Saturday 25 February 2017

Revealed: Where Ireland ranks in the world's most generous countries

Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

Cliffs at Howth
Cliffs at Howth

Ireland has once again been ranked as the ninth most generous country in the world and is now second in Europe after the UK.

More than half of Irish people helped a stranger in 2016, with 66pc giving money to charity and 40pc volunteering their time, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index for 2016.

It was revealed that Ireland's overall score dropped from 56pc to 54pc this year.

Ireland held the top spot in Europe until 2015, when it fell to ninth place below the UK and the Netherlands. Both countries have slipped this year, with the UK falling from sixth to eighth and the Netherlands falling from seventh to 13th.

For the first time, the survey found that more than half of the world’s population helped a stranger.

The survey found that generosity was often high in adverse situations.

 Iraq held the top spot for helping a stranger despite the ongoing civil war, and Nepal achieved its highest score yet after the 2015 earthquakes.

The top country is Myanmar, for the third year in a row, where 91pc of people gave money to charity and 55pc volunteered.

The study showed that richer countries did not necessarily give more with only five G20 countries held top-20 positions.

Dr John Law, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “The generosity of people, even in countries suffering from disaster and turmoil, is truly humbling. It’s amazing that more than half the people in the world said they helped a stranger.

“In every country, people have this in-built desire to give and help others. Governments should encourage that spirt of generosity and create the environment in which a strong civil society can flourish allowing people to reach out to those less fortunate than themselves.”

The top ten most generous countries are: Myanmar, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lankar, Canada, Indonesia, the UK, Ireland and the UAE.

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