Saturday, May 09, 2020 / 09:00AM /
UNHCR / Header Image Credit: UNHCR
The Refugee Zakat Fund has addressed the needs of more than one million refugees and IDPs in 2019.
During the first year of its inception, the Fund has assisted 1,025,014 beneficiaries in eight countries. This includes Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia, Malian refugees in Mauritania, and IDPs in Yemen and Iraq. All such assistance was carefully delivered through Zakat-compliant cash and in-kind distribution activities, including hard-to-reach areas. This has been a critical milestone for the Fund and its potential with Zakat distribution.
UNHCR, through its Refugee Zakat Fund, follows an effective 100% Zakat distribution policy as dictated by the requirements of the fatwas1. With increasing humanitarian needs globally, the entirety of Zakat funds is used to support the most vulnerable refugee and IDP families in key country operations. Zakat funds have advocated dignified living conditions to beneficiaries by allowing them to address basic needs such as shelter, food, education, and healthcare, as well as debt repayment. This assistance has been particularly vital to female-led households who often face cultural, legal, childcare, and job-related obstacles. Zakat-funded assistance has prevented many from facing severe hardships and resorting to desperate survival strategies â€“ such as pulling children out of school and child labor.
In 2019, Zakat funds have covered approximately 12%2 of UNHCRâ€™s expenditure on cash and in-kind assistance activities identified as Zakat-compliant in the eight targeted countries.
This impact was made possible through the generosity of Zakat partners and donors who have entrusted UNHCR with the distribution of $43.165 million in Zakat funds in 2019, in addition to $222,907 in Sadaqah donations and purification funds. While the Fund's impact continues to grow significantly, the number of displaced and host communities, and subsequently their needs, continue to increase as well. In 2019, Zakat funds covered approximately 12% of UNHCR's expenditure on cash and in-kind assistance activities identified as Zakat-compliant in the eight targeted countries.
To adequately address urgent needs across the Fund's target countries, UNHCR will require $2.1 billion in 2020 to support a population of concern of 8.9 million persons, out which the Fund has the capacity to assist 2.2 million beneficiaries and distribute $482.7 million in Zakat and Sadaqah funding. This would only be possible through the on-going support of various Zakat partners, in order to realize the full potential of the Refugee Zakat Fund in assisting the most vulnerable refugee and internally displaced families worldwide.
The significant impact achieved by UNHCR's Refugee Zakat Fund was made possible through partners.
Created primarily as a tool for impactful partnerships, the Fund has now positioned itself as a trusted, compliant and effective distributor, harnessing the power of Zakat to transform the lives of the most vulnerable refugees and IDPs. With its capacity to assist 2.2 million refugees and IDPs in 2020, the sustainable engagement of foundations, Islamic financial institutions, and philanthropists is vital for the achievement of such an impact. In addition to leveraging a growing awareness in the Islamic finance and philanthropy community globally, as well as an increased desire to address global displacement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by Islamic social finance actors, the Fund presents itself as an opportunity for strategic collaboration, not only through Zakat and Sadaqah, but other areas such as Awqaf and Sukuk as well.
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