Zakat is an obligatory payment Muslims are required to make as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. This charitable practice requires Muslims with wealth over a certain amount – known as nisab – to donate 2.5 per cent of their savings to help those in need.
By giving your Zakat to Australia for UNHCR, you can support families who have fled some of the world’s most devastating crises. You can rest assured that 100% of your Zakat will reach refugees and displaced people, either as life-saving cash or in-kind assistance such as shelter and clothing.
UNHCR is trusted, compliant and effective
UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund is subject to rigorous governance and oversight, ensuring transparency at every step of Zakat collection and distribution.
Before establishing the Refugee Zakat Fund, UNHCR consulted leading Islamic scholars and fatwa institutions across the Muslim world. To date, UNHCR has received 16 fatwas – or endorsements – from more than 10 Islamic institutions globally.
UNHCR follows a 100% Zakat distribution policy. This means all Zakat donations are distributed to the most vulnerable refugee and displaced families, including in hard-to-reach areas. Your Zakat is not used to cover administrative costs such as salaries.
Zakat is primarily distributed as cash assistance, which ensures families can prioritise and meet their immediate needs, from food to medicine. This also means that thousands of refugees who are restricted from working in host countries avoid facing severe hardship, while being empowered to manage their own finances.
Vulnerable families are often headed by women, who face cultural, legal and childcare obstacles when looking for work. Providing refugee families with cash assistance prevents those most in need from having to resort to desperate survival strategies – such as pulling children out of school or child labour.
Finally, cash assistance benefits the local economy, as refugees become customers at local shops and markets. This also helps build social connections between refugees and host communities.
100% of Zakat donations are distributed to refugees and displaced people, in accordance with the Islamic principle of Zakat. Your Zakat contributions will not be used to cover administrative costs. Read more about the impact of Zakat in UNHCR’s Islamic Philanthropy Annual Report 2023.