BURBANK, California (August 4, 2005) – Islamic Relief Executive Director Dr.

Ahmad El Bendary and Deveolpment Coordinator Naeem Muhammad have

returned from a humanitarian mission to Mali where they witnessed first-hand

the devastating effects of the food crisis facing the West African nation.

Joining them on the delegation was Los Angeles-based filmmaker Wesam

Nassar, who also traveled to Niger and documented the crisis for Islamic


The people of Niger and Mali are suffering through a severe food crisis, where

over 3.5 million risk starvation, including 800,000 children. The delegation

toured the country and met Islamic Relief staff members working in the two

countries. Islamic Relief was one of the first few aid agencies to respond to

the crisis before it began to receive media coverage. Islamic Relief is planning

to support 1 million people through its food distribution and medical aid


Muhammad, in a statement about his humanitarian mission noted, “The

poverty level in Mali is staggering alone. But when you add to that a food

security crisis and water shortage the problems seem insurmountable.”

On the trip, Dr. El Bendary also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Mali, the

Minister of Solidarity, and representatives of United Nations Children’s Fund

(UNICEF), the World Food Program (WFP) and the U.S. Agency for

International Development (USAID).

Media representatives interested in interviewing the delegation should

contact Islamic Relief’s media representative below.

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