In an in-depth interview with Devex our chief executive, Naser Haghamed, reflects on how Islamic Relief has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic – from the importance of better supporting local humanitarian actors to coming up with creative new digital fundraising strategies and seeing a rise in public donations.

While many global development organizations have seen their income and fundraising efforts suffer due to the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Islamic Relief Worldwide finds itself in a different position. The world’s largest Islamic charity has seen its income increase during the global crisis, largely driven by individual donors with a different perspective on giving, said Naser Haghamed, the organization’s CEO.

“I think people of faith have a different approach to giving during crisis, whether they are Muslims, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, I think they have a different [perspective],” Haghamed told Devex.

“In Islam, you will say that you are not truly Muslim if you go with your stomach full when your neighbor is hungry,” he said, adding that people have seen the effects of lockdown and economic distress in their communities and around the world, and responded with generosity.

Devex spoke to Haghamed about what COVID-19 has revealed about weaknesses in the global humanitarian system and how Islamic Relief has adapted to the restrictions and demands brought on by the pandemic…

Read the full Q&A here