Myanmar was for decades ruled by an oppressive military junta. However, since the country returned to democratic ways, things have changed. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has just stated that Myanmar is home to the world's most generous people. It is the third successive year for the country to achieve this accolade. The CAF "World Giving Index" found that 91 per cent of Myanmar residents gave money to charity in the past year, 62 per cent helped a stranger, and 55 per cent claimed they had volunteered. An economic adviser to Myanmar's president said: "The results demonstrate very sharply how a 'poor' country can be a 'rich' one through its generosity, by focusing on giving rather than getting."
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The report also found that people in Iraq are the kindest to strangers. Eight in 10 Iraqis are reported to have helped someone they don't know in the past year. The BBC commented on how significant this statistic was, given the turmoil Iraq has been in for years because of war. It stated that: "It is the kindness of Iraqis…to complete strangers in the face of years of conflict and terrible violence which stands out in the list." John Low, CEO of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "The generosity of people, even in countries suffering from disaster and turmoil, is truly humbling." He added: "Unconditional gifts of time and money are a life-changing force for good in the world."