LONDON — Although torn by civil war, Iraq is the world’s most generous country towards strangers in need, according to a new global index of charitable giving.
Eighty one percent of Iraqis reported helping someone they didn’t know in the previous month, in a global poll commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
For the first time since CAF began the poll in 2010, more than half of people in 140 countries surveyed said they had helped strangers – with many of the most generous found in countries hit hard by disaster and war.
Despite suffering instability and violence, Iraq has twice been ranked top in terms of helping strangers. Libya, with its own internal conflict, was second on the list this year and Somalia, embroiled in civil war for 25 years, fourth.
“I think that the lesson here is societies are incredibly resilient and that large scale disasters tend to activate a collective humanitarian response,” said Adam Pickering, international policy manager at CAF, which promotes charitable giving.
In terms of donations to charity, Myanmar held the top position, with nine out of ten surveyed saying had they given during the previous month.
The United States ranked second on the combined measure of generosity.