Islamic social funds could potentially meet shortfalls to alleviate poverty in Asia, says Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters has released the Islamic Social Finance Report 2014 in collaboration with the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI). The report is the first of its kind study covering Islamic social finance across countries in South and Southeast Asia with sizeable Muslim populations including Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. According to the report, Islamic social funds could potentially meet resource shortfalls to alleviate widespread poverty in those countries. The potential of Islamic social funds remains unrealized as actual Zakah and returns of Awqaf are not fully utilized in most countries. Additionally, there is no Islamic microfinance industry in most countries, which further diminishes the optimal potential of Islamic social finance.