Charity Across the World

#politics


1. Personal Charitability 1

#australia #canada #finland #myanmar_(burma) #new_zealand #norway #sweden #USA

Personal Charitability (2013-2016)2
CountryValue2
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
4Canada3.75
5Australia5.25
6UK6.75
7Ireland6.75
8Sri Lanka8
9Qatar9
10Trinidad & Tobago10

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) produces annual statistical analysis of personal charitable acts by individual individuals. It takes into account the helping of strangers, donations to charity and charitable volunteer work. Their ratings system is therefore biased towards grassroots-charitability and because of this, it is not wise to draw moral conclusions from the data. Some countries have a top-down approach to social aid. For example, in highly socialist countries such as Finland, Norway and Sweden the government itself is paid by citizens (through very high taxes) to engage in a lot of social work. Therefore there is a culture in which individuals feel they already contribute to charity - a charitable social safety net is centralized and organized, and well funded, but is not reflected in Charities Aid Foundation ratings. Some of those countries do score highest in measurements of how much aid is given to developing countries. Conversely, some of the lowest-ranking countries are clearly suffering from extreme poverty, and may lack the infrastructure that let's people volunteer time or give to charity.

Nonetheless, it reflects greatly on the culture of Myanmar, USA, New Zealand, Canada and Australia that their populace perform so charitably towards one-another.

Although the CAF produce statistics annually, I have averaged results from 2013-2016 in order to average-out any temporary effects of recessions and world events on the statistics, and so that I could include more countries in the result set as long as they have returned data for any year in the last four.

Full results:

Personal Charitability (2013-2016)2
CountryValue2
121Azerbaijan102.25
122Estonia103.25
123Moldova103.5
124Congo, (Brazzaville)104.75
125Bosnia & Herzegovina107
126Algeria109
127Slovakia110.5
128Ecuador111
129Egypt112.25
130Croatia113
131Chad113.75
132Madagascar114
133Benin114.25
134Niger115
135Angola115
136Mali115.25
137Czech Rep.116.5
138Venezuela117.5
139Georgia117.75
140Togo118
141Morocco119
142Tunisia121
143Montenegro121.75
144Bulgaria122
145Rwanda122.75
146Serbia125
147Russia126
148Lithuania126.25
149Armenia126.25
150Congo, DR126.5
151Turkey128
152Greece133
153Palestine135
154Yemen136.25
155China136.25
156Burundi145
Personal Charitability (2013-2016)2
CountryValue2
61Zambia51.5
62Sierra Leone51.67
63Kyrgyzstan52
64S. Africa53.25
65Nepal53.5
66Colombia55.75
67S. Sudan58
68Uruguay61
69Namibia61
70Bolivia61.5
71Honduras61.75
72Italy63.5
73Botswana63.75
74Ghana63.75
75Spain64
76Sudan64
77Tajikistan64.5
78Guinea65.75
79Cameroon66
80Suriname66
81Korea, S.66.33
82Tanzania69
83Afghanistan69
84Mauritius69
85Belize70
86Nicaragua73.5
87Pakistan75
88Kosovo76
89Lebanon77.25
90Senegal79
91Kazakhstan79.75
92Portugal80.25
93France80.5
94Peru83.75
95Comoros84
96Vietnam84.5
97Paraguay84.75
98Argentina86.5
99Gabon86.75
100Bangladesh87.5
101Brazil88.5
102Mexico89.5
103India89.75
104Ethiopia90.5
105Zimbabwe92.75
106Ivory Coast93.33
107Burkina Faso93.75
108Belarus94.75
109Poland96.5
110Macedonia98.75
111Romania99.75
112Cambodia99.75
113Ukraine100
114Albania101.25
115Latvia101.25
116El Salvador101.25
117Mauritania101.25
118Jordan102
119Japan102
120Hungary102
Personal Charitability (2013-2016)2
CountryValue2
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
4Canada3.75
5Australia5.25
6UK6.75
7Ireland6.75
8Sri Lanka8
9Qatar9
10Trinidad & Tobago10
11Netherlands10
12UAE12
13Bahrain13
14Norway13.33
15Malta14
16Indonesia14.75
17Iceland16
18Bhutan17.5
19Kenya17.75
20Jamaica20.5
21Austria21.25
22Kuwait21.5
23Hong Kong21.5
24Germany22.75
25Switzerland25
26Guatemala25
27Denmark25.5
28Malaysia27.5
29Finland28.25
30Thailand28.75
31Uzbekistan29
32Libya29
33Puerto Rico29
34Cyprus31
35Iran32
36Sweden33
37Turkmenistan33.75
38Philippines34.75
39Nigeria35
40Dominican Rep.35.75
41Northern Cyprus37
42Mongolia38
43Slovenia38.75
44Costa Rica38.75
45Liberia40.67
46Laos41
47Uganda41.25
48Singapore42
49Somaliland42
50Syria43.67
51Luxembourg43.75
52Panama45
53Haiti45
54Malawi45.25
55Israel45.25
56Taiwan46
57Belgium47.25
58Chile47.25
59Saudi Arabia48
60Iraq50.25

For more international statistics, see: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

2. Aid to Developing Countries (2005-2006)

#belgium #denmark #finland #japan #luxembourg #netherlands #norway #sweden #switzerland #UK #USA

The United Nations Human Development Report (2005) includes statistics on the amount of aid given to developing countries. It is shown as percent of the Gross National Income, so it includes both aid given by corporations and by individuals. The Report notes how the countries of the G7 - the richest industrial countries - dominate the global aid flow. It also notes how the most generous five countries, all above the UN's target of 0.7% GNI, are all small countries - Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands who have all "consistently met or surpassed the UN target". Japan has only recently fallen to such a low position (third from the bottom), nearly as stingy as the USA.

The United Nations Report analyses how to make aid-giving worthwhile and usable and does not just concentrate on quantity of aid. There are factors which reduce the usability of aid, including corruption and unpredictability of aid quantities. Yet, "perhaps the most egregious undermining of efficient aid is the practice of tying financial transfers to the purchase of services and goods from the donating countries." This kind of "tied" aid is selfish and counterproductive.

The most generous countries are also the ones that do not tend to tie aid to their own products and services. The stingiest countries also, almost spitefully and nastily, force countries to buy their own services and products with the aid they give; which reduces free trade and commerce and harms the country's economy, as well as being simply selfish and conceited. Thankfully, many countries do not tie their aid. Countries that tie less than 10% of aid include Ireland, Norway and the UK, then Belgium, Finland, Switzerland and Sweden. The USA is the worst, and ties nearly 90% of its aid to developing countries. Italy is the second worst with 70%. The two worst countries for this obnoxious practice in aid-giving are also the two countries out of the most developed countries, who give least generously!

The Center for Global Development compared the 21 richest nations, measuring a broad range of factors and policies to arrive at their values. "The CGD's report measures a broad number of factors for the index, rather than merely the amount of aid countries provide. It also examines several policy areas - such as trade investment migration and environment - while aid is measured not only in terms of quantity but as a share of its income and the quality of aid given "3.

The index penalized countries for selling arms to undemocratic governments (the theory being that these harm 'the poor'). The CGD came to same conclusions as the United Nations' Human Development Report on US aid being 'tied' to US commercial goods:

Despite the US giving the largest amount of aid that donation was the smallest in relation to the size of its economy. The CGD added that a lot of the money was also contingent on the purchase of US goods, and so was in fact a "backdoor subsidy for American interests".

BBC News (2006)3

For more international comparisons, see: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

3. The United States of America (2002-2007)

#denmark #israel #netherlands #norway #sweden #USA

We have heard that the USA ties its aid, a practice that can ruin local economies and is used to benefit America's allies such as Israel, rather than help the poor. This pours fuel on to a fire of anti-Americanism that burns throughout the educated world, and the facts above are summarized in the directed book, "Why Do People Hate America?" by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies (2002):

Book Cover[Americans] are regularly told by politicians and the media, that America is the world's most generous nation. This is one of the most conventional pieces of 'knowledgeable ignorance'. According to the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US gave between $6 and $15 billion in foreign aid in the period between 1995 and 1999. In absolute terms, Japan gives more than the US, between $9 and $15 billion in the same period. But the absolute figures are less significant than the proportion of gross domestic product (GDP, or national wealth) that a country devotes to foreign aid. On that league table, the US ranks twenty-second of the 22 most developed nations. As former President Jimmy Carter commented: 'We are the stingiest nation of all'. Denmark is top of the table, giving 1.01% of GDP, while the US manages just 0.1%. The United Nations has long established the target of 0.7% GDP for development assistance, although only four countries actually achieve this: Denmark, 1.01%; Norway, 0.91%; the Netherlands, 0.79%; Sweden, 0.7%. Apart from being the least generous nation, the US is highly selective in who receives its aid. Over 50% of its aid budget is spent on middle-income countries in the Middle East, with Israel being the recipient of the largest single share.

"Why Do People Hate America?" by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies (2002)4

US aid, which acquired an increasingly military flavour during the Regan years, is now concentrated on a relatively small number of countries of special political importance.

"Introduction to International Politics" by Heater & Berridge (1992)5

Source:The Economist (2007)6

Comparing USA aid to that of European countries is not in itself a simple task. The American people are actually no less generous than those of other developed countries. By comparing aid as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) you measure the amount of aid that is given by individuals. On this scale, Americans look angelic, giving twice as much as Britons or Canadians. By comparing aid as a fraction of Gross National Income (GNI) as the studies on this page has done, you combine the generosity of the government and individuals. Europeans pay higher taxes to their governments, who in turn operate as welfare states, doing much charitable work6. For this reason, European governments always appear more generous in league tables compared to American governments, which is decidedly not a welfare state. American citizens give no less than others, according to The Economist, "the extra percentage point of its GDP that individuals deposit in rattling tins hardly reflects the much lighter taxes they pay"6. American citizens give more, but the government does so much less that the country as a whole looks miserly. It would not be right to blame the citizens for this, but the lack of a socially-minded government.

By Vexen Crabtree 2017 Feb 157
Originally published 2007 Mar 10
http://www.vexen.co.uk/countries/charity.html
Parent page: Vexing International Issues

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source..

BBC News. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a UK mainstream public-service mass media broadcaster, known to be reasonably accurate and responsible with its journalism.

Centre for Global Development
2006 report, via BBC News article "Netherlands 'does most for poor'" (2006 Aug 13).

Charities Aid Foundation
World Giving Index. On www.cafonline.org.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2004) "Give to Charity Directly, Not to Church" (2004). Accessed 2017 Feb 17.

Heater & Berridge
(1992) Introduction to International Politics. 1993 version. Published by Harvester Wheatsheaf publishing, Herts, UK.

Sardar, Ziauddin and Davies, Merryl Wyn
(2002) Why Do People Hate America?.

United Nations Human Development Report (UNHDR)
Published annually in association with the UN Development Program. Downloadable PDF files can be found:
2005: hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/pdf/HDR05_complete.pdf (6MB). File accessed 2005 Sep 16.
2006: hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf (8MB). Accessed 2006 Nov 24.

Footnotes

  1. Added to this page on 2017 Feb 15.^
  2. Charities Aid Foundation . Average ranking across years 2013-2016. Lower is better.^
  3. BBC News (2006 Aug 13) article "Netherlands 'does most for poor'". Date last accessed 2017 Feb 15.^
  4. Sardar & Davies (2002) p79.^
  5. Heater & Berridge (1992) p80.^
  6. The Economist (2007 Feb 17) article "Giving to Charity: Bring Back the Victorians".^
  7. 2017 Feb 15: Marked the two older sections of this page with the time periods that they pertain to.^

© 2017 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.