It is no secret that the issues associated with global poverty were only made worse during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Factors such as the cost of living, food security, healthcare and education are all points of concern for many nations with a struggling poor population. Luckily, there are many organizations working to address these issues. The Zakat Foundation has recently begun working with the United Nations to address worldwide hunger and global poverty.
The Zakat Foundation
The National Zakat Foundation Worldwide is an Islamic charity organization that is dedicated to helping the world’s poor. Zakat is one of the pillars of Islam which dictates that all Muslims should be kept financially viable, and one way to ensure this is for all Muslims to donate 2.5% of their earnings to charity organizations that aid the poor. The NZF Worldwide is the perfect channeling organization for all of this funding. It is estimated that the total amount of Zakat donations reach $300 billion to nearly $1 trillion dollars annually. The NZF Worldwide wants to use this incredible amount of money to help eradicate poverty.
Success so Far
The National Zakat Foundation currently has five member countries, Austria, Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland and the UK, which all provide a pathway for Muslims to send their Zakat donations to help eradicate global hunger and poverty. Through the Zakat Foundation, the member countries have raised more than $30 million since 2016 that has been used to provide aid for people living in poverty in other countries.
The UN and NZF Worldwide
The United Nations Development Programme announced in early August 2022 that it will once again be working with the National Zakat Foundation to use Zakat donation funding to help achieve the sustainable development goals for the world’s poorest countries. The first major project of this partnership is the goal of achieving the eradication of hunger and poverty in Somalia. The NZF with the help of the U.N. will work with local government officials, Islamic officials and the Central Bank of Somalia to help direct the Zakat funds in a productive manner that helps alleviate food insecurity and improve quality of life conditions for people living in poverty in Somalia.
Other NZF Programs
The National Zakat Foundation has had some recent success in the summer of 2022 before this partnership with the U.N. was announced. In the closing weeks of July, the NZF was able to provide the state of Osun in Nigeria with much needed power equipment that improved the quality of life in every sector, from nutrition to education. With the help of Zakat donations made by the member countries, the NZF was able to provide the state of Osun with cash grants, fridges, sewing machines, laptops, printers and more. Small items similar to those listed can have a profound impact on the lives of those who receive them, such as fridges keeping food from spoiling and laptops aiding educational growth.
The Future of Zakat
Despite the looming effects of an increased cost of living for those living in poverty, it appears that good news in the form of charitable religious donations may be what is keeping those people from continued suffering. The partnership with the United Nations and the already proven success are just a few reasons why the outlook for the world’s poor is bright, thanks to hard working organizations like the National Zakat Foundation.
– Declan Harkness