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The New Arab

Iraqis and Arabs are the world's 'most generous'

Iraq has been affected by war and mass displacement [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 October, 2016

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A poll has found that Iraqis are the world's most generous to strangers, while Arab countries dominated the top ten ranks.

Iraqis are the world's most generous people to strangers in need, according to a global poll commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), with 81 percent reporting to have helped someone they didn't know in the previous month.

Other countries who were ranked highly like Iraq, were also experiencing some form of conflict.  

Libya, with its own civil war, was second on the list this year and Somalia, embroiled in civil war for 25 years, fourth.

Six out of the ten countries most highly ranked for helping strangers were Arab countries. 

"I think that the lesson here is societies are incredibly resilient and that large scale disasters tend to activate a collective humanitarian response," said Adam Pickering, international policy manager at CAF, according to Reuters.

"The generosity of people, even in countries suffering from disaster and turmoil, is truly humbling. It's amazing that more than half the people in the world said they helped a stranger," said John Low, chief executive of the CAF.

"In every country, people have this in-built desire to give and help others. Governments should encourage that spirt of generosity and create the environment in which a strong civil society can flourish allowing people to reach out to those less fortunate than themselves."

For the first time since the index began, more than half of people in 140 countries said they helped a stranger, and record numbers of people volunteered their time. 

The numbers of people worldwide giving money was very slightly up.

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