Vietnam leads Asia-Pacific for charitable donations: survey

By Vi Vu   October 22, 2017 | 07:27 pm PT
Vietnam leads Asia-Pacific for charitable donations: survey
Primary schoolboys with bare feet and their pants rolled up as they need to cross a river to enjoy class time every day in Vietnam's northern highlands. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Most donations in the region were given to children’s causes, natural disaster relief and poverty alleviation.

Vietnam appears to be the most generous market in the Asia-Pacific region according to a new survey that has found that a large number of its population donate to charities.

The country led the region with 78.5 percent of its people saying they donated to charity, followed by Thailand with 66.3 percent and Hong Kong with 60.2 percent, according to the Mastercard Ethical Spending and Charitable Giving Survey released earlier this month.

More than 8,700 consumers across 14 markets were questioned online in November last year and 50.4 percent said they donated to charity, slightly up from 49.9 percent the previous year.

Georgette Tan, senior vice president of communications of Mastercard in Asia-Pacific, said that this year’s findings are encouraging. “Consumers across both developed and emerging markets are doing their part to help those less fortunate and give back to their communities,” she said.

The top three recipients were children’s education and health, local natural disaster relief, and poverty and starvation alleviation, it said.

According to the survey, the region has seen a rise of ethical awareness, with more people making purchasing decisions based on whether the products are environmentally friendly, follow fair trade principles or their producers are socially responsible and share part of their revenue with good causes.

In Vietnam, the number of people donating to charity has increased 8.7 percentage points from 2015. There were also more donors in New Zealand and Hong Kong, but fewer in China, India and Indonesia, the survey found.

Vietnamese people earned an average of $2,200 last year, and official data showed that more than 8 percent of local families were living under the poverty line (less than VND700,000 ($30.81) a month in rural areas and VND900,000 ($39.61) in urban areas).

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