How Your Zakat Empowers Refugees Through Education

Among the starkest disparities faced by refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) is education: only 6% of refugees have access to higher education, while the global average enrollment among non-refugees stands at about 40%. When compounded with similar gaps in primary and secondary education, these discrepancies deny refugees and IDPs the vocational skills that would help them achieve financial independence, lift their families out of poverty, and become productive contributors to their societies. In response, UNHCR has been working hard

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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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Welcoming New Hijri Year: Building inclusive communities takes leadership

Muslims around the world celebrated the new Islamic calendar year, 1444 AH, on July 29, 2022. This occasion, which took place in 622 CE, draws its significance more as historical event than religious celebration. However, Hijra, or the migration from Mecca to Medina, is a momentous event that shaped Islamic civilization and is used to chronicle its history. At its core, Hijra is a human story and its main actors are refugees who sought a new beginning in a distant

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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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UNHCR launches its Eid al-Adha campaign

On the occasion of Dhul Hijjah, UNHCR sheds light on the increasing poverty and food insecurity facing refugees, internally displaced people and host communities in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, in light of deteriorating economic conditions. Until the situation improves in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Jordan, community members in these countries will continue to suffer. They urgently need your generous support to help them secure their basic needs, such as shelter, food, and clean drinking water, at a time when

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An Appeal from me to you on the last days of Ramadan; Remember refugees and IDPs with your Zakat and Sadaqah

Dear, I hope this email finds you in good health and spirit as we approach the end of the holy month of Ramadan. First and foremost, I would like to express my honest gratitude for the support you have been providing to refugees and IDPs, during this month and all year round. I genuinely have so much respect for people like you, who didn’t forget about those who had to forcibly leave their homes. Where I live, in the United

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Your Zakat Makes a Long Lasting Impact on the Lives of Refugees and IDPs

This year, UNHCR continues to deal with several protracted situations of displacement, which produced many refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the globe, including Syrians, Yemenis, Iraqis, Rohingyas, Malians and Nigerians, among others. As the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating economic consequences, displaced people affected by these crises remain to be in need for humanitarian assistance, for them to continue to live in safety and dignity. Needless to say, the highest social and economic

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H.E. Prof Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano: “Zakat is an entrusted right upon the Zakat payer towards eligible beneficiaries.”

During the launch event of UNCHR’s 3rd Islamic philanthropy annual report on 29 March 2021, H.E. Prof Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General, International Islamic Fiqh Academy – IIFA (a subsidiary of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation – OIC), said that “Zakat is an entrusted right upon the Zakat payer towards eligible beneficiaries.”. It was my first time to think of Zakat this way. Of course, I believe in it as a duty on every eligible Muslim but did not

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The Power of 2.5%

Philanthropy has evolved over the past century and driven some of the most profound social impact success stories. At UNHCR, we develop partnerships with aspirations of achieving audacious results and successes. Our Refugee Zakat Fund is an innovative initiative that hopes to bring a catalytic and systemic change in the way we approach and perceive ‘giving’ in general, as well as, the way we look at support for refugees – dignified support. Of course, we cannot aspire alone. It takes

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What are refugees praying for during Ramadan?

Last Ramadan, UNHCR field staff in Lebanon and Jordan asked Syrian refugee families about how they are spending Ramadan – and we discovered something beautiful. Despite living in severe need, refugee families are praying for others every single day during Ramadan and beyond. Please watch this heartwarming video that we made out of the prayers that were caught on camera… “I pray for all mankind, may god enrich our hearts with kindness towards each other, and put mercy in the

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