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Over one million IDPs benefit from Refugee Zakat Fund, says UNHCR

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has disclosed that 191,497 vulnerable families and 1,025,014 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bangladesh, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Mauritania have benefitted from the Refugee Zakat Fund.

It urged Muslims and other faith-based organisations to support refugees who are struggling to cope with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic through donations from the fund.

In a statement at the unveiling of UNHCR’s 2020 Islamic Philanthropy Report in Qatar, its Senior Adviser and Regional Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Khaled Khalifa, stressed that COVID-19 pandemic has become “an emergency on top of an emergency” in countries where UNHCR operates.

The report, which highlighted the impact of the Refugee Zakat Fund on refugees and IDPs across the globe, revealed that in 2019, the Refugee Zakat Fund received a total of over $43.1m, including a huge contribution made by the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund of over $35m, which has helped to support 164,696 vulnerable families or 875,000 individuals.

It further revealed that other donations to the UNHCR Refugee Zakat Fund were from individuals, institutional partners and philanthropists, primarily from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Sheikh Al-Thani, founder of the Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani Humanitarian Fund, said, “Displaced communities are, without a doubt, among the most vulnerable populations that require close and strategic attention from philanthropists wanting to make impact in the world.”

“The Muslim World has a historic opportunity to further demonstrate the significant role of Islamic social finance and particularly Zakat, in humanitarian assistance by extending a helping hand to the world’s displaced populations, while realising key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

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