Meet Salha, Whose Suffering Reaches New Extremes During Winter 

Despite losing her father at a young age, 45-year-old Syrian refugee Salha Tammo looks back fondly on her life in Aleppo before the war, when she was debt-free and close to her brothers who provided for the family. Nowadays, though, her situation could not be more different. After being forced to flee her hometown, she has lived in a camp called Basirma in northern Iraq for nine years, where she is now the sole caregiver for her elderly mother (age

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You Know where Zakat goes

We know exactly where every penny of Zakat is being spent, how, and on whom, and we make sure they are eligible in the first place. This is because Zakat donors are choosing who to help and where based on the Zakat-eligible options that are provided by UNHCR. In the case where Zakat donors choose the ‘where it’s most needed’ option, our internal Islamic Philanthropy team assesses where (and to whom) these funds are best channeled. This assessment is based

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We Ensure Zakat-compliance

We take this matter extremely seriously, as we have been honored to receive some 15 fatwas that form our approach to both governance and compliance. Piloting UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund in 2018 and 2019, then establishing the fund in 2019, came as a result of issuing several fatwas that endorse UNHCR to receive and distribute Zakat funds under certain conditions which UNHCR is always respecting: Condition 1: Zakat funds must be given to the categories mentioned in Quran 9:60. Condition

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We Distribute your Zakat

Through UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund, your Zakat, in full, is directly distributed to eligible refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who need it the most. We always prefer to distribute your Zakat in the form of cash assistance that gives beneficiaries the freedom to act upon their priorities and decide how to best make use of this invaluable assistance. Most beneficiaries around the world constantly report back on cash enabling them to secure, in order of priority: shelter/ rent, food,

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You Dedicate Zakat

Zakat donors can choose to dedicate part of their Zakat every year to help eligible refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). For the purpose, UNHCR has established in 2019 the Refugee Zakat Fund, as a trusted, compliant, and effective distributor harnessing the power of Zakat (and Sadaqah) to assist eligible, most vulnerable refugees and IDPs in Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Somalia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Since the first year of its establishment, the Refugee Zakat Fund

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We Identify eligible beneficiaries

There are currently more than 100 million forcibly displaced persons around the world, mostly refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), more than 50% of them are originating from member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In all countries where UNHCR operates, we follow vulnerability assessment frameworks that allow us to identify the most vulnerable beneficiaries that cannot survive without our humanitarian assistance. UNHCR defines vulnerability as the risk of household exposure to harm, primarily in relation to protection

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Meet Hamad and His Family, Faces of Refugee Struggles during the Bitter Cold Winter 

During the winter months, people forced to flee are faced with increased hardships and costs. As temperatures drop amid extreme weather, they struggle to meet basic needs like heating their shelters, buying warm clothes, and cooking hot meals.  When people think of winter, they often associate it with thick clothes, family gatherings around fire, and a warm evening meal. But the reality is completely different for thousands of vulnerable refugees and internally displaced families in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and

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What You Need to Know About Our 100% Zakat Distribution Policy 

Zakat is a cherished amanah from Zakat donors who entrust a Zakat agent to deliver their Zakat to its eligible beneficiaries. ‘UNHCR is considered an agent. The entirety of the collected Zakat must be distributed to eligible recipients mentioned in Quran 9:60. None of it can be used to cover operations or wages; those must be covered by other sources’. UNHCR takes this responsibility very seriously, and therefore its Refugee Zakat Fund is subject to rigorous governance and oversight to

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Bitter cold winter nights: how your Zakat will bring hope and alleviate suffering.

“Winter assistance will be like a blessing to me; without it, the situation will be very hard”. Huda, Syrian refugee in Lebanon With these words, Huda answered our question, “How is winter assistance essential and helpful to you?” For refugee families, winter is not just the weather and seasonal change, it’s a set of evolving challenges of hardships. In reality, words fall short when we try to convey the reality and harshness of winter on refugee families. How can we

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Thousands of forcibly displaced families are affected by drought in the Horn of Africa

“I can’t count the number of people that were displaced with us. Nearly everyone in the village left. It was such a long journey […] our cattle suffered horribly” Ardo, East Somalia internally displaced mother-of-four. Ardo did not want to leave her village in eastern Ethiopia. But it had barely rained in months; her cattle were dying, and her children were hungry. She had to walk about 260 kilometers from her village in search desperately for water and pasture to feed her

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