7th January 2021
The General Secretariat for Counsel of Ministers, a branch of the Iraqi government, has issued a communication that Islamic Relief Worldwide has had its moveable and immoveable funds and ‘economic resources’ frozen. Islamic Relief has issued the following statement in response:
“Islamic Relief was alerted to this decision through third parties and has not received any official communication about it. We have been engaging with Iraqi authorities on these issues and had understood progress was being made, so we are shocked and extremely surprised by this decision and we categorically refute any suggestion of criminality. We are reaching out to the authorities through our lawyers as a matter of urgency and welcome an opportunity to clarify any mistaken assumptions on which the decision is based.
Islamic Relief rejects and condemns terrorism and is a purely humanitarian organisation with no political affiliations. We work to uphold the strictest humanitarian standards of neutrality, impartiality and independence in more than 30 countries around the world, and our accounts are regularly audited to international standards. We are extremely proud of our humanitarian work in Iraq, where we have worked continuously since 1997 to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people affected by war, displacement and poverty. We provide food, shelter and water, equip young people with vocational training and apprenticeships, and repair and improve schools. This work supports communities all over the country, including Sunni, Shia, Yazidi and Christian groups.”