COVID-19 palliatives : One million people benefit from Refugee Zakat Fund worldwide, says UNHCR



…urges organizations, well-meaning people for more contributions

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged Muslims and other faith-based organisations to support refugees struggling to cope with the impact of the current global COVID-19 crisis by contributing to the Refugee Zakat Fund.

In a video statement at the official launch of the UNHCR’s 2020 Islamic Philanthropy Reporting Qatar on Sunday, Mr Khaled Khalifa, Senior Adviser and Regional Representative of the UNHCR to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, said “in the countries where UNHCR operates, the COVID-19 pandemic is an `emergency on top of an emergency’.”


Eleven-year-old Reem is an internally displaced Yemeni girl with a serious medical condition.

The Report which highlights the impact of the Refugee Zakat Fundon vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the globe revealed that in 2019, the Refugee Zakat Fund received a total of over 43,165,000 million dollars, including the largest ever single contribution made by the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund of over 35 million dollars which had helped to support a total of 164,696 vulnerable families (875,000 individuals).

It said 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 life-saving assistance to a total of 191,497 vulnerable families and 1,025,014 refugees and internally displaced persons in Bangladesh, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Mauritania.’’



On his contributions, Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani, Founder of the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund observed that displaced communities were  among the most vulnerable populations that require close and strategic attention from philanthropists.

“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,” the report noted.

It expressing gratitude to the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund, and all individuals, foundations, financial institutions and faith-based organisations who had entrusted UNHCR with their Zakat thus enabling it to reach over one million needy and displaced persons.

“ 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.”

Giving a graphic description of the grim situation of refugees and displaced persons worldwide, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr Filippo Grandi said: “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.”

Faced with the urgent push to curb the risk and lessen the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks on vulnerable communities, the UNHCR had on March 25th, appealed for US$255 million, noting that funds were critical to urgently support UNHCR’s preparedness and response in situations of forced displacement over the next nine months.

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 inception in 2019, the fund has assisted more than one million vulnerable beneficiaries worldwide.


Written by Per Second News

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