UNHCR extends collaboration and protection for refugees on its fourth Ramadan campaign in partnership with the Sheikhul Islam Office, the Council for Humanitarian Networking and Thai Muslim Trade Association

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Forced displacement is now affecting more than one percent of humanity. 79.5 million people have been forced to flee from persecution to find safety. With fewer and fewer countries of origin such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, able to make peace, many Muslims, including Rohingya forced to flee to Bangladesh, have no choice, but to observe the holy month of Ramadan away from home and families in situations of extreme poverty and vulnerability under the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, continues its Ramadan campaign in Thailand for the fourth year in partnership with the Sheikhul Islam Office and the Council for Humanitarian Networking of Sheikhul Islam Office (CHNS) and extends its private partnership with Thai Muslim Trade Association (TMTA) to expand awareness and raise refugee Zakat funds and Sedekah, to increase protection for refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) during Ramadan.

“Numbers of displaced people continue to rise globally, the highest total that UNHCR has seen during its 70 years protecting people forced to flee,” said Mr. Giuseppe De Vincentiis, UNHCR’s Representative in Thailand. “Refugees, IDPs and host communities have to observe Ramadan in extreme poverty. Collaboration and compassion from all sectors are more fundamentally important today than ever before and it will take only a second for us to help making a difference to the lives of displaced people.

With generous support received from the Muslim community so far, we are expanding the reach of Zakat funds this year to help refugees and IDPs who are eligible to receive Zakat across Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Mauritania, Yemen and Bangladesh to Thailand and other countries around the world; Turkey, Nigeria, India, Iran, Burkina Farso and Somalia.

“Amidst ongoing displacement crises in many countries, new emergencies and climate change in many areas, multiple Muslims around the world continue to be forcibly displaced. It becomes impossible for one to be able to provide life-saving assistance alone to every family and every single refugee,” said Dr. Zakee Phithakkumpol, Deputy Secretary of Sheikhul Islam. “I am glad to see generosity in response to this humanitarian crisis and this year, we must come together to give our Zakat to another million refugees and IDPs to enable them to observe Ramadan as they deserve.”

“Not only during the Ramadan, Zakat donation can and should be done throughout the year to purify your soul and help those people in need. In their unique situations, refugees fall under at least four of the eight stipulations required by recipients of Zakat funds set forth in the Quran 9:60. Also, in normal circumstances, Sedekah or voluntary almsgiving, which is another categories of charity defined in Islam should be regularly practiced,” added Mr. Anusorn Sriadulpan, Secretary-General, CHNS.

UNHCR unveiled its special report “Refugee Zakat Fund”, a global fund aimed at helping individuals and Islamic financial institutions to realize their social responsibility with global impact indicating that, during the first year of its campaign in 2016, UNHCR was able to deliver support to only 740 vulnerable Muslim refugees and IDPs, comprising unaccompanied children, female heads of household, widow and elderly people. It is with incredible support received from Thai Muslims and partnerships around the world, that UNHCR can use Zakat funds to directly assist more than 1 million refugees and IDPs by the end of 2019.

“Sustainable business development needs social cohesion. I would like to stimulate Muslim and all businesses in Thailand to continue taking social responsibility, be a voice in creating a better community, awareness and understanding or help raising funds for society to develop our business and economy sustainably together with the society. We can take our greatness to the global arena for a better world to live in,” said Mr. Vasu Sensom, President of TMTA.

UNHCR has been working with several of today’s leading Islamic legal scholars (fatwas) and institutes in Egypt, Yemen, Morocco and Mauritania and Tabah concluded that UNHCR can collect and distribute Zakat for refugees and IDPs affected by war and conflict to enable them to have enough food, clean water, safe shelter and cash assistance.

The Sheikhul Islam Office, CHNS and TMTA encourage donations to UNHCR, allowing it to continue its regular programming as well as providing much needed support to meet increased needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 100% of contributions will go directly to those vulnerable refugees and displaced people most in need while the Zakat is immediately assigned to eligible refugee families ensuring transparency throughout the process.

Take a second to give your Zakat to those who need it the most today on website at http://unh.cr/6061a47b7a

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