The United Nations Refugee Agency Appeals for Sadaqah

As Muslims around the globe observe Ramadan, millions of families will experience the holy month in refugee camps, informal settlements, and unfinished buildings, facing dire living conditions with insufficient food or proper shelter.

The UN Refugee Agency Banner 
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The alarming rise in personal debt and impoverishment means this Ramadan will be harder for families to put food on the table by the end of the day.

UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, is the international organisation mandated to act as a safety net for the protection of refugees and internally displaced people globally. We work around the clock to provide shelter, clean water, healthcare, education and other urgent needs to millions of refugees from Syria, Yemen and Iraq to the Horn of Africa and other war-torn countries.

Tina Ghelli at the UNCHR Iftar in Pretoria
Video Credit: Ziyaad Plaatjes


Zeenat Abdool, National Information Officer at the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria said,

“During the holy month of Ramadan, we urge family members who will gather daily for Iftar (breaking of fast) to show empathy and solidarity. We urge the public to bring change to one refugee family’s life.”

We humbly appeal to please dedicate your Sadaqah this Ramadan to help displaced and refugee families receive basic lifesaving assistance, and help secure food and Eid clothing for their children.

Those wishing to donate can do so online by visiting: or

or SMS the word “Ramadan” to 42656 to donate R30.00

We further appeal to share these details to donate with seven other people to create a Sunbulah Effect to your good deed towards refugees today.

“As at the end of 2016 nearly 68 million people who have been forced out of their homes globally – approximately 76 per cent are women and children. Every minute nearly 20 people are forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. Approximately 27.8% of those forcibly displaced people are located in the Middle East and North Africa,”

said Aziza Vawda, Private Sector Partnerships Officer based at UNHCR Regional Office for Southern Africa in Pretoria.

1 minute can help 1 family
Photo credit: Ziyaad Plaatjes


60 million forcibly displaced persons around the world

17.1 million refugees and asylum seekers around the world

21 million forcibly displaced persons in Africa

6.1 million refugees and asylum seekers in Africa

490,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Southern Africa



Veronica Irima-Modey Ebi at the UNHCR Iftar in Pretoria
Video Credit: Ziyaad Plaatjes


Ambassador of Turkey at the UNHCR Iftar in Pretoria
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Tres Or at the UNHCR Iftar in Pretoria
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Shaista Khan Osman at the UNHCR Iftar in Pretoria
Video Credit: Ziyaad Plaatjes


Adan Ilmi at the UNHCR Iftar in Pretoria
Video Credit: Ziyaad Plaatjes



The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War, to help millions of Europeans who had fled persecution or lost their homes. In 1954, UNHCR received the Nobel Peace Prize for its ground-breaking work in Europe. Initially established as a temporary agency, today over 67 years later, UNHCR is still hard at work, protecting and assisting refugees around the world as forced displacement levels are higher than ever before. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

UNHCR works to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home. Since 1950, we have faced multiple crises on multiple continents, and provided vital assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people, many of whom have nobody left to turn to. We help to save lives and build better futures for millions forced to flee.


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