Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired humanitarian aid and development agency working to save and transform the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Established in the UK in 1984, we work in over 45 countries, assist people of all faiths according to need and do not discriminate in any way.

Close to the communities we serve, we work hard to understand their culture and needs and gain their trust. Our proximity means we can often respond swiftly to emergencies and work in areas that other organisations cannot access.

Our humanitarian and development projects typically help over 10 million people every year, contributing directly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We help communities to better protect themselves against recurrent challenges such as drought and floods, and we deliver lifesaving emergency aid when disaster strikes. We provide vital services such as healthcare, water and sanitation and hygiene. Our livelihoods and education projects empower people to escape poverty and build brighter futures.

To maximise our impact and build community resilience, Islamic Relief develops the capacity of local partners to work alongside us in delivering effective aid and development programmes. Through global advocacy we push for positive change particularly on climate change, gender justice and forced displacement, and we develop Islamic perspectives that combine spiritual and practical insights to provide distinctive, impactful approaches to some of the biggest challenges facing our world.

The high quality and impact of our work means we are the only UK-based Muslim charity to be awarded Core Humanitarian Standard certification. As full members of the INGO Accountability Charter our excellence in transparency, good governance and social responsibility is recognised.

We are signatories to the Red Cross Code of Conduct, which sets ethical standards for organisations involved in humanitarian work and commits us to the important principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence. We are also firmly committed to the People in Aid code of best practice. One of the world’s largest relief and development charities, to date we have helped over 133 million vulnerable people worldwide.

Islamic Relief staff in South Africa prepare food parcels for distribution to vulnerable families.

Our values and faith perspective

Islamic Relief is guided by the timeless values and teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the prophetic example. In particular, our organisation is committed to five key values:

  • Sincerity (ikhlas) – We are driven and motivated by sincerity to God and our duty to humanity.
  • Excellence (ihsan) – A commitment to excellence is a hallmark of our operations, programmes and conduct towards the vulnerable people we serve.
  • Compassion (rahma) – Every life is precious, so we join other humanitarian actors in easing the suffering caused by disasters, poverty and injustice.
  • Social Justice (adl) – We empower poor and vulnerable people to have their rights fulfilled and to achieve their God-given potential.
  • Custodianship (amana) – We value and protect the Earth and its resources, including its people, and we aim to honour the trust people place in us to be transparent and accountable.

We are a policy leader in the arena of Islamic humanitarianism, developing distinctive and practical approaches to the key issues that are affecting our world today – including climate change, gender justice, forced migration, peacebuilding, child protection and inclusion.

Our Islamic values and insights influence all aspects of our work, and sit alongside our decades of development experience in helping to shape humanitarian and social justice approaches in the broader sector.

Imam Mahamadou speaks with his family outside their home in Bamako, Mali. The faith leader works with Islamic Relief to advocate for better child protection and against gender-based violence.

Our global strategy

Our bold global strategy for 2017-2021 focuses our expertise and resources in the service of the world’s most vulnerable people. Our four global goals are:

  1. Reducing the humanitarian impact of conflicts and natural disasters. We are increasing our capacity to respond rapidly to disasters and building a global reputation for delivering emergency aid. In addition, we prepare at-risk communities to reduce the impact of disasters.
  2. Empowering communities to emerge from poverty and vulnerability. Building on our expertise in integrated development, we develop multi-year funding to support much needed long-term development programmes. We also seek to prioritise inclusion of people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities across our work.
  3. Mobilising people and funds to support our work. We advocate on the issues that matter most to the world’s most vulnerable people, influencing decision makers to act, and grow the support, funds and partnerships that power our vital work.
  4. Strengthening the Islamic Relief federation. Ambitious governance reforms are building a platform for greater impact and efficiency by increasing collaboration across the Islamic Relief family; and helping to cement our reputation as the leading international Islamic aid agency, known for transparency, neutrality and sincerity.

Islamic Relief staff participate in a climate strike in Birmingham, UK.

Our strategic partnerships

To maximise our impact, Islamic Relief works with a diverse range of strategic partners who share our humanitarian goals. These include:

  • Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD)
  • Bond
  • CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development)
  • Care
  • CHS Alliance
  • Climate Action Network International
  • Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)
  • Finn Church Aid
  • Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
  • Gender and Development Network (GADN)
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • HIAS
  • Humanitarian Coalition
  • IASC
  • ICVA
  • International Islamic Charity Organization
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • Islamic Development Bank
  • Joint Learning Initiative (JLI)
  • Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO)
  • Lutheran World Federation
  • Network for Religious & Traditional Peacebuilders (NRTP)
  • NGO Voice
  • Qatar Charity
  • Qatar Red Crescent
  • Radiohjälpen
  • Reach Out To Asia (ROTA)
  • Sheikh Abdullah Al Nouri
  • Charity Society
  • Sida (Swedish International Development Agency Cooperation)
  • Start Network
  • Trócaire
  • UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
  • UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • UN World Food Programme (WFP)
  • UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund)
  • Unicef
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
  • US Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • World Vision
  • Zakat House