Islamic Relief turns 35 today.
Our founders – Dr Hany El-Banna and fellow students from the University of Birmingham – had set up Islamic Relief on 17 January 1984. Our first donation was 20p and from that we have been able to grow as an organisation and help millions of people across the globe.
Just a year later, in 1985, we began our first project and raised over £100,000 to help those affected by famine in Africa. Islamic Relief has gone on to provide a lifeline for millions of people in the decades that followed, often working in areas that other organisations struggle to access.
We were one of the few international aid agencies working in Iraq during the conflict in 2003. When the deadly Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami struck in 2004, we provided lifesaving aid. We assisted families affected by the 2010 floods in Pakistan, the 2011 famine in Somalia, and when a typhoon hit the Philippines in 2013. When conflict erupted in Gaza again in 2014, Islamic Relief once more continued to work on the ground to help vulnerable people.
At present, we are responding to many of the world’s most dire humanitarian crises – including the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and the East Africa food crisis. We are also using our global influence to push for action on some of the most urgent issues facing the planet, including climate change, gender justice, and the rights of refugees and migrants.
Over the last 35 years we have saved and transformed the lives of over 100 million people. Islamic Relief is the first Muslim organisation to attain Core Humanitarian Standard certification, in recognition of the high quality and impact of our work.
Islamic Relief has come a long way. And as we reflect on our past, we must also look to the future.
Today’s world is a place of unprecedented challenges, uncertainty, and protracted crises in which the need for Islamic Relief’s work has never been greater. We are rising to the challenge, as our Global Strategy takes us in a bold and exciting direction.
We are thankful to our big-hearted volunteers, partners and supporters – their generosity enables us to reach even more vulnerable people.