(Washington, D.C., 1/13/2012) As cold winter weather brings misery for the survivors of Turkey’s October and November earthquakes, Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA)—a relief and development organization based in the D.C. metro area—is supporting 615 children between the ages of 6 and 16 in Van province.  The 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Van, killing 601 people and injuring 4,152.  According to the Disasters and Emergency Situations Directorate of Turkey, at least 11,232 buildings were damaged, and 6,017 were found to be uninhabitable.  An aftershock measuring 5.6 rocked the city of Van on November 9, 2011, and caused the collapse of more than 25 buildings, including apartments, two hotels and a children’s hospital.

This project is providing the 615 children and their families with winter clothing, food and hygiene kits. Children will receive daily food baskets for 40 days containing milk, fruit juice, sandwiches, sweet tahini bars and seasonal fruits.  Islamic Relief also is providing hygiene kits containing two months’ worth of needs for 398 households, including hand soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, detergent for clothes and dishwashing, shavers, diapers and other items.

Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., 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 programs benefited more than 3.4 million people in 34 countries, including the United States.

In addition to its 4-star rating on 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Asma Yousef, 703.582.5880, ayousef@irusa.org

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