Still dazed after a year since Super Typhoon Yolanda delivered a devastating wallop never been experience in the history of the Philippines, now comes another foreboding calamity represented by Typhoon Ruby with at least nine provinces in the Visayas are expected to reel from its effects. An estimated 4.5 million people stand to suffer the “whip” of typhoon “Hagupit, the international name of Ruby, which already has activated the panic mode button from the affected areas with reports of “panic buying of food breaking out in the areas affected”.
The memories of the massive devastation from Supertyphoon Yolanda which occurred just a little over year ago still cause traumatic nightmares to thousands whose lives have been shattered with little possibility of living normal lives again or even a semblance of it. In areas hit by calamities, the poor and the marginalized get to suffer more from inadequate reaction and government neglect.
Poor Myanmar Responds to Call for Help
One of the 60 generous countries that came to the aid of the Philippines after the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda was Myanmar with its President Thein Sein presenting his country’s donation of $100,000 donation and some seven tons of food and other relief goods to the victims.
Myanmar’s generous gesture, coming as it did from a country in the midstof problems itself, the effort highlighted the giving culture that characterizes this country of 50 million (the 25th most populous country in the world) which has Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand as its neighbors.
Myanmar, with its high proportion of Theravada Buddhists tied the U.S. in generosity according to the 2014 World Giving Index which noted that although “a booming economy helps, it’s hardly required in order to become one of the most generous nations in the world”.
The data released by Charitable Aid Foundation America which included 135 countries revealed that 91 per cent of people in Myanmar donated money last year enabling it to share the top position of generosity.
Myanmar climbed its way to number one with its deeply-rooted charitable tradition where charity or dana plays an integral role in the Theravada Buddhist Community of half a million monks. The number represents the highest proportion of monks in any Buddhist country.
Lower income or developing countries made it to the list of most charitable countries also and which include Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago. Several developing or lower-income countries – including Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago –ranked among the most charitable.
Myanmar’s top ranking has been connected to its commitment tin helping its neighbor, the Philippines, after last year’s Typhoon Haiyan.
The giving patterns were linked into the respondents’ reply to a questionnaire that asked if they donated money, volunteered with an organization, helped a stranger in the month and were tallied to come up with the final score.
The Top 20 countries in World Giving Index are: 1. Myanmar and United States of America 3. Canada 4. Ireland 5. New Zealand 6. Australia 7. Malaysia 8. United Kingdom 9. Sri Lanka 10. Trinidad and Tobago 11. Bhutan 12. Netherlands
13. Indonesia 14. Iceland 15. Kenya 16. Malta 17. Austria