Jakarta, 5 July 2019.
Indonesia’s National Zakat Agency (BAZNAS) has entered into a partnership with UNICEF in order mobilize Zakat funding to help children affected by humanitarian crises, both in Indonesia and in member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The collaboration was cemented through a Memorandum of Understanding signed today at BAZNAS Office, Jakarta. BAZNAS Chair Bambang Sudibyo, BAZNAS President Director Arifin Purwakananta, UNICEF Indonesia Country Representative Debora Comini and UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Gary Stahl were present at the event.
BAZNAS Chairman Bambang Sudibyo said that humanitarian crises in some countries have taken a heavy toll, including on children. This has become a mutual concern of Baznas and UNICEF. Fundraising and distribution of aid through the collaboration is guaranteed to be conducted professionally and in accordance with the laws and Shari'a.
"This form of assistance is sustainable and focused on children and young people, so that they could have a better future. The benefit can go a long way, helping families rise from adversity following humanitarian crises. Hopefully they can achieve prosperity," he said.
He added that Indonesian people are very caring and generous; not only do they give to help people in Indonesia but also in other countries. Indonesia was named as the most generous country in the world in the 2018 CAF World Giving Index. BAZNAS will continue its work to facilitate giving from Indonesians who care for their fellow humans.
Bambang explained that the collaboration between BAZNAS and UNICEF for children was motivated by the humanitarian crisis in Indonesia and in those in OIC countries. It will cover various fields ranging from education, health, nutritional adequacy, access to clean water, child protection and social, youth empowerment.
“More than two thirds of the funding we need for children caught up in humanitarian crises is for our work in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries,” UNICEF Indonesia Representative Ms Debora Comini said. “I am therefore delighted that we will be collaborating with BAZNAS to leverage our collective expertise, knowledge and networks and leverage zakat funding for the children and people that are most in need of our support.”
UNICEF’s MOU with BAZNAS follows the signing of an MOU with the World Zakat Forum in December 2018 and a joint communiqué with the Islamic Development Bank announcing the two organizations’ intent to develop a Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children.
Baznas is the zakat management body formed by the Indonesian government through a Presidential Decree (Kepres) No 8/2001. As one of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat is a form of philanthropy found around the world. All Muslims, eligible to pay it, must donate at least 2.5 percent of their accumulated wealth. As such, it is one of the largest forms of wealth transfer to the poor and needy in existence. Zakat is now a global phenomenon not limited to only Muslim majority countries. BAZNAS is tasked with collecting and distributing Infaq and Alms zakat at the national level. The birth of Law No. 23/2011 concerning Management of Zakat, confirmed the role of the National Bureau of National Narcotics Agency as an institution authorized to manage national zakat. BAZNAS has been established in 509 regions (Provincial and Regency / City levels) of Indonesia.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.