President calls for promotion of philanthropy to address poverty


ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday while appreciating character of the Pakistani nation in charitable services, called for promotion of philanthropy both at the state and corporate level to address the challenges of poverty and social inequality.
Addressing the launching ceremony of a research study and corporate philanthropy awards held by the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP) and British Council here, he said the philanthropists played their role to bridge the gaps in the social development of the country.
The ceremony was attended by PCP Board of Directors Chairman Zafar A Khan, Executive Director Shazia Maqsood, British Council Country Director Amir Ramazan representatives of renowned corporate firms and people from various civil society organizations.
The president also distributed awards among the corporate firms who contributed the most in the philanthropic services, and appreciated their contribution to the society.
He said there had been a trust deficit between the people and the government that was why they did not pay taxes. Contrarily, they donated wholeheartedly to charitable organizations like Edhi Foundation and Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
Lauding the remarkable contribution of Pakistani diaspora in the United Kingdom in philanthropy, he said the Pakistanis were outstanding in giving.
He recalled the extraordinary contribution of the Pakistani society after the 2005 earthquake when people from across the country rushed to the quake-hit areas to help those in distress.
The president also shared his experiences in charity works and said the religion was a major factor to promote philanthropy in the Pakistani society and also narrated verses of the Holy Quran and numerous incidents from Islamic history underscoring the significance of giving.
He said as the discrepancy among the rich and poor had been increasing, the corporate sector should show their responsibility to the clients, environment and the coming generation.
He also urged the states not to create war and rivalry and talk about peace.
The president said the states should utilize their resources in such a way which could promote philanthropy in the country.
He said philanthropy should move beyond charity towards building human and social capital: it should invest in education, in enhancing social and economic opportunities for those who are less privileged, and in building organizations to address social ills.
He said it was inspiring to find out that the corporate social responsibility donations made by the corporate sector were worth Rs12.78 billion in the year 2018, showing an increase by 20% from the previous year 2017.
He further said the public sector in Pakistan had inadequate resources to provide basic social amenities to its ever-increasing population, philanthropy had become a potential resource to fill this gap.
In his address, PCP Board of Directors Chairman Zaffar A Khan said the philanthropists needed to be encouraged to focus more on the creation of social assets which could become instrumental in permanently reducing poverty rather than simply providing temporary relief to the poor and the needy.