In September 2016, UNHCR in coordination with the Tabah Foundation launched its Zakat initiative aiming to raise much needed funds for the most vulnerable refugees in the region.
All collected Zakat funds from September 2016 to December 2017 were dedicated to UNHCR’s cash assistance programme in Jordan. These funds benefited some 14,775 Syrian refugee families (approximately 73,875 individuals) living in urban areas in Jordan and enabled beneficiaries to cover essential costs of living for one month, such as rent, debt repayment, utilities, medical care for children, clothing, school fees and food. It also helped refugees to improve their social networks by allowing them to repay loans borrowed from family, neighbours, and landlords; therefore reducing household and community tensions. Vulnerable families are often headed by women who often face cultural, legal and childcare-related obstacles in finding work. Cash assistance helps prevent thousands of refugees from facing severe hardship and resorting to desperate survival strategies – such as pulling children out of school, child labour, begging, survival sex, early marriage or returning to war zones. UNHCR monitors cash recipients, assessing their vulnerabilities and quality of living and following up with the families through home visits. In 2019 UNHCR launched the Refugee Zakat Fund aiming to provide 24,000 Zakat eligible - and the most vulnerable - refugee and displaced families from Syria, Iraq, and Yemen with lifesaving support. Below are the amounts received and distributed per month, from September 2016 until September 2018.