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 costs are borne by the most vulnerable among forcibly displaced persons, who despite the harsh reality they face, have refused to let these circumstances define them. They show utmost resilience that inspire us every day to continue doing what we do best: protection, assistance, and creating opportunities for a better future.
With humanitarian needs on the rise, including in countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), from which 60% of refugees and IDPs originate, UNHCR established in 2019 the Refugee Zakat Fund, a trusted, compliant, and effective mechanism harnessing the power of Zakat and Sadaqah to transform the lives of vulnerable refugees and IDPs. Ever since, UNHCR has been issuing annual Islamic Philanthropy reports to showcase the impact of the fund on the lives of its beneficiaries.
According to the most recent report, Zakat and Sadaqah received through UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund in 2021 helped improve the lives of more than 1.2 million (including over 687,000 through Zakat alone) in 14 countries. On this impact, the High Commissioner for Refugees says: “I thank you, particularly in this holy month of Ramadan, for every act of kindness, every thought, every prayer, every gift. All of this counts and helps improve the lives of those who are forced to flee their homes.”
As many refugees and IDPs around the world struggle to make ends meet during the month of Ramadan and year-round, your Zakat (and Sadaqah) donation can go a long way in providing them with much needed food, shelter, and medicine, among other forms of basic necessities for dignified survival.
For instance, Laila, an internally displaced Iraqi grandmother, has been the sole provider for her grandchildren after losing her husband and son. As she battles cancer and endures chemotherapy, her needs have increased during the month of Ramadan and with the coming of Eid, especially for her grandchildren.
Laila’s family is one of thousands of vulnerable displaced families that depend on assistance from UNHCR, in Iraq and elsewhere across the region and globally. Through the Refugee Zakat Fund, 100% of your Zakat goes towards helping them secure shelter, food, water, and medicine, mainly through direct cash assistance programmes implemented by UNHCR. This time, more than ever before, #EveryGiftCounts for people like Leila and her grandchildren.