WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 2011—Three-quarters of a million people are on the brink of starvation and death in the Horn of Africa, and more than half of Americans have not even heard of the problem. So Alexandria, Va.-based Islamic Relief USA heeded an urgent call to action by the U.S. Agency for International Development by supporting the FWD (Famine, War, Drought) campaign—an initiative to educate Americans about the crisis and to encourage more people to donate to provide relief.

Although media attention and public interest in the crisis have waned, the famine in Somalia has continued to spread. The international response remains inadequate. Islamic Relief USA, a leading force on the ground, redirected attention to this dire situation by tapping into its unique resources on Nov. 9. As part of these efforts, the organization reached out to tens of thousands through Facebook, Twitter and email, and sent talking points to a network of imams and community leaders across the country to use in educating their congregations about this campaign.

Islamic Relief USA welcomed the joint FWD Campaign to garner attention to the 13.3. million people—a number larger than the population of New York City and Los Angeles combined—who are affected by the crisis. Already, as part of its relief effort in the Horn of Africa, Islamic Relief USA has built wells, established a supplementary feeding program for malnourished mothers and children, and delivered food packs to more than 200,000 people and water to more than 160,000. In Somalia, the organization also provided latrines, a cholera isolation unit and mobile health units.

Islamic Relief USA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization with eight consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator. 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.  In 2010, Islamic Relief USA’s programs benefited more than 4.3 million people in 34 countries, including the United States.

In addition to its 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, 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.


Name: Hebah Reed
Phone: 703-370-7202
Email: hreed@irusa.org

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