and institutional capacity of the government, thus other alternatives must be considered to help achieve sustainable development.

In other countries, efforts are being made to create productive and viable linkages with key stakeholders such as the private sector and the civil society to ensure attainment of development goals. This may be a viable option for Pakistan as well.

To mobilise additional CSR and corporate philanthropy and to enhance its effectiveness, it is essential to identify best CSR practices and models, CSO implementing partners, and to form strong and credible linkages between government, philanthropists and civil society.

In order to enhance CSR for inclusive growth in Pakistan, it is crucial to generate relevant knowledge, form synergies, and create an enabling environment where these three segments of society work in partnership.

The ingredients exist to strengthen business and CSO contributions to overall social development and sector service improvement. Pakistan is a giving society, as indicated in several studies.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Riaz,

Your work is highly appreciated but at the same time I would like to mention that I am highly disappointed with the irresponsible attitude shown by you by posting a pic in which Pakistan's complete map was not shown. You being a responsible individual need to be more careful. Disputed Jammu and Kashmir has to be shown disputed area and not part of India. I hope this will be rectified at the earliest.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s most influential man is above the law
Imad Zafar

Riaz was a white-collar worker trying to make ends meet by doing different kinds of work. In 1979, he took a loan of few thousand rupees from a friend and secured a small contract in the military engineering complex. This was the beginning of the largest Pakistani real-estate empire

At that time, Riaz was a lower-middle-class man who was not even able to get his daughter treated in hospital and had to sell his wife’s jewelry to pay her medical bills. He also went through the pain of watching his children endure hunger. So he learned the lesson that this society only honors and respects the rich.

With the first small contract, he started building relationships in the civil and military construction sectors. Gradually, he started to build houses for the movers and shakers and finally came up with the idea of a housing society, one that can now easily be termed one of the most luxurious and largest housing schemes in Pakistan.

With the help of his connections, Riaz used the name of the Pakistan Navy for his housing society. Although it filed a case against him for using its name, not a single judge was able to pass a verdict against Riaz or stop him from using it.

Riaz, with the help of his strong connections in the civil and military establishments, gradually expanded his business. He grabbed land from people who were not ready to sell and also bought land all around Pakistan at low prices to expand his real-estate business across the country.

He successfully removed all the legal hindrances in his way by buying the judges in the courts and officers in law-enforcement and making friends in the establishment. In an interview a few years ago with Geo News, Riaz said that every man can be bought and that he used his money and influence to get approval for his housing authority.

Riaz established profitable relationships and provided perks and privileges to police officers, judges, politicians and a few high officials in the army,

Riaz’s success in building a business empire by exploiting the loopholes in the legal and political system proves that the lectures against corruption and discussions on morals look so fascinating and ideal on the talk shows and in newspapers but have nothing to do with reality. This is a situation where you have to pay a bribe even to get your child’s birth certificate; where you have to use contacts and influence to get admitted to a government hospital for treatment; where even getting a child enrolled at a government school requires either bribery or a phone call from an influential person; and where even to get a place to bury a loved one requires a bribe or phone call from an influential person. It is almost impossible not to surrender to the system by accepting that might is right.

Riaz Haq said...

Anonymous donor in US gives $30m to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria
Pakistan prime minister says he’s ‘deeply moved’ after Pakistani businessman living in US makes donation at Turkish embassy

A US resident from Pakistan has anonymously donated $30m to victims of the earthquake that has killed thousands of people in Turkey and Syria and devastated the countries’ infrastructure, according to officials.

Word of the Pakistani businessman’s kindness has provided a rare instance of uplifting news amid the mounting death and damage toll associated with the calamity.

The prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, tweeted Saturday that he was “deeply moved by the example” set by an anonymous compatriot, who walked into the Turkish embassy in Washington and made the donation to benefit victims of the quake.

Sharif’s tweet added: “These are such glorious acts of philanthropy that enable humanity to triumph over the seemingly insurmountable odds.”

The editor-in-chief of the political news outlet the Election Post, Mustafa Tanyeri, tweeted that Turkey’s ambassador to Washington, Murat Mercan, had confirmed the contribution to the earthquake aid campaign launched in the US.

The donation also came in after the United Nations world food program made appeals for $77m to provide rations to at least 590,000 people displaced in Turkey and 284,000 in Syria. According to the program, about 45,000 of those people were refugees, and another 545,000 were displaced internally.

As of Sunday morning in the US, more than 33,000 people had died after the immense 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck parts of Turkey and Syria six days earlier. That toll is almost certainly going to increase as rescue crews’ expectations of finding survivors fade with each passing day.

Nearly 30,000 of the dead in the toll as of Sunday were in Turkey. Meanwhile, the area of Syria affected by the earthquake was a north-western part where many people had already been displaced repeatedly by a decade-old civil war there.

Riaz Haq said...

‘We’d have died of hunger’: the charity kitchens feeding millions in Pakistan

Lost jobs and soaring prices have pushed 5m Pakistanis to the edge. As demand soars at Ramadan, charities cannot cope

here is a crowd outside the Khana Ghar food kitchen. Men wait patiently on one side as a group of women push forward, clutching photocopies of identity cards. “Every second day of Ramadan we give one-month’s food rations because we close our kitchen,” says Parveen Saeed.

“But we can only give one bag to one family, and we need their ID cards to check that, says Saeed, 63. “There are more and more mouths to feed than we can cope with.”

Saeed has been operating the kitchen in one of Karachi’s poorer districts for more than 20 years, and says she has never known it to be so busy. Pakistan is experiencing a series of crises that is pushing people to the brink.

Food and fuel prices, already on the rise before the Ukraine war began, have rocketed over the past year. The price of a kilo of flour has risen from 58 to 155 rupees (45p) since the start of 2022. Rice has more than doubled, while petrol has gone from 145 rupees a litre last year to 272 rupees now.

This is compounded by record inflation rates – surging in February to 31.5%, the highest in half a century. This week, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association warned that the country’s textile industry is facing “imminent collapse” due to production cuts. About 7 million people have already lost their jobs in the sector since the Covid pandemic. Another 7 million jobs are at risk in the steel industry, where factories are closing as costs rise.

The World Food Programme predicts 5.1 million Pakistanis will be facing severe hunger by next week – an increase of 1.1 million people from the previous quarter.

In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, the problems have brought long queues at food banks. Ahmed Edhi, from the Edhi Foundation, which has provided free meals for more than 40 years, says he is seeing “well-dressed men from offices” coming to the city’s centres.

“These people are not beggars, they have become destitute,” says Saeed, as she points to the queue outside her kitchen in Taiser Town, Karachi. “Where are the jobs?”

Before Covid, meals for 6,000 people a day were provided here. The number rose to 7,000 during lockdowns, but in the past four months the figure has been 8,200.

“Food prices have hit the sky,” says Saeed, who charges three rupees (less than 1p) for a plate of curry and roti flatbread for those who can afford it, and gives it for free to those who cannot. Some days, she does not have enough. “It is heartbreaking as they have waited for a couple of hours, only to leave empty-handed.”

Pakistan’s political turmoil has diverted attention away from such daily issues. “Sadly, there is no conversation, no debate within political circles about how the daily wage-earner is feeding his family at a time when the prices of food have skyrocketed,” says Fawad Chaudhry, a minister in the previous Tehreek e Insaf government of Imran Khan.