The Developing-8 Health and Social Protection (D-8 HSP) in collaboration with other partners have launched the Umma Zakat Fund, an Islamic philanthropy mechanism for pooling Zakat that targets lifting six million Nigerians out of poverty, annually.

The Global Director D-8 Health and Social Protection Programme (D-8 HSP), Dr Ado Muhammad, made the disclosure yesterday during a workshop to kick start the fund in Abuja.

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Stakeholders including different Islamic bodies in Nigeria, development organisations, the private sector and banking institutions were participating in the programme.

Dr Muhammad said the fund was to foster equal opportunity and improve health and social protection for the people.

While saying that the D-8 HSP believes that the pooling of Zakat coupled with a Waqf and Sadaqah system can be used to address poverty, hunger and diseases, he said the programme envisaged mobilizing N200 billion in the first year of the fund when fully operational.

Dr Sam Agbor, a senior health adviser with the Foreign Common Wealth Development Office, Abuja, described the fund as an innovative financing initiative.


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