UNHCR urges Muslims to pray for refugees - GulfToday

UNHCR urges Muslims to pray for refugees


A mother with her children rest at refugee camp. File

To raise awareness on the plight of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) during the Holy Month of Ramadan, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has partnered with OSN, the leading entertainment provider in the Middle East and North Africa. It aims to tell the stories of individual refugees from all walks of life, enlightening the widest possible audience in the region about their plight.

The partnership is part of the most prominent campaign yet from UNHCR to encourage people to remember the needy in Ramadan, with their prayers and with their Zakat contributions, with the agency providing a trusted and efficient route for Muslims to meet their alms-giving obligations through the Zakat Refugee Fund.

OSN channels will air 30 unique and different stories of refugees and IDPs in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Iraq throughout Ramadan.  This docuseries, “I am a refugee, and this is my story” aims to build empathy with people in dire need of support and marks the first stage of a year-long partnership between UNHCR and OSN, which aims to drive awareness for the cause.

“With the Holy Month of Ramadan upon us, we want to bring attention to the growing refugee crisis,” said Houssam Chahin, UNHCR’s Head of Private Sector Partnerships in the MENA region. “We have partnered up with OSN to widen our reach to call upon Muslims and urge them to remember refugees in their prayers and with their Zakat.”

Emad Morcos, Chief Content Officer at OSN added: “We are proud to collaborate with UNHCR to shed light on the reality of refugees. As a leading platform in the region, I have no doubt of the reach and exposure this will bring to families and I trust our community to receive these stories with open hearts and helping hands. It is our corporate duty to offer our support as much as possible through OSN’s social responsibility branch, and we actively look forward to doing more with the help of our partners like UNHCR.”

The Zakat Refugee Fund harnesses the power of mandatory alms given by Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth each year to positively impact the world, with the fund backed by fatwas from religious scholars and with 100% of contributions delivered directly to the most vulnerable refugees and internally displaced families with the click of a button on UNHCR’s Zakat website, zakat.unhcr.org.

UNHCR aims to raise $26 million in Zakat funds to transform the lives of 24,000 eligible and most vulnerable refugee and displaced families in Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Mauritania and Egypt with lifesaving support. UNHCR’s Zakat programme raised $14.4 million from 2016 to 2018, with large donations from individual and institutional donors, primarily from the MENA region, contributing $12.4 million, and $3 million in the form of online giving, with 100% of the funds disbursed to 6,888 families, mainly to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

As per UNHCR’s calculations, contributions of approximately $1,350 can feed, clothe and provide shelter to a vulnerable family for a whole year.

Moreover, UNHCR’s Zakat campaign raised more than $1.5 million in Ramadan alone last year.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. The body deliver life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future.

We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.

The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems world-wide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and to find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.


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