Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The conference of the World Zakat Forum (WZF) held in Jakarta from March 14 to 16 discusses ways to alleviate poverty as the vast majority of people in predominantly Muslim countries still live in poverty, its secretary general said.

"This conference is intended to revitalize the role of zakat in solving social and economic problems related to poverty and human empowerment," WZF Secretary General Ahmad Juwaini said here on Wednesday.

The three-day conference will also elect a new secretary general.

WZF is a forum for cooperation among zakat institutions worldwide. The conference is held once every three years by inviting people involved in collecting and managing zakat from all over the world, including non-Muslim countries.

The 2017 WZF conference was held in Jakarta from March 14 to 16. Such a conference was held in New York in 2014.

WZF member states include Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Morocco, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sudan, Brunei Darussalam, Uganda, Nigeria, India, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Cyprus.

Chairman of the National Alms Agency (Baznas) Bambang Sudibyo said the amount of zakat collected through authorized alms organizations in Indonesia has shown an upward trend.

The amount of zakat collected this year is expected to reach Rp6 trillion, up 20 percent compared tom the previous year. Hopefully, the increase in the amount of zakat will help reduce the number of people living in poverty by 1 percent or 280 thousand people in the country, he said.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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