Islamic Relief has met with key figures – including Her Excellency the Chairperson – in the African Union. The session in Addis Ababa was designed to boost humanitarian work in the region.

The Islamic Relief Worldwide delegation – which included trustee Tahir Salie and Mehdi Ben M’rad, Director of International Programmes – travelled to Ethiopia’s capital city for high-level meetings with the African Union to discuss avenues of partnership in Africa.

In a session with Her Excellency, Dr Nkosazana C Dlamini-Zuma, Chair of the African Union, we presented our work serving vulnerable communities in Africa and around the world. We explored how Islamic Relief and the African Union could work together to tackle chronic poverty as a consequence of natural and manmade disasters and lack of opportunities.

Islamic Relief and the African Union meet in Addis Ababa.

Islamic Relief and the African Union meet in Addis Ababa.

Help, emphasised the chairperson and the African Union lead on Ebola response, is urgently required to stop the spread of the disease. Ebola has so far taken thousands of lives, mostly in West Africa.

In a later session with the leading health expert, Islamic Relief and the African Union discussed the response to the Ebola crisis and agreed to explore further ways of cooperating.

We also met with other key African Union representatives – including from the Humanitarian Affairs Department and the Economic Commission – to explore opportunities in areas such as youth volunteerism and financial inclusion.

It is hoped that engagement with the African Union – which took place in Ethiopia over two days in October – will enable Islamic Relief to strengthen its work in the region, so we can reach even more people who need our help.