Despite the global recession, private giving and remittances are expected to be lifelines to help developing countries weather the economic storm, according to the new 2009 Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances published by Hudson Institute's Center for Global Prosperity (CGP).
The most comprehensive measurement of global private giving, this year's Index shows that philanthropy from all developed to developing countries increased to $49 billion in 2007 (latest available data). Despite the loss of assets in 2008, giving abroad by foundations, corporations, charities, churches, and individuals is not expected to take a sharp downward turn in 2009, according to Index analysis. Remittances—money sent from migrants living in developed countries back to their families and towns in the developing world —may be the most recession-resilient means to help alleviate poverty in underdeveloped countries. This $145 billion sent back home exceeds government aid from developed countries, which totals $103.5 billion. Even with the economic downturn, remittances grew 9% in 2008 and are expected to decline by less than 10% in 2009.
Global generosity is on the rise abroad in both developed and developing countries. This year's Index breaks new ground by documenting private giving in 11 developed countries outside the United States, identifying a new total of $12 billion for all other donors. Private giving continues to transform the decades-old government aid architecture in other countries as well, from Chinese action-star turned celebrity-philanthropist Jet Li helping Chinese earthquake victims, to Tony Blair's charitable foundation reaching out to countries in need.