“If a strong civil society is the engine that drives nation building then Philanthropy is its fuel” Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha H.I, S.I., addresses the Global Donors Forum 2014 in Washington
16th April 2014 – In his address at this year’s event in Washington, the Chairman of the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP), Dr. Lakha highlighted the importance of Philanthropy for nation building. He traced the roots of systemized philanthropy in Islam and enlightened the audience about the various ways in which Islam and other religions encourage and ordain philanthropy.
He stressed upon the importance of organized philanthropy for promoting social investment, formation of a strong civil society and in turn, a strong nation. He also observed that some of the most important events in world history were brought about by civil activism, highlighting its importance for development and progress. He stated that that civil society is the modern day engine of social and economic development around the world and that this engine runs on the fuel of philanthropy.
He said that about 20 years ago, 80% of aid flow to Asia and Africa came from bilateral and multilateral donors with the private sector constituting 20% of such support. Today, the ratio has completely reversed with the private sector providing 80% of aid flows.
He shared with the audience examples of institutions from around the world that are putting into practice the Quranic values of social justice and equitable distribution of resources. He informed the audience, that according to a study by Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the resources generated from philanthropy of the people of Pakistan amounted to five times more than the foreign grants received in the year 1998. He stated that this led to the creation of the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy which has a mandate to enhance the volume and effectiveness of philanthropy in the country. To date, PCP has played a significant role in promoting philanthropy, advocating for an enabling environment, overcome the trust deficit in CSOs through its evaluation and certification programme, and by generating knowledge in the area of its core mandate. PCP's ability to influence the creation of a more enabling environment for philanthropy and civil society is perhaps one of its most strategic contributions.
In his concluding remarks he said that economies in the developing world are growing at a faster pace than many industrialized countries, with corporate philanthropy playing a bigger role. For example, corporate philanthropy in Pakistan has increased 18 fold in the last eight years fuelling the civil society engine. This growth in the economy augers well for charitable giving by individuals and corporations and thereby support for civil society initiatives.
On this occasion, Mr. Babur Javed, Senior Manager of PCP’s certification programme also gave a presentation on “Promoting Culture of Transparency and Accountability”. PCP’s delegation will meet various philanthropists, multilateral and bilateral donors and intermediary organizations during the visit.
The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (WCMP) is a global network of affluent individuals, foundations, and socially responsible corporations established to advance efficient and accountable giving. Once a year, the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists convenes social investors, government and business leaders, experts and visionaries from across the world to offer pragmatic insight and constructive response to the pressing global challenges. The annual convening of WCMP is widely recognized as the premier global forum on Muslim Philanthropy. The forum serves as a marketplace for ideas, a platform for sharing knowledge and forging partnerships, and a safe space for leading rational debate on issues unique to the Muslim societies.
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