Hundreds of families have benefited from the Qatari state institution’s latest aid drive to help those who’ve been worst affected economically by Covid-19 and recent inflation.
Qatar’s Zakat Fund provided over 14,680,000 QAR in aid during the month of December, for families in need inside the Gulf state, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs has announced.
As part of the Zakat Fund project, 416 eligible families in Qatar have received donations to help alleviate some of their struggles during the challenging economic period, which saw high inflation and an increase in the prices of goods in the country.
To be eligible, families had to apply through the Zakat Fund website and await approval from the fund’s management on whether or not they qualified.
The aid was distributed in two categories: periodic and lump-sum.
The periodic category amounted to 9,883,572 QAR and will be given to families on a monthly basis, whilst the lump-sum was primarily distributed in one go, according to the needs of the families, and that amounted to a total of 4,796,642 QAR.
The Zakat Fund is a governmental body that works on collecting zakat (2.5% of excess income that each Muslim must pay on an annual basis) from the public and delivering it to those who are eligible, in accordance with Shariah (Islamic law) regulations.
The head of Zakat Fund, Fayez Moazi Al Shammari, said that they take the basic needs of the vulnerable community into account when disbursing the aid. Well-trained staff are chosen to select the beneficiaries and ensure the money reaches them according to their needs.
This comes as Qatar witnesses its highest rate of inflation since 2014. Recent statistics showed that the inflation rate rose from negative 2.71% in 2020 to 3.18% in 2022, which has affected various basic goods and services including petrol, food and beverages, transportation, entertainment and culture.
The higher the inflation, the costlier the goods and services than they were before. This could impose a struggle for families with small incomes in the country and has in fact affected thousands of people in the community.
Covid-19 has also created enormous challenges for many.
Shahzad Ali, a strategy executive based in Doha, explained to Doha News earlier that during these unprecedented times, it is important to “remember our neighbourly duty, to check in on each other and lend a helping hand where needed, whether that be financial or otherwise.”
Thankfully, thousands of donors, with the help of authorities, are doing just that.
Al Shammari explained that the department conducts social and field research for those who apply for aid, providing each family with their needs according to Shariah regulations.
The administration created a website during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to better facilitate applications from those in need. Families wishing to receive zakat can visit the website and fill out all the forms and documents necessary.
Upon submission, a text message will be sent with a request number for follow-up.
Meanwhile, those wishing to pay zakat can do so via the Zakat Fund website www.zakat.gov.qa, offices and collection points across the country, or the Fund’s bank account. For any assistance, the community can email [email protected].