BUENA PARK, CA (December 11, 2006) – Islamic Relief and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) recently signed a major agreement to expand collaboration in the two organizations’ responses to humanitarian emergencies and efficient delivery of food aid to the needy.

“I am very happy with this formalization of our relationship, as the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding brings this successful cooperation to the limelight,” said Dr. Hany El Banna, President of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

“Even more importantly, it opens up opportunities for even more intensive cooperation – both in terms of program and implementation and in terms of policy-level engagement.

“As such, this Memorandum of Understanding offers new opportunities to further improve the way in which we serve the world’s poorest communities and our ability to empower them to lift themselves out of poverty.”

Islamic Relief and the WFP signed a detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the areas of cooperation and the terms of the agreement. The MOU stipulates that cooperation will be all-encompassing and cover all sectors of activities carried out by both organizations, including emergency operations and long-term projects.

The list of activities include “the provision of: immediate life-sustaining food assistance, basic education – especially for girls, HIV/AIDS treatment, maintenance of an adequate nutritional status, and the promotion of socio-economic self-reliance, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.”

WFP Executive Director James Morris said, “This is a team that can make a real difference to the lives of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.”

“For many years, WFP has worked alongside Islamic Relief in crises as diverse as the Pakistan earthquake and the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan. Strengthening our relationship in this way is the logical next step.”

As a member of the UN Economic and Social Council, Islamic Relief has been committed to working with partners to provide increased aid in the most efficient manner. This agreement with the WFP is a major achievement in that direction and illustrates the impact of organizations working together to help the needy.

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