For the first time in history, the number of people forced to flee from war, conflict, violence, and persecution worldwide surpassed 103 million. New emergencies and protracted crises continue worldwide, with sometimes an emergency on top of an existing crisis, such as the latest earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria that affected forcibly displaced Syrians after 12 years of crisis or large fires damaging the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Many of them will celebrate the holy month of Ramadan far from home and with limited resources.
“It is our mission to assist humanitarian crises worldwide, including conflict and climate crises in Syria, Yemen, or the Horn of Africa, that have affected and displaced millions of people.” said Giuseppe De Vincentiis, UNHCR Representative in Thailand. “We call for increased solidarity and mobilization to support forcibly displaced people so that we can continue to alleviate the living condition of those most in need.”
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, launched the ‘Ramadan and Zakat campaign’ in Thailand in 2018 in partnership with the Sheikhul Islam of Thailand to raise Zakat and Sadakah funds during Ramadan. These donations are translated into cash grants benefitting directly individuals deemed most in need, victims of violence, refugees, and vulnerable groups. This year, the cash assistance will allow forcibly displaced people to meet basic needs and access essential services in the most challenging conditions, facing increasing costs, deepening poverty, food insecurity, natural disasters, and funding and humanitarian lifesaving aid shortfalls.
“Millions of refugees will spend this Ramadan in greatest hardship affected by new global challenges; increasing poverty from protracted wars and conflicts, unpredictable climate change, inadequate funding and global food shortage. During this holy month, we will join hands with UNHCR to support people forced to flee and be the light of hope for our Muslim families in this difficult time,” said Dr. Zakee Phithakkumpol, Deputy Secretary of Sheikhul Islam.
UNHCR’s Zakat initiative complies with the Shariah requirements. In collaboration with Tabah Foundation for Research and Consultation and today’s 15 leading Islamic legal scholars (fatwas) and institutes in Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Mauritania and Thailand, UNHCR is allowed to collect and distribute Zakat to forcibly displaced people affected by war and conflict to enable them to have enough food, clean water, safe shelter, and cash assistance.
“Islamic Bank of Thailand provides shariah-compliant financial services that emphasize on ethical finance and promote social equality. One of the public services offered by ibank is the management of Zakat accounts to customers on behalf of those eligible to receive Zakat in Thailand. Partnership with UNHCR to support humanitarian work allows the bank to extend our assistance to a global level, especially on refugee causes which are one of the urgent global crises to connect Thai Muslims to take part in making a difference to refugee families during this holy month,” explained Dr. Thaweelap Rittapirom, President of Islamic Bank of Thailand.
In the previous years, Zakat and Sadakah have helped more than 6 million displaced people worldwide in 26 countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Nigeria. In its sixth year, UNHCR and the Sheikhul Islam Office extend the collaborations to major Shariah bank, media partners, and young influencers in Thailand to mobilize support for refugees and displaced people around the world.
“Ramadan carries several meanings. It is a time of giving and sharing with other fellow human beings. The partnership with UNHCR not only allows us to be creative with content in accordance with our vision but also instill virtue and inspire Thai-Muslims to donate and help millions of families in need who seek asylum in all over the planet,” said Kritsanaphol Pongtanavaranont, Chief Executive Officer of TV Burabha Group.
The 6th Ramadan campaign also welcomes a new media partner to join the giving community.
“Media plays an important role in creating awareness, supporting fundraising activities, and encouraging the public to a better understanding of refugees. I am honoured to be part of this network to amplify the refugee voices and connect Thai people to channels allowing them to help refugees and displaced people during this holy month. ” Withayakorn Ismael, Editor in Chief of Halal Life Magazine added.
Refugees are facing difficulties like never before. This year, more than $2.7 billion are needed in countries where UNHCR distributes Zakat and Sadaqah. This global Ramadan campaign calls for solidarity and generosity in the face of rising humanitarian needs to provide an efficient, trusted, and compliant route to fulfill Zakat obligations. Our unique cash-assistance programme guarantees that 100% of Zakat contributions go directly to the people in need and is subject to rigorous governance and control, ensuring transparency throughout the process from collection to distribution.
Millions of refugees and displaced people are struggling to survive, yet they haven’t given up. Your Zakat and Sadaqah donation are a lifeline for families in need this Ramadan. Don’t give up on them.
#UNHCRThailand #WithRefugees #EveryGiftCounts #Ramadan
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