New Delhi: As per the World Giving Index (WGI) 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic has upended giving trends across the world as several western economies have glided down the Index due to Covid lockdowns.
The Charities Aid Foundation’s (CAF) has released this year’s survey which highlights the effects of lockdowns on charitable giving, like the USA, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the Netherlands, all fell out of the highest rankings.
Now, India is in the Top 20 most generous countries in the world, at 14. This is up from the 10-year global rank of 82. Only Australia and New Zealand maintained their top 10 rankings, during the survey that was undertaken weeks before the first wave of the pandemic took hold.
Many countries have moved up the rankings and made their first appearance in the top 10. The list includes Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, and Kosovo, but whilst their overall giving scores have increased somewhat, their rise is driven by the relative decline of other countries. During the pandemic, communities around the world gathered to help fellow citizens, resulting in the highest ‘helped a stranger’ figures since 2009. More than half (55%) of the world’s adults, or 3 billion people, were said to have helped someone they didn’t know in 2020.
Likewise, more people provided money in 2020 than had done so in the last five years (31%). Levels of offering in 2020 are broadly unchanged at the global level. Indonesia retains its position at the top, followed by Kenya. Four African nations now sit in the top 10, where three of them (Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda) are for the first time. Most western countries which are usually in the Top 10 have fallen far down the rankings.
Rankings for India rapidly improved between 2017 and 2019, and this change was maintained during 2020. The development in India is seen across all age groups and amongst both men and women. 61% of Indians helped strangers; 34% volunteered, and 36% donated money.
Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive of CAF India, by providing the insights on India’s performance on the Index, said: ‘This report comes at a time when India is reeling under a severe COVID wave. And it is commendable to see India perform well on the Index. It gives a lot of hope to see that people are generously contributing money and time to various causes — especially COVID relief.’
The WGI is a global survey, which has surveyed more than 1.6 million people since 2009 and asks each of the three questions: ‘Have they helped a stranger, given money, or volunteered for a good cause over the past month?’
Batra explains by quoting the numbers: ‘Last year during the nationwide lockdown, jobless migrant workers from across India made a beeline for their villages, on foot, battling hunger and heat. But last year also saw many individuals, volunteers, NGOs, RWAs, spiritual and other community institutions, such as Gurdwaras coming out to help them. About 61 percent of Indians helped strangers last year.’