Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
Under the title ‘Islamic Philanthropy - Transforming the Lives of the World’s Displaced’, UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency, launched its Annual Islamic Philanthropy Report today, highlighting the impact of Zakat, Sadaqah, and Sadaqah Jariyah donations received through its Refugee Zakat Fund.
In 2020, UNHCR supported 2.1 million vulnerable refugees and internally displaced people through Zakat and Sadaqah funds, thanks to institutional partners and philanthropists across the region and globally. In comparison to 2019, Zakat donations witnessed in 2020 an increase of 12.5%, triggering a significant growth in Zakat beneficiaries at 59%.
Contributions received helped UNHCR in providing lifesaving support through the distribution of cash assistance and goods, allowing refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) to address immediate needs including shelter, food, education, healthcare, and debt repayment. Furthermore, the support provided helped refugees and IDPs to effectively address economic hardships that were further exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting on the impact of Islamic philanthropy on marginalised communities, Prof. Dr. Koutoub Moustafa Sano, Secretary General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy stated: “It is heart-warming to see that UNHCR, in its humanitarian response efforts, has succeeded to rely on the foundations of Islamic economics, which entails a complete way of life, realizes comprehensive social development, and is based on noble values, good morals and social justice.”
“With more than 50% of the refugees and IDPs coming from OIC countries, the Muslim community responded with generosity to UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund, in particular in the context of the consequences of the pandemic. But the needs are still high, and there is much space left to cover for the expenditures of Zakat-compliant activities,” added Sano.
Of the 2.1 million beneficiaries of UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund, nearly 1.6 million persons have directly benefitted from Zakat funds in 10 countries: Yemen, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritania, India, Niger and Pakistan. The remaining 0.5 million beneficiaries have benefitted from Sadaqah, Sadaqah Jariyah and purification funds across multiple locations including Chad, Sudan, and Ethiopia. UNHCR’s Senior Advisor on Islamic Philanthropy and Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, Khaled Khalifa said: “We are immensely grateful for the unwavering support and trust of our donors and institutional partners, which allowed us to support over 2 million refugees and IDPs.
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