Emergency Response | Disaster Management | Islamic Relief USA
can provide emergency food aid to survivors across the world
can deliver tools and temporary shelters when emergency survivors need them most
can support long-term recovery efforts for disaster survivors across the world
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Deadly Escalation in Palestine

Violence has escalated after months of ongoing tension across the region. Over 16,000 people have been killed and thousands more have been injured or deemed missing. In Gaza specifically, a ‘total blockade’ is in place, completely cutting off the 2 million civilians from access to food, electricity, and fuel. 

Food stocks are “nearly exhausted”; the operation of water wells and desalination plants have stopped almost completely, forcing people to consume saline water and risking water-borne diseases; and hospitals in the south are struggling to function. In addition, about 1.8 million people – nearly 80% of the population – have been internally displaced and the total number of housing units destroyed or damaged accounts for at least 60% of all housing units in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands of people remaining in the north are struggling to survive as all the hospitals are now out of service.

Since the beginning of the truce, 150 aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies have been allowed entry into the north. While issues related to the delivery of humanitarian aid persist, IRUSA partners have successfully completed the following interventions:

  • Distribution of food parcels sourced by local farmers in Gaza to displaced families
  • Provision of hygiene kits to people in shelters
  • Provision of vital medical supplies to three hospitals including Hayfa Hospital, Al-Awda Hospital, and Al-Ahli Arab Hospital
  • Access to mobile clinics for 23,400 people in shelters
  • Immediate trauma response for 4,000-5,000 people 
  • Winter aid including blankets, mattresses, and winter clothing

Our partners are continuing to work on the procurement and stockpiling of water, food and non-food items including blankets and mattresses for winter, and medical supplies, to be delivered once a pathway for humanitarian aid is established.

Devastating Earthquakes Strike Herat

Four major earthquakes, each of a magnitude between 4.7 and 6.3, have hit the Herat region since October 7. Over 2,000 people have died; thousands of people have been injured; and more than 3,000 homes have been completely destroyed, leaving people homeless. The number of people directly affected has risen to more than 40,000.

“The people of Afghanistan have already been through so much suffering. This earthquake is now a double calamity for many families who urgently need our support. We are appealing for as much financial assistance to help those affected by this disaster. Many people have lost loved ones, and many [are] injured. Their needs will be huge in the days to come.” – Umair Hasan, Islamic Relief Afghanistan Country Director

Islamic Relief is working with local partners to provide emergency relief and promote long-term recovery. The initial emergency response includes cash assistance for food and other basic needs; essential non-food items including hygiene kits; and transitional shelter and rental assistance. 

Early recovery goals include construction of shelters; rehabilitation of water sources and construction of latrines; cash-for-work opportunities to repair community infrastructure; skill-based training and promotion of income-generating activities; and formation of community self-help groups (SHG’s). Our goal is to help restore hope and dignity to families in Afghanistan as they rebuild their homes and communities.


Devastating Floods Slam Libya

On Monday, September 11, heavy rainfall brought by Storm Daniel caused two dams to burst in the city of Derna, destroying entire neighborhoods as well as major roads and bridges. The World Health Organization estimates nearly 4,000 people have died while other groups say the death toll is closer to 11,000. Thousands are injured or missing, tens of thousands have been displaced, and the damage is so severe there is no prospect of going back home.

“The death toll will increase and at least double for sure, but it could even quadruple given the force of the floods and the number of people still missing. Buildings where multiple generations of the same family all lived have been swept away. Drowned bodies are washing up on the roads, and every time the tide comes in it’s washing bodies back up. Buildings have collapsed and there are countless bodies in the rubble.

Lots of people are escaping the city, so Islamic Relief partners are starting to help people who have been displaced to a neighboring town and provide them with food and basic emergency shelter. But the numbers are staggering and much more aid is urgently needed.” – Salah Aboulgasem, Islamic Relief UK Deputy Director of Partner Development

On Tuesday, September 12, Islamic Relief launched an emergency response to provide immediate relief including food and essential non-food items, such as blankets and mattresses. 

Deadly Earthquake Strikes Morocco

On Friday, September 8, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Marrakech, leaving over 3,000 people dead and even more injured. The quake is the strongest to hit the nation’s center in more than a century, affecting over 300,000 people in the major city and surrounding areas. Homes have been destroyed, rescue teams are struggling to reach survivors, and families are sleeping outside in the cold in fear of aftershocks.

Hana Elabdallaoui, part of Islamic Relief’s team on the ground, shared,

“We distributed blankets and mattresses in a village high up in the mountains. The road was difficult so it took time to get there. When we reached the village people were sitting outside in the dark. Even though their homes are still standing, people say they can’t live there because the cracks in the walls are getting bigger every day and they’re scared they will collapse. One woman told me that her clothes are wet when she wakes up, because of the frost.”

On Saturday, September 9, Islamic Relief launched an emergency response to provide humanitarian assistance including food; essential non-food items including blankets and mattresses; and temporary shelter. 

Deadliest Wildfire in US History

In the early hours of the day on August 8, wildfires broke out across the Hawaiin island of Maui. The death toll has risen to 93 and is expected to climb; nearly 2,500 structures have been damaged with an estimate of $5.5 billion in cost; and thousands of people have been displaced.

Islamic Relief is working to assess the damage to determine our response efforts in the region. Your support is critical. Donate to IRUSA’s US Humanitarian Aid fund to provide emergency relief for families in need today, and stay tuned to this page for updates.

Focus on Supporting Survivors

Islamic Relief’s global family and partnerships—including local staff in more than three dozen countries—maximize IRUSA’s ability to respond to urgent situations with speed and efficiency. We also maintain the highest standards of best practices, dignity, and cultural sensitivity, and we make sure that our response aligns with survivors’ needs immediately, for the longer-term, or both!

IRUSA’s emergency aid efforts can include distribution of items such as food, water, financial aid, and more. Construction of temporary shelters and providing vital medical aid are often priorities too. And when applicable, we work with community groups on the ground to assess what we can do to help with longer-term recovery, rebuilding, and revitalization efforts.

In the United States specifically, IRUSA’s Disaster Response Team (DRT) serve as first responders for emergencies. From natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires to tragedies like the Pulse and Parkland shootings, the DRT team continues to be one of the first humanitarian teams nationwide to lend a helping hand to people in their most trying hours.

We Need YOUR Help

Read below to learn more about our latest emergency responses and how you can help survivors.

PLEASE NOTE: Donations made to IRUSA’s Global Emergency Response fund may serve urgent anywhere across the world.
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