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.