From the very start, Islamic Relief had one vision:


“Inspired by our Islamic faith and guided by our values, we envision a caring world where communities are empowered, social obligations are fulfilled, and people respond as one to the suffering of others.”

In line with Islamic teachings on the value of every human life, we provide this assistance to whoever needs it most, regardless of gender, religion, or race. We work to transform and save lives of people in crisis both across the USA and internationally.

While our beginnings were in disaster and emergency relief – providing for those who have suffered and lost everything in droughts, earthquakes, floods or conflict – alongside this immediate assistance, Islamic Relief has always aimed to relieve poverty and suffering in the long-term too.

The year after it was founded, Islamic Relief set up its first field office in Khartoum, Sudan, ready to help those affected by the drought not just survive, but rebuild their lives.

Since then, we have opened over 100 offices in 40 countries worldwide – from Afghanistan to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Somalia to Syria to right here in the United States. In addition to disaster relief, we carry out sustainable development work to provide winter aid, water, food, shelter, healthcare, education in the long-term. We also work to support orphans and children, help people into employment and build livelihoods to support their families, and protect vulnerable communities from future disasters, preventing the loss of lives and property.

Islamic Relief also advocates towards building a more just and equitable society. Inspired by our faith, we campaign against a range of issues including the increasing impact of climate change, gender-based violence, and war and conflict worldwide.

Over 34 years, the Islamic Relief global family has grown, by the grace of Allah (SWT), into one of the world’s largest Islamic NGOs, and Islamic Relief USA has been a part of that legacy for more than 25 years.

As we look to the future, we are always eager to learn, develop and improve our work, to serve those most in need. We aim to do this all in line with our key values, taken from our Islamic faith: compassion, justice, custodianship, sincerity, and excellence.


Islamic Relief USA  – 1993 to 2020:


  • Islamic Relief USA incorporates in Los Angeles
  • War breaks out in Bosnia; American Muslims move to act
  • IRUSA makes its first public appearance at a youth conference in Orange County, CA


  • Los Angeles staff and volunteers visit at least 10 mosques thirty times in Ramadan, raising $3,000 for Bosnian war relief
  • Volunteers stuff 3,000 mailers by hand
  • IRUSA launches its first emergency campaign in response to the Chechnya conflict


  • Oklahoma City bombing leaves 168 dead and hundreds injured; IRUSA sends $5,000 for relief
  • First fundraising dinner held in Yorba Linda, CA, raises $300,000 for Chechnya humanitarian aid


  • IRUSA grows to include five employees
  • IRUSA donors share meat for the Eid al-Adha holiday around the globe, from Somalia to Pakistan
  • Staff visit local programs being supported in Bosnia


  • Donors join together to send relief to Iraq war survivors
  • IRUSA staff share Qurbani meat in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Orphans continue to be sponsored worldwide; one Sudanese orphan, Mariam, no longer had to sell peanuts to go to school after being sponsored


  • Islamic Relief USA celebrates its 5-year anniversary and plans for future growth
  • A 6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Afghanistan; IRUSA prioritizes sending relief
  • IRUSA supports the needs of school children in Kashmir


  • Kosovo crisis begins in March
  • IRUSA workers travel to Albania in April to help set up the first Islamic Relief camp for Kosovo refugees
  • At home, Islamic Relief USA looks ahead to development trends of the coming 21st century


  • Water wells are built and supported in parts of Africa, such as Mali
  • IRUSA provides humanitarian aid to survivors of war in Chechnya
  • IRUSA staff visit the town of Ingushetia in Russia


  • After 9/11 attacks, IRUSA organizes blood drives and distributes food to rescue workers in New York City
  • IRUSA launches a campaign for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan


  • IRUSA’s “Humanitarian Day” is held for the first time, becoming a United States-wide annual tradition now known as “Day of Dignity”
  • IRUSA spends $6.6 million on programs that help those in need around the world


  • IRUSA begins sponsoring orphans
  • US donors sponsor 513 orphans by January alone
  • After a major earthquake strikes Iran in December, a relief campaign begins


  • IRUSA receives its first 4-star rating from Charity Navigator
  • Global “Children in Need” campaign launches and continues until today
  • A devastating tsunami hits Indonesia and neighbors; IRUSA donors send aid to help homes, health clinics, schools, and livelihood needs


  • IRUSA cares for Hurricane Katrina survivors and provides a new building for a destroyed health care facility
  • Pakistan is rocked by a massive earthquake; IRUSA sends large-scale relief
  • IRUSA expands, opening offices in Texas and New Jersey


  • IRUSA donors send humanitarian aid after famine spreads across Africa and violence erupts in Lebanon
  • Development projects grow to include water initiatives in Mali and health initiatives in Afghanistan


  • Bangladesh is devastated by a cyclone; IRUSA donors send immediate relief
  • IRUSA expands existing development projects, such as focusing on education in Mali


  • IRUSA donors now provide relief in more than 20 countries
  • New IRUSA national headquarters are established near Washington, DC, in Northern Virginia


  • Emergency spreads in Palestine; IRUSA sends aid for medicine, food, and clothes
  • Islamic Relief USA continues to support orphans worldwide, expanding programs in India and Afghanistan


  • IRUSA hosts its first Capitol Hill iftar dinner
  • Massive flooding submerges large portions of Pakistan; IRUSA sends aid that assists hundreds of thousands over the next two years


  • IRUSA trains Disaster Response Team; its first action is to help Alabama tornado survivors
  • IRUSA aids Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria after political unrest spreads
  • Drought and famine strike East Africa; donors provide food, water, and medical care
  • IRUSA CEO speaks before the United Nations


  • IRUSA gives $36.5 million of emergency relief, food, water, and development aid
  • Ramadan food packages help feed 318,731 people in 23 countries
  • Udhiyah/Qurbani meat is shared with over 430,000 people in 26 countries
  • The White House invites Islamic Relief to its annual iftar dinner


  • IRUSA extends humanitarian aid after Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines
  • There are 40,000 donors and 800 volunteers that now support IRUSA each year
  • IRUSA staff grows to 89 employees; relief is provided in over 30 countries
  • More than 10,000 orphans sponsored


  • IRUSA signs a memorandum with the American Red Cross, becoming its first Muslim partner
  • Inner-City Muslim Action Network, supported by IRUSA, is named Chicago’s Best Affordable Healthcare


  • Donors now provide humanitarian aid in more than 50 countries, and help over 100,000 Americans right here at home
  • IRUSA co-sponsors the World Bank’s first summit on religion and sustainable development
  • Staff attend UN summit on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


  • IRUSA responds to eight US emergencies, including delivering water to residents of Flint, MI, for six months
  • IRUSA focuses on housing and women’s empowerment at two UN summits
  • Donors share Ramadan food with almost 400,000 recipients and Eid meat with over one million people worldwide


  • IRUSA hosts InterAction Forum, where members of leading relief agencies came together to show support for relief efforts
  • IRUSA staffs a shelter for Hurricane Harvey survivors in Texas
  • Disaster Response Team (DRT) responds to eight national emergencies


  • The American Red Cross awards IRUSA’s Disaster Response Team a $500,000 grant to implement long-term hurricane recovery in Texas
  • For the 12th time, IRUSA earns a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator
  • IRUSA celebrates 25 years of working together for a better world


  • IRUSA partners to pack over 375,000 meals as part of a nationwide commemoration on the anniversary of 9/11 tragedy
  • IRUSA is an honored guest at the opening one of the largest food banks in the nation, located in Delaware
  • Poverty to Profit is launched, providing a livelihood microfinance program dedicated to helping break the chains of poverty


  • IRUSA commits more than $5 million to help those affected by the unprecedented global pandemic, coronavirus
  • IRUSA was one of the first humanitarian agencies to respond to Ethiopian refugees in Sudan and IDPs across Ethiopia affected by the outbreak of conflict in Tigray


  • In response to COVID-19, IRUSA launches Hot Meals Monday, providing hot, nutritious meals to vulnerable individuals in cities across the U.S.
  • Following escalated violence during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr 2021, IRUSA launches an emergency campaign in Palestine
  • In July 2021, IRUSA responds to intense flooding in Sudan
  • IRUSA mobilized over $5 million in funds across 8 African countries towards famine prevention interventions
  • Volunteers of IRUSA packed over 1.4 million meals for vulnerable families


  • IRUSA committed $10 million to support the advancement of health, education, and livelihood for vulnerable populations across Afghanistan
  • IRUSA helped feed 2.2 million individuals during Ramadan and Qurbani
Islamic Relief USA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID# 95-4453134) | CFC# 10194 | Islamic Relief USA © 2024 | All Rights Reserved