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100 percent of your zakat goes directly to refugees in need. 


With more than 114 million people forcibly displaced and nearly 50 percent of refugees coming from Muslim countries, your zakat obligation can help transform lives. This Ramadan, maximize the power of your zakat with USA for UNHCR to serve refugees and displaced people around the world.  

Share the blessings of Ramadan today. 

How the Refugee Zakat Fund works

Refugee Zakat Fund

Credible. Compliant. Effective.

Zakat compliance graphic

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

UNHCR ensures 100 percent of zakat funds are distributed to those most in need by covering overhead costs from non-zakat sources. This guarantees that 100 percent of zakat contributions are given to the most vulnerable, zakat eligible recipients in critical need. 

The 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 to ensure transparency at every stage. This governance approach entails the following pillars:


Zakat Compliance

Recognition: The Fund is zakat compliant, backed by over 17 fatwas from credible scholars and institutions. 

Infrastructure: The Fund follows Islamic scholar recommendations by dedicating 100 percent of funds to eligible refugees. 

Compliance review: UNHCR coordinates annual, third party field visits to oversee distribution and publish compliance reports. 

Assessment and Monitoring

Vulnerability assessments: UNHCR regularly identifies and maintains a database of eligible recipients based on their vulnerability. 

Innovation: Technology ensures effective distribution and minimizes fraud and duplication. 

Post distribution monitoring: UNHCR monitors projects twice yearly to measure impact and improve implementation. 

Financial Governance

Management & accountability: Zakat funds are secured in a dedicated interest-free bank account in Geneva. 

Traceability: All funds are dedicated to zakat compliant cash assistance programs in eligible countries with critical needs.  

Transparency: UNHCR publishes annual Islamic Philanthropy reports and provides partners with customized reports. 


The Refugee Zakat Fund is a trusted, compliant and effective distributor that harnesses the power of zakat to transform the lives of refugees, including in hard-to-reach areas.  

Learn more below.

What is the 100% zakat distribution policy?

USA for UNHCR is committed to maximizing the power of your zakat. One hundred percent of zakat given through the Refugee Zakat Fund is distributed to zakat-eligible refugees and displaced people, meaning that your zakat goes directly to those in need. All indirect support costs are waived for the Refugee Zakat Fund.  

How will my zakat make a difference?

UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund meets the humanitarian needs of zakat-eligible refugees and displaced people. Your zakat ensures that refugees can access their basic needs and are empowered to focus on their futures. UNHCR has a 100 percent zakat distribution policy, meaning that 100 percent of your zakat goes directly to refugees. 

What zakat categories do refugees fall under?

Refugees fall under four categories of zakat-eligibility: The Poor (al Fuqara’ ), The Stranded Travellers (Abna’ al Sabeel), The Debtors (al Gharemeen), and The Wayfarers  (Al Masakeen).

Why give zakat through USA for UNHCR?

USA for UNHCR supports the work of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in over 135 countries. As the leading humanitarian organization for the protection of refugees, UNHCR has over 70 years of experience in reaching vulnerable populations with effective aid. UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund is trusted, compliant and effective. UNHCR maintains a detailed database of refugees and can quickly identify vulnerable and qualified zakat cases. When disaster strikes, UNHCR can quickly transfer and disburse funds to zakat-eligible individuals. UNHCR has a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process to ensure that your zakat makes the most significant impact.  

Learn more about the Refugee Zakat Fund in the  Islamic Philanthropy Annual Report.

How can I fulfill my other charitable obligations?

In addition to the Refugee Zakat Fund, USA for UNHCR has a rigorous Islamic Philanthropy program to support refugees around the world. You can also fulfill your sadaqah and zakat al-Fitr through USA for UNHCR. Please visit our Islamic Philanthropy page to learn more.

Learn more about USA for UNHCR's Islamic Philanthropy work today.

Other Ways to Give

Zakat Donations

100 percent of your zakat goes directly to vulnerable families during their times of hardship, supporting their immediate needs and reminding them that you care.

Sadaqah Donations

Your sadaqah is transformative for a community in need of our collective support, ensuring that families can meet their needs with dignity.