Children displaced by the war in northwestern Yemen, pose for a photo near their makeshift huts on the pavement of a street in the Red Sea port city of Hudaida. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
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The United Nations, short of funds to support millions of displaced people in the Middle East, has begun a scheme that would let Muslims make donations from the alms they typically pay state bodies for the benefit of the poor.The U.N. High Commission for Refugees said it had obtained religious rulings from top Muslim preachers in Egypt, Morocco and Yemen as well as a senior preacher in Saudi Arabia, that it hoped would persuade wealthy Muslims, especially in oil-rich Gulf countries, to donate their alms for relief work.The United Nations has projected it will need a total of $8 billion this year to provide life-saving assistance to millions of Syrians inside their shattered homeland and to refugees and their host communities in neighboring countries.Millions of Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis have been displaced by civil war, sometimes to neighboring countries, straining the hosts' resources and the United Nations.
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