Fourth-Quarter CTG Beneficiary: Islamic Relief USA


by Lyz Liddell, Director of Campus Organizing for the Secular Student Alliance and Challenge the Gap Advisory Board Member

We are excited to introduce the Challenge the Gap beneficiary for our fourth quarter of 2011: Islamic Relief USA. Motivated by the Muslim faith, the organization holds to high ideals: They have earned multiple awards for their service and were recently accepted as a signatory to the Code of Conduct from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IRFC) and are firmly committed to a non-proselytizing, non-discriminatory aid policy.

An independent partner of the global “Islamic Relief” family of relief organizations, Islamic Relief USA strives to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy, and diseases worldwide regardless of color, race, religion, or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects allowing communities to better help themselves.

The organization realizes their mission in five primary areas: education, food aid, health, livelihood, and water/sanitation. In addition, they run several campaigns to encourage giving and respond to specific emergencies, including a Day of Dignity program, malaria treatment and prevention, orphan aid, and a U.S. children’s food program. 

Islamic Relief USA is currently running a special campaign to address the crisis in the Horn of Africa, where more than 13 million people across East Africa are facing the worst drought in 60 years. Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are among the countries hardest hit by food and water shortages. Islamic Relief has been working in Kenya since 1993, Somalia since 1998, and Ethiopia since 2000 to help the people there who have lived under dire conditions for decades. They have been delivering assistance for this particular effort since July 2011. So far, Islamic Relief has helped provide aid including food and water, medical care, hygiene supplies, and household assistance. 

As part of their campaign to help the Horn of Africa, Islamic Relief USA has developed a great website with details about the aid they have been able to provide, where, and how. Check it out here.

Why is a humanist foundation supporting a religious charity?