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Category Page: Worldwide

World Refugee Day 2017: Facing up to the biggest challenge in two decades

How we are responding to the global refugee crisis

Since Islamic Relief first formed more than 30 years ago we have been on the frontline of responding to the needs of forced migrants around the world.

Today the world has reached crisis point as the number of refugees exceeds 20 million – the highest figure for more than two decades.

With forced migration at an unprecedented scale our work on the ground supporting refugees around the world is more vital than ever – not only to meet the needs of the refugees themselves but also to counter the negativity and hostile attitudes that they too often engender. 

The global refugee crisis

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that by the end of 2015 around 65.3 million people around the world had been forced to leave their homes because of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations.

To address this crisis a UN Summit was held in New York last year, bringing world leaders together around one plan.

The resulting New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants contains bold commitments to address current issues and to prepare for future challenges. They include:

  • Protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status. This includes the rights of women and girls and promoting their full, equal and meaningful participation in finding solutions.
  • Ensure that all refugee and migrant children are receiving education within a few months of arrival.
  • Prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Support those countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants.
  • Work towards ending the practice of detaining children for the purposes of determining their migration status.

There are further plans to build on these commitments in the coming years.

Leaders are being asked to begin negotiations that will pave the way to an international conference and a global compact. This means migration, like other areas of international relations, will be guided by a set of common principles and approaches

What is Islamic Relief doing?

At least half the world’s refugees are Muslims. There are over 5 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, and over 4.8 million refugees worldwide are from Syria – including 95% who are living in five neighbouring countries (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt).

Over 2.5 million refugees are from Afghanistan, the majority currently living in Pakistan and Iran.

And over one million refugees are from Somalia, including 413,000 in neighbouring Kenya.

Islamic Relief is supporting people who have been forced to flee their homes in 26 countries around the world, including Canada, Kenya, Myanmar, Mali, Sweden and Syria.

Islamic Relief is supporting people who have been forced to flee their homes in 26 countries around the world.

In 2015 alone (the latest year for which we have full figures) we worked with around 6 million refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, asylum seekers and the communities which hosted them, accounting for just over £40 million of our programmes.

Our work includes the widescale distribution of essential items such as blankets, mattresses and boots in the winter months, supplying hospitals and health centres with medicine and equipment, and offering psychological counselling for children and adults recovering from trauma.

What can you do?

June 20 is World Refugee Day, an annual opportunity for us all to recognise and celebrate the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees.

It’s a chance to promote debate, raise awareness and support some of the great work being done with refugees and migrants around the world.

TOGETHER is a global initiative led by the United Nations that wants to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants, and to strengthen the social cohesion between displaced people and their host communities. Those negative attitudes have been confirmed once again in a new international opinion poll commissioned by Islamic Relief to mark World Refugee Day 2017.

In the New York Declaration, all 193 UN Member States unanimously welcomed TOGETHER and committed to implementing the campaign.

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JoinTogether and please support our work.


An article by Dr. Abdul Rahman Bidin,  Board of Trustee (BOT) of  Islamic Relief Malaysia; For more info, click link below;


Ramadan joy for farmers affected by drought in Malawi

Three consecutive years of droughts and flooding have left half of the population of Malawi in Southern Africa needing food aid. Balaka, in the southern region of the country, is one of the worst-affected districts.

Thousands of farmers did not harvest enough food to feed their families this year; either because of the lack of rain or an outbreak of army worm, which destroys crops.

Islamic Relief Malawi joined forces with the Muslim Association of Malawi to find those who have been the worst-affected and are receiving no other help.

Saina Ali in Taibu Village looks after four orphaned grand-children; Tashida (5), Hanif (8), Gift (11) and Fajra (13). She has a small piece of land and also does piece work on other people’s farms.

She doesn’t have the strength to do too much work as she is old. She doesn’t know her age, just that she is old.

This year she only produced three bags of maize, instead of the usual six, because ‘armyworm’ caterpillars destroyed her crops.

“It makes me sad when there is no food as there is no one who can help me,” she explained. “The children cry when they are hungry and I can’t do anything about it. I get sick often when there is not enough food and do not have the strength to do much for the children.”

 Saina is normally happy during Ramadan because, as she explains, “It is a rare month of mercy. I fast every year, even when I am not feeling well because I am grateful to Allah.” But she was concerned that she would struggle to be able to find enough food to eat during Ramadan.

Islamic Relief gave her a food parcel containing 20 kg of  maize flour, 10 kg of rice, 3kgs of beans, 3 kgs of sugar, 1kg of salt and 1 litre of cooking oil.

“This food pack has really helped me as I will no longer have to struggle to find food for Iftar,” she explained. “I will make a nice soft maize porridge to break fast and I can take sweet tea in the morning for suhoor, which is my favourite think to take in the early morning.”

Yahya Said (38) lives in the same village. He and his wife Doris (30) have four young children; Ruqman (6), Ahmed (8), Jazira (10) and Bashir (12).

Yayha is not able to farm as he is blind and his wife has difficulty walking due to contracting Polio as a child.

“This year my wife was only able to harvest four bags of maize because of the lack of rain and this only lasted four months,” said Yayha. “Now we are dependent on well-wishers.”

Yahya SAid receiving his family’s food pack.

“We cannot afford to send the children to school and they are hungry. We go to sleep on an empty stomach and it’s hard for everyone.”

Now, Yayha and his family are relieved as Ramadan will be much easier with the food parcel.

“We are happy to be able to break fast properly with good food and will have maize or rice porridge with sugar for Iftar,” said Yayha.

He added: “As Muslims, this month is very special and a blessing for us all. We are happy with what we have received, as it is from Allah.

“Allah should continue to bless Islamic Relief because of the good work being done in Malawi.  Please continue to help us and others in need. I ask Allah to reward the donors for this help.”

Source: Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)

Islamic Relief Bangladesh Programme is Shortlisted for Prestigious Award

Outstanding climate change project is recognised by The Charity Awards

A three-year £3 million programme supporting more than 100,000 people to protect themselves against disasters and climate change has made the shortlist at The Charity Awards 2017.

The programme reached out to remotely located people in one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change and natural disasters.

Communities in north west and southern coastal areas of Bangladesh have been battered by heavy rains and flash flooding, cutting off access and putting people, housing, livestock and crops at severe risk.

Islamic Relief’s Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Resilience Project (ECCADR) has helped people in remote locations to prepare for potential disasters and to adapt to environmental changes by excavating canals for irrigation, constructing roads for better access, building biogas plants and introducing early warning systems ahead of cyclones or floods.

Local representatives have been trained to respond effectively to disasters in their communities, implementing innovative solutions and early alert systems that are benefiting 27,000 households (around 170,000 people).

Around 2,400 vulnerable households received first-hand training in a variety of new ways to make a living, from fish farming to tailoring, with support to become self-sufficient.

Where a significant proportion of a fisherman’s income, for example, might have been used to rent his boat from someone else, the programme would support him to buy his own.

Key achievements:

  • Over the course of the project the average family monthly income almost trebled.
  • 97% of newly employed methods of earning a living are continuing successfully.
  • Previously it had been impossible for people to have personal savings but for most people this has changed, with one woman reporting personal savings of 100,000 Bangladeshi Taka (£969).

The winner in the category of international aid and development will be announced at the awards in London on June 8.

Find out more about our work in Bangladesh here.

Source: Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)

Islamic Relief supports 3m Syrians with £43m response

Our latest annual report from Syria shows that last year alone Islamic Relief supported more than 3 million people across Syria and neighbouring countries Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

With the conflict now in its seventh year, more than half of the Syrian population have fled their homes with 13.5 million people in desperate need of humanitarian support.

Islamic Relief CEO Naser Haghamed said: “The greatest challenge for our brave teams on the ground in Syria is that the security situation restricts their movement making it hard to reach besieged areas in dire need of assistance.

“But Islamic Relief’s greatest accomplishments are our ability to access zones reached by no other aid agencies and the strength of support we are giving to health care projects in Syria.

“We could not do this vital work, or reach so many people, without the incredible support we have had from donors around the world.”

Islamic Relief’s programmes last year totalled £43.5m, with £30.5m of that spent within Syria and the remainder delivered across Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

  • Our teams on the ground distributed food parcels to 450,000 people in Aleppo, Idlib, Moadamyah and Lattakia as well as to those trapped in the hard-to-reach and besieged areas of Madaya and Ghouta.
  • Our Ramadan and Qurbani food distributions reached half a million displaced Syrians.
  • Our partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) allowed us to support 13,000 families in Aleppo and Idlib with monthly food assistance.
  • And our supplementary feeding programme is boosting nutrition for 20,000 children aged under five.

Islamic Relief field staff provided more than 100,000 people in Syria with clean water and sanitation, and items including tents, blankets and winter clothing helped 150,000 people in northern Syria to survive the bitterly cold winter.

Among our proudest achievements is a programme to alleviate the psychological suffering of children by providing counselling, educational support and child-friendly spaces for around 900 children in northern Aleppo.

Source: Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)


News Update – Current situation on East Africa (Somalia)

Suffering the effects of two-and-a-half decades of armed conflict, Somalia is also affected by the El Niño phenomenon, leaving communities vulnerable to severe drought and flash flooding.

Threat of famine

The humanitarian situation is critical in Somalia. For many the threat of famine is looming.

According to the UN, some 320,000 children under five years are acutely malnourished, of which 50,000 are severely malnourished.

Since November last year 615,000 people have fled their homes and are now living as ‘internally displaced persons’.

We have distributed large emergency food packs including rice, flour, sugar, milk, porridge and dates to 17,538 people in South Central and Somaliland.

In the next few months we will distribute food to an additional 42,300 people, also including Puntland. More food will be distributed as more funding becomes available.

We will soon be extending our emergency work to cover Baidoa in the south-western Bay region, which is currently experiencing its worst drought in living memory.


Emergency health needs

The effects of the drought have caused the spread of diseases such as acute watery diarrhoea, cholera, measles and nutrition-related diseases such as kwashiorkor and marasmus.

We are providing critical primary health care through three health centres and mobile outreach in IDP camps in and around Mogadishu, in South Central region. Acute watery diarrhoea and measles have been particularly prevalent in this region.

We transport critically ill patients, such as severely malnourished children and pregnant women with complications, by ambulance to hospitals in Mogadishu.

We are currently providing 180,000 litres of clean water every day to around 54,000 people who have fled their homes and are now living in camps outside Mogadishu.


Failing education system

Fewer than a third of children in Somalia go to school.

Thousands of schools have been destroyed during the conflict, and tens of thousands of children are living in overcrowded camps with little or no education facilities.

We have built a school for over 700 pupils in Balcad, just over 20 miles from Mogadishu, and we are starting to build another in Garowe in Puntland region.

We are also building classrooms in the Abdaal district of Somaliland.

Source: Islamic Relief Worldwide

Updated: May 2017





​News Update – East Africa Crisis

Nutrition activities in ETHIOPIA continued this week with 898 children screened and 476 moderate malnourished among them were admitted for assistance.

Supplementary food was provided to 265 individuals

Livestock feeding, maintenance of water points and water trucking along with provision of water treatment sachets continued during the week.

In SOMALIA, 350 food packs and 150 NFIs were distributed in Alwaq (Gedo region) benefitting 2,100 individuals.

Water trucking and primary health care activities continued this week.

More info about East Africa Crisis:

  • Zainab Mohammad Warsame was forced to flee her home with 10 children including a daughter who is epileptic after she lost all of her livestock because of the drought.

Click link https://www.facebook.com/IslamicReliefMalaysia/vid…

  • Our team is on the ground in Somalia doing a food distribution to the IDPs. These are your donations in action!

Click link https://www.facebook.com/IslamicReliefMalaysia/vid…

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