Portrait of Humaira (20) at Naf Adolescent Club..Camp 17, Kutupalong camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. ; The ongoing Rohingya emergency is one of the biggest and most pressing crises of our time.
© UNHCR/Vincent Tremeau

As Muslims gather in their homes around the world, many refugee families are observing the Holy Month of Ramadan away from their homes. Australia for UNHCR's Islamic Philanthropy supporters and partners provide hope to vulnerable refugee brothers and sisters.

Give your Zakat Al Fitr, Zakat Al Mal or Sadaqah to Refugees

Refugee Zakat Fund

Credible. Sharia Compliant. Effective.

UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund is a trusted, compliant and effective distributor maximizing the power of Zakat to transform the lives of refugees, including in hard-to-reach areas.

Due to the prompt development of the economy of the Islamic World and philanthropy sector, specifically pertaining to Zakat donors and institutions increasing desire to distribute a portion of Zakat funds to refugees and IDPs, UNHCR directed the receipt of $14.4M Zakat funds in 2017 and 2018 to assist approximately 7,000 families in Jordan and Lebanon . As a result of this, in 2019 UNHCR launched the “Refugee Zakat Fund”: a credible, Sharia compliant and a pioneering structure of Zakat funds which is transforming the lives of refugees.

UNHCR ensures 100% of Zakat funds are distributed to those most in need, by covering overhead costs from non-Zakat sources, to guarantee that 100% of Zakat contributions are given to most vulnerable, Zakat eligible recipients in critical need.

UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund supports vulnerable families by providing them with cash assistance enabling them to support their essential needs. The fund follows rigorous governance tools and is monitored to ensure transparency at every stage. This governance approach entails the following pillars:

Zakat Compliance

  • Scholars: the Fund is Zakat compliant, backed by ten fatwas from credible scholars and institutions.
  • Infrastructure: follows fatwa recommendations by dedicating 100% of funds to refugees eligible for Zakat.
  • Compliance review: annual third-party field visits to oversee distribution and publish compliance reports.
  • Donor centric: the destination of Zakat funds is determined by the Zakat donor/ partner at the onset of the partnership

Assessment and Monitoring

  • Vulnerability assessment framework: to identify eligible recipients, updated on yearly basis.
  • Innovation: use of technology in distribution, to increase efficiency and minimize fraud and duplication.
  • Post distribution monitoring: twice a year, to measure impact and improve implementation.

Financial Governance

  • Management & accountability: funds are kept in a dedicated interest-free bank account in Geneva.
  • Traceability: all funds are dedicated to Zakat compliant cash assistance programmes in identified countries with critical needs.
  • Transparency: UNHCR publishes annual Zakat reports, and partners are provided with customized reports.

2022 Islamic Philanthropy Report

UNHCR's fourth Islamic Philanthropy Annual Report on the impact of the Refugee Zakat Fund in 2021, supporting over 1.2 million beneficiaries among displaced populations.


A refugee mother and daughter sit against a backdrop of rubble.

100% Zakat Distribution