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Zakat Fund adds support to income-generating projects to its monthly donations

By Renad Aljadid - May 30,2018 - Last updated at May 30,2018

AMMAN — The Zakat Fund is planning to shift its beneficiaries’ assistance from sole cash and in-kind aid to wider and more sustainable support through rehabilitation and income-generating projects, an official announced on Tuesday.

“We are seeking to replace the monthly salaries of beneficiaries who are able to work with productive projects that contribute in fighting poverty and unemployment on the long run, as they create job opportunities, generate a consistent income, while stimulating economic growth,” Zakat Fund Director General Abed Smeirat told The Jordan Times, noting that the fund has already supported 60 projects in various governorates since the beginning of 2018.

“The Fund cooperates with researchers and experts to make feasibility studies on the project ideas, before providing a capital of JD2,500 to JD3,000 upon the approval of the project,” Zakat Fund Spokesperson Okashah Hani told The Jordan Times.

Mohammad Khleifat is one of the Fund’s beneficiaries, who became a proud business owner of an electric equipment shop in Karak Governorate under the new programme.

“Now I have a successful project with a stable income, and I am planning to further expand my project and hire more staff in the future,” he said.

Hani noted that some of the beneficiaries of the income-generating projects even became donors themselves. “The fund’s philosophy is not only to give to people, but also to help them become productive individuals who can give to others as well,” the spokesperson stated.

In addition to the project funding aspect, the Fund has provided 5,000 orphans and underprivileged families with an additional JD100 to their monthly salaries, on the occasion of Ramadan, according to the spokesperson.

“The board decided to substitute the JD50 monthly food vouchers with cash money, in addition to the distribution of an extra JD50, amounting to a total of JD100 per beneficiary,” Hani explained, noting that the total worth of donations reached JD500,000. 

Um Ayman, one of the fund’s beneficiaries, welcomed the substitution of the food voucher with cash money. “This is a great step as it will allow us to buy what we need according to our other priorities,” she said.

Smeirat also cited the fund’s programme “Sahm Al Gharimat” (funds allocated for indebted women) which aims to help release women who cannot afford to pay for their freedom. 

The seventh batch of the programme included 17 women and 28 male prisoners, according to the fund.

“This is the first time we included men in the programme,” Hani noted, adding that “the beneficiaries are included based on certain principles and criteria that the fund adopted in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and the Public Security Department so as to release the indebtors by Ramadan”.

The Fund will also host an Iftar banquet for some 250 to 300 orphans, under the patronage of the Awqaf Minister, as part of Ramadan’s activities, the director general said, stressing the fund’s keenness to deliver Zakat and donations to beneficiaries according to Sharia (Islamic law) standards.

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