Zakat Report 2017 – Q1
In September 2016, UNHCR in coordination with the Tabah Foundation launched its first zakat programme, aiming to raise much needed funds for refugees in the region. For now, all collected zakat funds are dedicated to UNHCR’s cash assistance programme in Jordan under which 32,000 refugee families are enrolled. The following amounts were received by UNHCR from the zakat programme in 2016 and transferred to the cash assistance programme in Jordan on monthly basis:
*Carry over from December 2016
All collected zakat funds in 2016 were dedicated to UNHCR’s cash assistance programme in Jordan. These funds which were received by 196 Syrian refugee families (approximately 980 individuals) living in urban areas in Jordan have enabled beneficiaries to cover essential costs of living for one month, such as rent, debt repayment, utilities, medical care for children, clothing, school fees and food. It also helped refugees in improving their social networks by allowing them to repay loans borrowed from family, neighbours, and landlords; therefore, reducing household and community tensions. Vulnerable families are often headed by women who often face cultural, legal and childcare-related obstacles in finding work. Cash assistance helps prevent thousands of refugees from facing severe hardship and resorting to desperate survival strategies – such as pulling children out of school, child labour and begging, survival sex, early marriage or returning to war zones.
Refugees access the funds by scanning their iris at ATM machines and thanks to this innovative programme, there are no bankcards or pin numbers to remember. Instead, refugees simply use their irises as a form of identification which provides an instant, cost-effective and fraud-proof methodology to directly support vulnerable families.
UNHCR monitors cash recipients, assessing their vulnerabilities and quality of living and follow up with the families through home-visits.