Washington: The people of Australia and New Zealand are the most generous in the world when it comes to donating for charity, said a study that added that Sri Lankans are the leading charity donors in Asia.
The "World Giving Index" was produced by Britain-based Charities Aid Foundation after a survey in 153 countries.
Australia and New Zealand topped the "World Giving Index", Malta was found to be the country with the largest percentage of the population giving money, the people of Turkmenistan are the most generous with giving time to charity work and Liberia was the number one country for helping a stranger.
A statement issued by the embassy of Sri Lanka here said that the regional winners were: Asia - Sri Lanka, Europe - Ireland, North America - Canada, South America - Guyana, Africa - Sierra Leone with Australia and New Zealand sharing the Australasia mantle.
The global survey by the independent research company Gallup measured the percentage of people who have given money to charity, the number of people who have given time to those less fortunate than themselves, and those who helped a stranger.
In the index`s global league table, Sri Lanka ranked as eighth most charitable country in the world, and came second globally only to Turkmenistan as the country where people volunteered their time for good causes
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "The level of giving in a country indicates something about the strength of civil society."
"In an international report it is important to recognise both giving of time as well as money since a simple measure of financial donations would, on the whole, make the wealthiest nations appear the most charitable."
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said: "This report`s conclusions are an honour for each and every citizen of Sri Lanka. The conflict that brought suffering to all families is mercifully now behind us and this global survey by such a respected body captures the mood and reality of our caring and sharing society.
"We are building a single united nation with a bright future ahead of us and whilst this is not without obstacles this new report fills me with encouragement that we will nurture peace and harmony, particularly by helping each other to move to the future together."