New Zealand, Canada Tie for 2nd Most Giving Country in the World

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By Reissa Su | December 5, 2013 2:39 PM EST

New Zealand has the distinction of being the world's second most giving country thanks to the generosity of New Zealanders. The results of the World Giving Index Survey were released by Charities Aid Foundation based in the UK.

New Zealand is tied at second place with Canada and Myanmar. According to the Giving Index, 40 per cent of Kiwis volunteered in various charitable institutions in 2012. The figure rose from 38 per cent in the previous list released in 2012.

World Vision New Zealand CEO Chris Clarke said he had observed an increasing number of New Zealanders especially the youth who are taking the time to help in the past year. Mr Clarke said he finds it inspiring when Kiwis who don't have a lot of money to give away chose to share their skills and talents.

The World Giving Index also found that 67 per cent of Kiwis have aided a stranger and donated money to charities in 2012. World Vision's appeal for Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines had raised $1.4 million in just more than a month. The organisation noted that most of the donations came from "middle New Zealand" with amounts less than $40.

Mr Clarke said the people of New Zealand have a generous nature despite being a small nation with a population of 4.5 million. Kiwis give generously whenever a crisis occurs in some part of the world.

Oxfam New Zealand engagement and marketing director Gwen Parson said New Zealanders do not only respond to a crisis happening in their own country but in others as well. Kiwis support Oxfam including five to six other charities.

The Charities Aid Foundation surveyed 135 countries. Australia was the most giving country in 2012 but has now dropped to number seven in the rankings.

The average number of people giving donations and volunteering time rose in 2012 despite the slow growth of the global economy.

Generous international donation

New Zealand has pledged an additional $2.975 million to boost ongoing relief operations in central Philippines. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the recent donation will bring New Zealand's total typhoon aid to $5 million.

Relief goods and emergency supplies have been flowing into the typhoon-devastated country as more people are in need of food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

According to McCully, the funds from New Zealand will be used to purchase food, water containers, power generators, tarpaulins, kitchen sets and chainsaws. New Zealand will give additional funds to the International Red Cross and World Food Programme to facilitate the purchase and distribution of emergency supplies.

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