Islamic charity funds are underused anti-poverty tool – study
Islamic alms-giving (zakat) and endowments (awqaf) have been in existence for centuries, but have yet to develop efficient use of their assets, a report by the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and Thomson Reuters said. “At a micro level, institutions in this sector need to address the issue of sustainability in the supply of funds,” said Azmi Omar, director general of the IRTI, a unit of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank. The study estimates that zakat donations could contribute significantly to poverty alleviation in countries with sizeable Muslim populations such as Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Muslim minorities in India and Singapore, for instance, could collect zakat in the range of about 0.26 percent to 0.65 percent of their gross domestic product.