As Muslims around the globe celebrate the arrival of 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 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.

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: donate.unhcr.org/Syria-Ramadan or donate.unhcr.org/ Rohingya-Ramadan 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.

For more information or for banking information please contact Zeenat Abdool, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) on 082 778 8080 or via email on abdool@un.org, Aziza Vawda, Private Sector Partnerships Officer, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on 081 519 7112 or vawda@unhcr.org. Website and social media, Instagram: @Refugees, Twitter: @Refugees, Facebook: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Website: www.unhcr.org.