Tue 17-09-2019 15:50 PM
DUBAI, 17th September, 2019 (WAM) -- The pioneering Refugee Zakat Fund of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, has been recognised as the ‘Best Global Zakat Distribution Platform 2019’.
The recognition was announced on Monday at the Global Islamic Finance Awards, GIFA, held in Cape Town, South Africa.
With Islamic finance becoming a more prominent and sophisticated part of the global economy, the UNHCR evolved its existing Zakat programme to a new structure, the Refugee Zakat Fund, in April this year. The fund allows Muslims, wherever they live, to fulfil their Zakat obligations easily and efficiently.
Commenting on the accolade, Houssam Chahin, UNHCR’s Head of Private Sector Partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa region, said, "We are delighted to be recognised by the GIFA Awards Committee, which reaffirms the fund’s position as a trusted, efficient, and pioneering structure that harnesses the power of Zakat to positively impact the world."
"The award further builds on the credibility of the platform in ensuring transparency, from the digital collection to distribution of Zakat funds, in the global Islamic finance sphere," he said.
The awards, now in their ninth year, are among the most coveted market-led awards in Islamic banking and finance in the world.
The UNHCR is the first UN agency to provide a transparent route for Muslims to fulfil their Zakat obligations in support of refugees. The agency pioneered in using technology, both for collection and distribution purposes.
Digital payments are used for the efficient collection of Zakat obligations, while ATMs, iris recognition, mobile wallets, and other technologies are used for the distribution of Zakat in cash to vetted refugees and Internally displaced people (IDPs).
So far in 2019, US$38.1 million has been raised through the Refugee Zakat Fund thanks to generous contributions from donors across the globe. Donations received through the Fund have so far helped over 111,209 of the most vulnerable refugee and Internally displaced people families (approximately 648,476 individuals) in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania and Bangladesh.