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The generosity graph

July 14, 2013
What started in a single room in Karachi is now the country's largest welfare organization. — File Photo
What started in a single room in Karachi is now the country's largest welfare organization. — File Photo

Marylou Andrew compiles a picture of how much we give and how.

Pakistan and the World Giving Index 2012

According to the World Giving Index 2012 — a survey of giving behaviours compiled by Charities Aid Foundation using data gathered by Gallup — Pakistan ranks at number 85 out of a total of 153 countries. Pakistan’s position in the ranking has dropped significantly as it was ranked at number 34 in 2011. However it is the fourth (out of a total of seven countries) most charitable nation in South Asia after Iran, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

The World Giving Index measures charitable behaviours in three key areas: donating money, volunteering time and helping a stranger. Here is how Pakistanis behaved in these areas:

Donating money: 25pc Volunteering time: 12pc Helping a stranger: 42pc

Individual philanthropy in Pakistan

Although it is difficult to come by facts and figures about charitable giving in Pakistan, some organisations have carried out studies to determine the total amount of charity given in Pakistan. One survey done by the Aga Khan Development Network in 1999 revealed that indigenous philanthropy in Pakistan in 1998 amounted to Rs70 billion whereas foreign aid grants in the same year were just Rs30 billion.

While more recent figures are available, the studies undertaken to arrive at them are not very comprehensive. The Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) has carried out some research projects which give insight into philanthropic trends in Pakistan. According to Tanvir Ali Agha, Executive Director, PCP, it is important to understand that philanthropic giving is classified under two heads in Pakistan: charity (for immediate relief); and philanthropy for social development and enterprise.

Working on these parameters, the PCP launched a research study in Punjab in 2010. It found that in 2009 individual philanthropists in Punjab collectively managed to raise Rs104 billion (this includes charity and philanthropy for social developments) whereas the total social sector development budget of Punjab for that fiscal year was Rs70 billion. (The PCP is currently working on a similar project in Sindh and is planning to launch a nationwide research study on individual philanthropy in August 2013.)

Corporate philanthropy in Pakistan (Public listed companies only)

The PCP has also carried out several surveys on corporate giving by public listed companies and the most interesting finding in this regard is that corporate giving has increased 17 fold in eight years — from Rs220 million in 2003 to Rs3.8 billion in 2011.

Areas of individual and corporate philanthropy

The PCP also surveyed the areas to which these individual and corporate funds were channelled and reported the following findings:

Health and education: 70pc Others: (water and sanitation, environment, advocacy and communication) 30pc