Donations to charities in China dropped by 17.9% last year to 49.5 billion yuan, or $7.86 billion, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs reported yesterday. (See link here.)
The fall comes at a time of slowing economic growth and rising social discontent over the distribution of income in the world’s most populous country. Although many eastern cities such as Shanghai glitter with the newest the world has to offer, poverty persists in many inland rural areas.
The decline follows a number of scandals that underscored concerns among donors about the misuse of funds in the country’s state-dominated charity system.
In addition to management woes and poor transparency at well-known charities such as the Red Cross, donations fell because of the lack of major natural disasters last year, the state-published China Daily newspaper said today.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs report was published on the same day that Forbes Asia unveiled its latest “Heroes of Philanthropy” list of 48 notable givers in Asia. (See report here.)
Forbes China magazine, the licensed edition of Forbes, ranked real estate developer Hui Ka Yan as the country’s top philanthropist earlier this year. (See post here.)
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