“It’s like a large blue ball of yarn with an unravelling thread that traverses time and space to touch the hearts of millions. To signify our journey of friendships, new projects, and constant learning.”
There’s a blue thread you follow, and it has led you here.
Over the past 40 years, you have joined Islamic Relief in moving towards a more compassionate and just world where no one is left behind. Thank you for your continued generosity and care!
Trusted to Deliver Since 1984
For four decades, our ability to create a positive impact in the communities we serve has earned the trust of our loyal donors and the incredible staff and volunteers who have taken this journey with us.
Since 1984, Islamic Relief has saved and transformed the lives of over 120 million people across 40 countries worldwide – including more than 17 million rights-holders in 2022 alone.
Islamic Relief has an unwavering, faith-based approach to providing aid and a firm commitment to robust policies, accountability, and transparency. An example is our scholar-verified Zakat policy, which ensures your Zakat is in trusted hands, so your donation is not just a simple transaction but a means to uplift and transform!
We value the communities we serve, centring their voices in our project's research and development phase to ensure their needs are prioritized and met. All this has earned Islamic Relief the trust that we will continue transforming your donations into lifesaving, life-changing aid for those who need it most.
A Brief History of Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief was founded in 1984 in Birmingham by medical student Hany El-Banna in response to the famine in East Africa. He and other young Muslim volunteers raised Islamic Relief's first funds to secure £135,000. They established three international projects in Islamic Relief's first year of operation, including two chicken farms, a shipment of biscuits and vitamins to Sudan, and a shipment of wheat flour to Mauritania.
Over the next five years, we started working in Mozambique, Iran, Pakistan, Malawi, Iraq, and Afghanistan, among others, responding primarily to emergencies but laying the groundwork for sustainable development programming.
Today, Islamic Relief Worldwide is among the world’s largest relief and development charities. With operations in more than 40 countries, in 2022 alone, our emergency aid, long-term development, and advocacy work directly helped over 17.3 million people.
Imagine the Future
As Islamic Relief marks its 40th anniversary, we recognize that the world looks very different from 1984. Humanity is confronted by unprecedented challenges, including the climate crisis, erosion of rules-based international order, and economic inequality.
These challenges are the leading root causes of poverty and vulnerability in communities worldwide, and they’re being sustained at a systemic level.
To create lasting and profound change over the next ten years, Islamic Relief will continue to build long-term, innovative, and sustainable programs together with the rights-holders we serve. We remain committed to tackling the root causes of these issues and constantly improving our approach – this is why we’ll also focus on integrating advocacy into all aspects of our work.
Islamic Relief’s 10-Year Strategy
Inspired by our Islamic faith and the teachings of the Qur’an, Islamic Relief’s 10-year strategy, spanning 2023- 2033, is guided by the Maqasid Framework. The Arabic word ‘Maqasid’ means goal or purpose and emphasizes the sanctity of every individual’s life and dignity and their rights to security, health, a sustainable environment, food, shelter, and clean water.
Over the next ten years, we will continue our use of the Maqasid framework to tackle some of the unprecedented challenges our world is currently facing, with a stronger focus on:
Reducing vulnerability to humanitarian crises
Uplifting families and communities through food, health, education, and livelihoods
Addressing global and local root causes of poverty
Raising funds, growing resources, and building the Islamic Relief Family
Increasing our capacity as an organization to deliver our purpose
Our 10-year global strategy focuses on achieving three core outcomes:
We will save lives and reduce vulnerability to humanitarian crises
We will empower communities to tackle poverty and vulnerability
We will advocate for change to the system to eliminate the global and local root causes of inequality.
Stories of Your Impact
Read our Newly Published 2023 Impact Report
From Bangladesh to Ethiopia to Palestine to Syria and at home right here in Canada, you helped us deliver urgent help to 3.4 million people in need.
Your Sadaqa, Zakat, and donations helped fund over 176 projects this year,
Sponsoring 24,000 orphans
Bringing emergency humanitarian aid to 750,000 people
Transforming the lives of 1.9 million people through sustainable food, clean water and livelihoods
Follow Your Donation
Did you know you can follow where your donations go?
Click to watch our video series, Follow Your Donation, and read through our reports to see the impact of your donations, the people you’ve helped, and all the incredible stories that happen along the way.