Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) is currently providing the much-needed packages of heavy clothing and warm blankets to refugees and the needy on four continents. Natural disasters and regional wars have uprooted millions across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, leaving them vulnerable to plunging temperatures and inclement weather, while those living in extreme poverty in the U.S. are bracing for the cold with what meager resources they have.
This year, the advent of winter will be especially dangerous given the record numbers of emigrants and displaced. In November, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported steadily worsening health conditions among the refugees bound for Europe, while thousands in Pakistan and Afghanistan remain homeless in the aftermath of the enormous October earthquake.
ZF is responding to these and similar needs in 15 countries by providing heavy clothing and blankets that can stave off the onset of life-threatening conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite, but more efforts are required. “Zakat Foundation’s contributions have been very generous,” said a relief worker affiliated with ZF in Pakistan. “We have helped a large number of people in terms of basic provisions. However, much damage has been done to the infrastructure – homes, schools and hospitals. This exposes the victims to freezing winter conditions.”
ZF’s efforts to protect those most in need this winter are currently underway, and those interested in providing additional support to these winter relief efforts are encouraged to visit www.zakat.org.