ALEXANDRIA, Va. – As recent news reports tell of the continuing spread and severity of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak throughout the United States, Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), the largest Muslim-based humanitarian and advocacy organization in the country, has decided to postpone various events scheduled for the upcoming weeks.
“Islamic Relief will continue it’s lifesaving relief and development work, because the most vulnerable will continue to need support,” said Sharif Aly, chief executive officer of IRUSA. “However, out of an abundance of caution — and to mitigate any risk of community spread of the coronavirus–we will reduce some of our in-person activities in the short term to protect the public from unnecessary risks. The health and well-being of our employees, volunteers, and stakeholders is most important at this time. We will continue our work to support those whom we serve all across the world and here in the United States. We ask you to continue providing your support.”
The events that have been cancelled or postponed include a volunteer deployment at a home-rebuilding project in a section of Houston that was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, fundraising events at various mosques and banquet halls, and meetings with officials from fellow nongovernmental organizations and members of Congress.
As of Thursday afternoon, March 12, there have been 39 deaths and 1,292 cases linked to the coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN.
IRUSA urges supporters to contact their representatives and senators by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202- 224-3121) to take action to strengthen programs that help communities in need. Currently, the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Among other things, this bill calls for paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, expansion of food security programs like SNAP (food stamps) and WIC, and free coronavirus testing for the uninsured for those facing the consequences of this public health emergency. Islamic Relief USA believes this piece of legislation is consistent with its mission of providing relief and development in a dignified manner and empowering individuals in their communities.
In addition to vulnerable populations, COVID-19 threatens to affect the livelihoods of many hourly service workers who are either unable to because of sickness or not allowed to work due to mandatory telework. It’s critical that the federal government support policies that prevent further exacerbation of the crisis.
Syed M. Hassan
(571) 421-7032 (cell)
Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.