This year, we strived as one body to bring ease to families and communities in need. Together, we made a difference through interventions that holistically improved the quality and accessibility of food, water and sanitation hygiene, healthcare, education, livelihood, and social services to communities at risk in South Africa and across the globe.
Let us take a moment to ponder and reflect on a year marked by significant humanitarian efforts and challenges, embracing both its peaks and valleys. As we navigate through the highs and lows, we will determine areas for improvement, seeking ways to enhance our efforts and contribute positively to the lives of those we serve. We pray for continuous acceptance and that the year ahead is filled with goodness, blessings, and greater opportunities to serve humanity, Ameen.
We would have never been able to do this without the grace and mercy of Allah (SWT).
Thank you to our phenomenal donors, partners, staff, supporters, and volunteers. We are grateful for every donation, every kind word, every good thought, and every prayer that has touched a life and given hope for a better future. Your continuous commitment enables us to reach the most vulnerable people and communities in South Africa and across the world.
May Allah (SWT) always keep us in the service of humanity, Ameen.
2023: A year filled with challenges
Amid the ongoing conflicts and natural disasters across the world which have collectively influenced the spike in energy, food prices, and other essential needs, triggering a domino effect that has rippled through the global economy and exacerbated every struggle and challenge. The economic implications have had real-life impacts on livelihoods and people’s ability to support their families.
In Türkiye and Syria, the catastrophic 7.5 and 7.8-magnitude earthquakes affected the lives of more than 40 million people. Over 50,000 people died and many more were wounded by this disaster. At least 80,000 buildings were destroyed, displacing approximately 2 million people in Syria and Turkiye. Islamic Relief responded to this disaster and supported over 1 million people across Syria and Turkiye with water, food, medical care, supplies, and emergency shelter. It also committed itself to offering long-term support to affected families and communities.
In Libya, on 11 September, storm Daniel hit the port city of Derna, forcing two dams to burst its banks and causing devastating floods that washed away and submerged entire neighbourhoods in multiple coastal cities. The floods have destroyed and damaged vital infrastructure, including homes, bridges, roads, and sanitation facilities. At least 11,000 people died from the devastating floods. Islamic relief responded and mobilized a rapid and comprehensive response, including assisting with search and rescue operations and providing food, water, medical care and urgent shelter to affected families.
In East Africa, 20 million people are facing severe food shortages. Four failed rainy seasons in the region destroyed crops and livelihoods, leaving millions of families unsure of where their next meal will come from. The terrain is harsh, and the impact of not having water has forced people to flee the safety of their homes in search of food. It is estimated that a person dies from hunger every 48 seconds in East Africa.
The current state in Gaza is horrific. Since October 7th 2023, over 20,000 people have died, including over 8,000 children, with many more wounded, as Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza. The ongoing violence and airstrikes in the region have forcefully displaced at least 1.8 million people. 75% of hospitals are non-functional. More than 300,000 housing units and over 300 educational facilities have been destroyed and targeted. The situation is dire and is deteriorating by the day.
Islamic relief has responded to the latest bombardment of Gaza and has been assisting on a daily basis. Our teams in Gaza have distributed over 2 million medical items and consumables, food parcels, ready-to-eat meals, and psychosocial support to children. We will continue to support and assist the people of Gaza during this difficult time. Islamic Relief urges all parties involved to exercise restraint and work towards an immediate ceasefire. This collective effort is crucial to facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands in dire need, particularly children and women. Prioritizing a cessation will pave the way for essential assistance to reach those most vulnerable and alleviate their urgent humanitarian concerns.
The ongoing conflict, natural disasters, and increased famine-like conditions continue to impact millions of livelihoods in Afghanistan and Yemen. Men, women, and children of all ages are on the brink of starvation and almost entirely forgotten by the world. Gaza is still under siege, and their oppression continues. The conflict in Syria continues to rage on. Millions of people from both these countries are forcefully displaced, with no sign of ever being able to return home.
The local and international challenges have placed families and communities in vulnerable circumstances, needing urgent assistance for their survival. We are responding, and we have been responding since 1984. We will continue to serve those in need and facilitate solutions to contemporary challenges faced in South Africa and abroad.
Islamic Relief has responded in 2023
Throughout the year, Islamic Relief has steadfastly extended a helping hand to communities in need across the globe. Operating in over 30 countries, we have implemented hundreds of impactful projects, embodying our commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of those facing adversity. The generosity of our supporters has enabled us to respond to emergencies, binging aid to 11 million people across 31 countries. We demonstrated a collective dedication to providing care and stability to vulnerable children.
Our outreach has extended to diverse communities, from distributing Ramadan food packs to almost 1 million rightsholders, to ensuring the provision of nutritious meals through Qurbani donations, touching the lives of 3.4 million rightsholders with essential sustenance. We have also made significant strides in improving access to clean water and sanitation hygiene for over 1.3 million people, while 2.25 million others received crucial livelihood support. Islamic relief will continue its development in under-resourced communities across the globe, ensuring opportunities for self-reliance.
In the face of increasing challenges and heightened humanitarian needs, Islamic Relief remains unwavering in its commitment to responding swiftly in aid of our brothers and sisters in difficulty. Since 1984, we have been steadfast in our mission of spreading compassion, offering rapid responses to emergencies, and delivering vital humanitarian assistance to those in need. Our enduring mission is to continue making a positive impact and providing support to communities during times of crisis and beyond.