Issued by the Faith Alliance for Health

An interfaith coalition of faith-based organisations has announced it will mobilize one million faith leaders over the next five years to help improve the health of women and children in countries with high child mortality rates.

The Faith Alliance for Health comprises CMMB – Healthier Lives Worldwide, Catholic Relief Services, Episcopal Relief & Development, Islamic Relief USA, the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association, and World Vision. The partnership also benefits from a very strong set of committed advisors from the donor, multilateral, and consultant communities1.

Its commitment to build capacity of local faith leadership and networks to promote both behavior change and increase demand for maternal, child and adolescent health services is its significant contribution to the next phase of the Every Woman Every Child2 Global Strategy.

Anwar Khan, CEO of Islamic Relief, USA, highlighted that marshalling faith leaders’ reach and influence in communities is the Alliance’s strength: “It’s estimated that 84% of the world’s population identify with a religious group. Our newly formed Faith Alliance for Health will capitalize on this fact and faith leaders are key to promoting behaviors that protect the health of the most vulnerable members of our society to accelerate the achievement of SDGs 2 and 3.

“All faiths want to see women and children everywhere survive and thrive. This is why we will work together to mobilize one million faith leaders to reach 50 million families or an estimated 250 million people living in countries with a high burden of child deaths.”

Bishop Sunday Omaha of the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association said, “In Nigeria, Christians and Muslims work together to save lives and have already trained nearly 250,000 faith leaders that can help the vulnerable in all parts of our country.”

“The Faith Alliance for Health believes that interfaith collaboration is not just desirable, but essential to achieve the bold vision of Every Woman Every Child,” added Mr. Khan. “We are therefore pleased and proud to be part of this movement.”

For more information or for an interview with one of the organizations contact

Elizabeth Wright, Director of Communications, Catholic Medical Mission Board, 718.427.5480,

Leia Isanhart, Senior Technical Advisor for Health & HIV, Catholic Relief Services, 443.220.1101,

Dawn Murdock, Senior Manager of Resource Mobilization, Episcopal Relief and Development, 212.518.0537,

Christina Tobia-Nahi, Director of Public Affairs & Institutional Funding, Islamic Relief USA, 703.236.9796,

Tom Woods, Board of Directors, Nigerian Interfaith Action Association, 202.615.3280,

Martha Newsome, Partnership Leader for Sustainable Health, World Vision International, 202.716.0541




Notes to Editors – 

  • 1The Faith Alliance for Health’s Advisory Board Partners: MDG Health Alliance, UNICEF, Joint Learning Initiative for Faith and Development, USAID, World Bank, UNFPA. Technical Partners: Development Vision, Woods International, Partnership for Faith and Development
  • 2Every Woman Every Child is a global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2010.
  • Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) is an international, faith-based development organization that works in partnership globally to deliver locally sustainable, high-impact health services to reduce mortality and illness among vulnerable women, children, and their communities.
  • Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.
  • Episcopal Relief & Development works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, it works primarily with Anglican Communion and faith-affiliated partners to help communities create long-term development strategies and rebuild after disasters. In 2015, the organization is celebrating 75 Years of Healing a Hurting World.
  • Islamic Relief USA,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.
  • Nigerian Interfaith Action Association is a Nigerian non-profit organization that represents the collective work of Muslim and Christian leaders and communities to save lives from preventable diseases and enhance peace and reconciliation through shared compassion.
  • World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. For more information, visit


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