Sadaqah and Zakat for Refugees
Around the world, refugees will be observing Ramadan away from home, amid poverty and destruction. Without enough food or water to break their fast, many simply long for a peaceful Ramadan.
Ramadan is a time for strengthening family and communal ties. Yet for an overwhelming number of widows and orphans, it is a harsh reminder of their isolation.
Instead of looking forward, refugees often look back to the lives they left behind.
This Ramadan, we join together to #bethelight that shows them the way forward. As you gather with your families for Iftar, consider the suffering of a refugee who has lost the privilege of commemorating this period with their loved ones.
The UN Refugee Agency is on the ground providing families with vital support such as shelter, food and monthly cash assistance in countries like Bangladesh, Syria, Yemen and South Sudan. Please support our efforts during the holy month.
“Ramadan is a month of compassion, renewal and service. The resilience of refugees inspires us and reminds us that all the actions we take, big or small, can have an impact”
– Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
million people of concern in the Middle East and North Africa
of refugees in Middle East and Africa under the age of 18
of funding met for Middle East and North Africa region
thousand Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh
UNHCR has a 70-year track record in assisting refugees throughout the world, regardless of their background or plight. Through its Zakat initiative, UNHCR has become the first major agency of its type to provide an efficient, trusted route for people to fulfil their giving obligations.
UNHCR implements a wide range of humanitarian assistance programmes including the provision of shelter, healthcare, education, and cash assistance; the latter has been identified as the best fit for Zakat funds. All Zakat funds received by UNHCR are strictly dedicated to compliant cash assistance programmes, which complements other aid provided by UNHCR.
The traditions of Prophet Muhammed emphasize the importance of charity. As the third pillar of Islam, Zakat is mandatory for adult Muslims who fall over the threshold of Nisab.
This lunar year, dedicate your Zakat to refugees. Use our trusted Zakat calculator to quickly determine how much you should give. Calculate your Zakat based on currency, including gold, silver, cash or stocks.
Why should I give my Sadaqah to UNHCR?
Your Sadaqah is an act of solidarity with a community that is in need of our collective support. UNHCR recognizes the long Islamic and Arab tradition of according asylum-seekers with dignity and respect. This tradition was established long before modern refugee and international law. The Holy Qur’an instructs Muslims to give protection to those who need it.
« “And (remember) when We made the house a place of return for mankind and a place of security.” – [Al-Baqara:125]
UNHCR will act as an intermediary or agent to deliver aid to the most vulnerable families in order to meet their most basic needs
- UNHCR is the only international agency mandated to protect the world’s 21 million refugees
- UNHCR leads the international action to protect people forced to flee from conflict
- UNHCR is present in 130 countries and can deploy assistance within 72 hours of a refugee emergency
Stories of Ramadan
Water for refugees
Food for refugees
Um Imad’s story
Um Ghazi’s story
For thirteen days, Entesar hid in an underground cellar with her four children and her newborn baby in her arms. As bombs and bullets rained down on her home, she knew that she had to flee Syria to keep her family safe.
For the last eight years, Entesar has been living with her children and parents in Jordan’s capital, Amman. Tragically, her husband didn’t make it out of Syria alive.
Refugees like Entesar must scrimp and save, just to put a roof over their heads. Traumatized and unable to work, these families need support to build a life in a country that isn’t theirs.
Cash assistance is an efficient and secure way of helping refugee families rebuild their lives after they’ve lost everything in the brutal war.
With cash assistance, Entesar is able to withdraw a sum of money each month from an ATM, using iris-scan technology. Cash assistance gives refugees the freedom to choose how to spend their money, based on their families’ unique needs. For Entesar, this means using some of the cash she receives to pay for education and support a brighter future for her children.
million refugees on cash assistance
billion in cash assistance reaching refugees
of Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazaar dependent on aid, including cash assistance
cents for each dollar goes directly to families in need
What do refugees use cash assistance for?
- Pay their rent
- Put food on the table
- Buy fuel and winter clothes
- Send their children to school
- Cover their medical costs
- Repay their debts
What does cash assistance mean?
- By ensuring their basic needs, cash assistance helps prevent thousands of refugees who are restricted from working in their host country from facing severe hardship and resorting to desperate survival strategies â€“ such as pulling children out of school, child labour and begging, resorting to survival sex, early marriage or returning to war zones.
- It helps refugees to improve their social networks by allowing them to repay loans from family, neighbours, and landlords and thereby reduces household tensions.
- It provides support to those most in need. In the case of Syria, this often means the single mothers who face cultural, legal and childcare obstacles when trying to find work, or the families taking care of orphaned children, in already difficult circumstances.
- It benefits the local economy as refugees become customers at local shops and markets.
How does the cash asssistance program work?
- Refugees who register with UNHCR have their irises scanned, acting as a unique form of identification. Based on this assessment UNHCR identifies families in need of cash assistance. Once identified, families, can withdraw their cash assistance using more than 100 ATMs that are equipped with iris scan technology, thus ensuring full transparency and preventing fraud..
How does UNHCR make sure that cash assistance sent to families is well spent?
- UNHCR continuously monitors cash recipients, assessing their vulnerabilities and quality of living and follow up with the families through home visits. UNHCR was one of the first UN agencies to employ cash-based assistance in the mid-80s and has developed in-depth expertise in this field. Over the years, we have seen its remarkable effect on the life of refugees and forcibly displaced people