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Not to be left behind: Refugees and the role of waqf in the light of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic
AuthorKachkar, Omar Ahmad
MetadataShow full item record
CitationKachkar, O. A. (2021). Not to be left behind: Refugees and the role of waqf in the light of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. The 11th Foundation of Islamic Finance Conference, 20-22 March 2021, Web-Based.
COVID-19 pandemic has led to devastating effects on human life worldwide and has caused unprecedented disruptions in all economic and social aspects of life. Tens of millions of people particularly in fragile economies are at risk of slipping into extreme poverty. Refugees and other marginalised populations are feared to be left beyond the reach of aid packages and assistance plans. This paper is proposing the establishment of a waqf based fund to help refugees. Rational of this model is founded on several arguments. These arguments are related to the global refuge crisis which can be described as follows: a. it is a Muslim humanitarian crisis in the first place, b. it is not a temporary one, c. it is impacting mainly developing countries with a considerable number of Muslim-majority countries being the host of the majority of global refugees, d. majority of refugee stay in urban areas, d. Waqf constitutes a big potential to close the gap in humanitarian aid and to offer for the basic needs of refugees, e. a proper differentiation must be clear between emergency aid and long-term durable solutions for refugees. f. Similar differentiation must be observed between core poor refugees and economically active refugees in terms of durable solutions and economic engagement. Against the above backdrop, this paper is proposing a model of waqf fund for refugees that is similar to the Zakah refugee Fund created by the UNHCR. The objective of the model is to contribute in the relief and aid efforts and to make use of the create potential of the philanthropic sector. The proposed model shall use in-kind waqf and cash waqf as key sources of funds. Temporary and permanent waqf will be accepted. Collected funds will be invested and the revenues will be distributed on the beneficiaries in the specific aid sector as specified by the donor or the waqf founder. The current model can be a subject of further research to explore various aspects of the model such as the legal requirements and the operational challenges in the real environment.