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Philanthropy – Pakistan’s forte

 

 

Pakistanis are an extremely generous nation. It is not we who claim it but a recent study conducted by Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy. It shows that around 2 Billion Dollars are given as charity by the Pakistani people. We guess Abdul Sattar Edhi did leave behind a better Pakistan. The very study puts charity contributions as more than 1% of Pakistan’s GDP, which helps it stand among the ranks of far richer countries like the United Kingdom with 1.3% GDP to charity) and Canada with 1.2% of GDP, and roughly twice of what India gives relative to GDP. It also specifies that around 98 percent of people in the country give in one form or another—if not with cash, then by volunteering for needy causes or with in-kind donations.

A research was held via household surveys and focus group discussions. It accounted for philanthropy in three ways: monetary giving, in-kind giving, and time volunteered. The results outlined 67% of survey respondents who give to individuals whereas 33% of respondents preferred entrusting their donations to organizations. Hence, most of the donations go directly to individuals rather than charitable organizations despite this custom of giving. Supporting needy individuals is an integral part of social safety net of Pakistan but to fully realize the impact of such acts of kindness, more sustainable and structured mechanisms will have to be set up for a future that can with stand a few economic downturns.

There is a fear of misuse in the minds of the local populace which is a driving force behind discouraging people from donating to organizations. The private sector may most probably be suffering from that lack of trust but the inclination towards religious centers as Mosques and madrassahs is huge as they are more trusted than civil society organizations. To deal with that, efforts are being made in Pakistan to put the charity in the rightful hands. Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Peace Collective (PPC), Shabbir Anwar has said that his organization’s effective safer charity campaigns like “Haq Haqdaar Taak” and “PurAzam Pakistan ” had created awareness among the public which were launched through print and electronic media. He added that PPC was the Pakistani Government’s project which helps to increase public support and augmented resilience against extremism and violence in Pakistan.

He also shed light on the fact that one of the objectives of PPC has been to inform people in various districts about authentic organizations working in their respective areas for their benefit and welfare. He expressed that it was comforting for him to observe that people first inquire the authenticity of the charity organizations and their activities before giving their Zakat and other donations. He characterized it as a big development and a success of PPC campaigns.

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