Islamic Relief

This article is about the UK-based Islamic Relief. It is not to be confused with the Saudi Arabia-based International Islamic Relief Organization.
Islamic Relief Worldwide

Islamic Relief logo.
Motto Faith Inspired Action
Founded 1984
Founder Hany El-Banna
Type International NGO
Focus Sustainable Livelihoods, Education, Health & Nutrition, Orphans and Child Welfare, Water Sanitation & Hygiene, Emergency Relief & Disaster Preparedness, Campaigning, Integrated development
Headquarters Birmingham, UK
  • 19 Rea Street, Digbeth
Area served
Key people
CEO: Naser Haghamed Chair of Trustees: Tahir Salie
£99.1 million (2014)[1]

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is an international humanitarian organisation that provides development programs and humanitarian relief around the globe, regardless of race, political affiliation, gender or belief.

Founded in 1984 in the United Kingdom, it states that it delivers its projects in over 30 countries. It also owns a subsidiary company, TIC International, based in Birmingham, UK. It collects and recycles clothes to raise funds for IRW's work and provides canned meat for aid purposes.[2]

IRW is banned from the United Arab Emirates and Israel due to alleged financing of terrorist organizations,[3] an accusation that the organization denies. The organization continues to operate in the militarily occupied Palestinian territories despite the Israeli ban.[4]

Memberships and key partnerships

IRW is a member of the UN's Economic and Social Council and it is a signatory to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGO s in Disaster Relief. It is also a member of Bond (British Overseas NGOs for Development) and in the UK, a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), along with 14 other charities.

IRW is co-owner of the International Civil Society Centre, a global action platform, and an affiliate member of the INGO Accountability Charter Company.

The organisation states that its key partners include WFP, IDB, UNHCR, UNOCHA, EC, DFID, UNDP, OIC, Sida, Bahrain RCO, START Network, ROTA, and CAFOD.

Islamic Relief is part of the global Make Poverty History coalition which is campaigning to end extreme poverty and the Beyond 2015 coalition, which aims to influence the development framework which will replace the Millennium Development Goals. It has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in humanitarian work with Lutheran World Federation(LWF)[5] and also formed a partnership with the African Union to tackle chronic poverty.


According to Islamic Relief's Global Strategy 2011-2015 document,[6] the organisation's four aims are

  1. Protecting Life and Dignity: Enabling communities to reduce the risks and effects of disasters by preparation for their occurrences, hazard mitigation and timely response through providing effective relief, protection and recovery
  2. Empowering Communities: Enabling the sustainable development of the communities we work with through integrated development underpinned with sustainable livelihoods, social justice and environmental custodianship
  3. Campaigning for Change: Supporting the marginalised and vulnerable to voice their needs and address root causes of poverty and suffering
  4. Strengthening the Islamic Relief Family: Building a governance system and infrastructure for the growing Islamic Relief global partnership that will maximise the size, efficiency and effectiveness of our operations to alleviate poverty and suffering


According to Islamic Relief's Global Strategy 2011-2015 document[7] the organisation states their values and teachings are provided by the revelations contained within the Qur'an and Prophetic example. They are Ikhlas (sincerity), Ihsan (excellence), Rahma (compassion), Adl (social justice) and Amana (custodianship).


Awards and nominations

The umbrella group NARRI - of which Islamic Relief is a founding member - received the Sasakawa Award for excellence in disaster risk reduction in 2013.

Islamic Relief features in the top 100 charities in the UK. At the UK British Muslim Awards in 2013, it was named 'Charity of the Year'.

The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC) awarded Islamic Relief USA with the InterFaith Visionary Award for its generous donation to support the vital work of building community and nurturing understanding among different faith-based communities. Also in 2010, a project to improve access to education in India won the UNESCO Wenhui Honourable Commendation award for educational innovation.

In January 2013, the charity was awarded the Charity of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[11] In January 2015, it was nominated for the Charity of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[11]

In May 2016, the charity was awarded the 3G Leadership Award for Social Sector & Philanthropy.[12] The 3G Awards are presented to governments, corporates and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for excellence in transparency, good governance and social responsibility.[13]

Islamic Relief offices and partners

Registered offices



Affiliated implementing partners

Affiliated Implementing Partners deliver projects on behalf of the Islamic Relief family. Some of these are independent legal entities. These include:

Islamic Relief Chechnya

Islamic Relief India

Islamic Relief Kenya

Islamic Relief Pakistan

Field offices




Bosnia and Herzegovina












Palestinian Territories

The Philippines

Russian Federation (North Caucasus)


South Sudan





Countries in which IRW works through the offices of local organisations to deliver projects include: Central African Republic, China, Guinea, India, Myanmar, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Syria.

Islamic Relief Academy

In 2013, Islamic Relief Academy was established to promote and deliver the management and leadership agenda of Islamic Relief, as well as to assist the entire 'family' in researching and developing new ideas and initiatives. The Academy aims to develop the leadership capacity and capability of Islamic Relief by commissioning and delivering development interventions and activities.[14]

Controversy and allegations of terror links

In June 2014, Israel added IRW to a list of organisations banned from operating in Israel, for allegedly funding Hamas.[15] Islamic Relief continued to operate despite the ban and two days later the charity's West Bank offices were raided and their computers were destroyed, files were stolen, and an office safe was blown apart.[16] A 2014 audit commissioned by Islamic Relief and carried out by "a leading global audit firm" found no evidence of any link to terrorism. The Israeli government responded by claiming its decision to declare IRW illegal was "based on information that has been accumulated over years, that the fund is a central player in financing of Hamas".[17]

On 15 November 2014, the United Arab Emirates placed Islamic Relief on a list of proscribed organisations.[18][19]

In 2016, it was revealed that the banking group HSBC had severed ties with IRW over concerns that cash meant for humanitarian aid could end up with terrorist groups abroad.[20] The bank invited IRW to "end the relationship", which they did at the end of 2014.[21]

Islamic Relief has denied any links to Hamas, citing its support from numerous UN agencies and government aid donors. Though the UK Charity Commission chose not to investigate Islamic Relief, Islamic Relief commissioned an independent investigation into the incident.[22] Islamic Relief says the findings of the audit firm fully cleared Islamic Relief of the allegations. Though it refused to publish the audit or name the audit firm, it claims these findings were shared in full with 'a number of major stakeholders',[23] which have continued to fund Islamic Relief.


  1. Retrieved 2016-06-16. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. "Vision, Mission and Values". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  3. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "Islamic Relief and Lutheran World Federation global cooperation". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  6. "Islamic Relief's Strategy Report 2011-2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  7. "Islamic Relief's Global Strategy 2011-2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  8. "Bosnia Appeal: Faith, hope and charities". The Independent. 1994-01-19. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  9. "HRH celebrates the 25th anniversary of Islamic Relief". Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  10. "Audit 'clears Islamic Relief' of terror funding claim". BBC News. 12 December 2014.
  11. 1 2 "Winners honoured at British Muslim Awards". Asian Image. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  12. "3G Award Winners 2016".
  13. "3G Awards Introduction".
  14. "Islamic Relief Academy". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  15. "Israel bans UK-based Muslim charity accused of funding Hamas". Reuters.
  16. Randeep Ramesh. "Islamic Relief defies Israeli ban and continues operations in Palestine | Society". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  17. Price, Matthew (2014-12-12). "Audit 'clears Islamic Relief' of terror funding claim". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  18. Simeon Kerr (2014-11-16). "UAE blacklists 83 groups as terrorists". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  19. "Charity banned over 'links to terrorism'". The Times. 2014-11-18. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  20. "Terror fear makes HSBC cut ties to Muslim charity". The Sunday Times. 3 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  21. "HSBC cuts ties with UK Muslim charity over 'terror' fears". The Times of India. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  22. Lazareva, Inna; Bingham, John (3 September 2014). "Islamic Relief turns down Gaza funds after Israeli ban". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  23. "There's no evidence that Islamic Relief finances Hamas, investigation says". Third Sector. Retrieved 4 January 2016.

External links

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