Islamic Finance

UNHCR urges continued Zakat contributions amid COVID-19 emergency

  • In 2019, the Refugee Zakat Fund has received a total of $43,165,000 allowing UNHCR to provide lifesaving support to over 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons in Bangladesh, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Mauritania
  • UNHCR urges Muslims to support refugees struggling to cope with the repercussions of the global COVID-19 outbreak through the Refugee Zakat Fund. Zakat will reach families affected by lockdowns and lack of economic opportunities
  • “In the countries where UNHCR operates, the COVID-19 pandemic is an ‘emergency on top of an emergency,” says Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Regional Representative to the GCC Countries, in a video statement 

Dubai, 20 April  2020: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched on Sunday the findings of its 2020 Islamic Philanthropy Report, highlighting the impact of the Refugee Zakat Fund on vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the globe. The Report revealed that in 2019, the Refugee Zakat Fund received a total of over USD 43 million, including the largest ever single contribution made by the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund of over USD 35 million which has helped support a total of 164,696 vulnerable families (875,000 individuals).

“Displaced communities are, without a doubt, among the most vulnerable populations that require close and strategic attention from philanthropists wanting to make a serious impact on the state of the globe,” said Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani, Founder of the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund.  “The Muslim world has a historic opportunity to further demonstrate the significant role of Islamic social finance, and particularly Zakat, in humanitarian assistance, through extending a helping hand to the world’s displaced populations, while realizing key Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

Other donations to the UNHCR Refugee Zakat Fund were from individuals, institutional partners and philanthropists primarily from the MENA region. These donations have helped provide lifesaving assistance to a total of 191,497 vulnerable families (1,025,014 individuals).

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund, and all individuals, foundations, financial institutions and faith-based organizations who have enabled us to reach over 1 million persons in need and have entrusted UNHCR with their Zakat” said Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor and Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries.

“Today, and in view of the current global health situation, more refugees will require our humanitarian assistance, and Zakat and Islamic philanthropy can have a significant impact in responding to these needs.” Khalifa added.

On March 25th, UNHCR appealed for $255 million for its urgent push to curb the risk and lessen the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks on vulnerable communities. Funds are critical to urgently support preparedness and response in situations of forced displacement over the next nine months.

“Imagine trying to cope with this (the coronavirus pandemic) crisis with no access to soap and water to wash your hands. No hope of isolating yourself because of overcrowded conditions. No shelter to stay safely inside. Imagine having to do this after already having been forced by war to flee your home and your family. This is the tragic reality today for far too many refugees and displaced families around the world,” said Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in a video statement.

The Refugee Zakat Fund was launched by UNHCR in 2019, as a trusted, compliant and effective distributor harnessing the power of Zakat to transform the lives of the most vulnerable refugee and IDPs, through partnerships and collaboration with Zakat institutions, foundations and philanthropists. The fund is backed by five fatwas (religious rulings) and is subject to strict governance, ensuring utmost transparency at every step - from donation to provision of assistance. Since its first year of inception in 2019, the fund has assisted more than one million vulnerable beneficiaries worldwide.

Copyright Press Releases 2020


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