Shadow secretary for international development visits our HQ
On Thursday 20th November, Mary Creagh, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, visited our team at the global headquarters of Islamic Relief in Birmingham for an exciting and interesting meeting.
Mary Creagh MP pledged her support for the proposed 0.7% bill, which would mean that the government would be obliged to spend 0.7% of its annual income on international aid. The bill has already passed two readings in Parliament, and will be having it’s third one in early December.
Ms Creagh said: “Islamic Relief is a great example of the positive role British Muslims play in supporting charities and helping people of all faiths and none around the world. It’s a Birmingham success story, going from a tiny group of postgraduate students to an international aid agency with membership of the flagship Disasters Emergency Committee.
“Today I heard how Islamic Relief staff in Syria and Iraq are braving enormous dangers to deliver aid. It’s been a very compelling reminder of why I want to set the aid budget at 0.7% of national income. It’s the right thing to do – morally, practically and in our own national interest too.”
Ms Creagh also heard about some of the challenges facing Islamic Relief, including a recent listing by the government of the United Arab Emirates as a terrorist group. In turn, she commented: “We urge the UAE government to resolve this issue as soon as possible. It’s important to clarify the situation regarding Islamic Relief and what criteria were used to create this list of organisations.”
Mehdi Ben Mrad, Islamic Relief’s International Programmes Director, warmly welcomed Mary Creagh’s visit: “We’re very pleased to welcome Mary Creagh and to explain the work we do,” he said. “We’re even more pleased to have her support for setting the government’s aid budget at 0.7% of our national income. This is a really positive step which will help poor people around the world.”
Islamic Relief is working to encourage people to contact their MPs to attend the vote for the 0.7% bill, and are overjoyed to have the support of Mary Creagh MP. The bill will mean aid agencies, with the support of the government, can continue to do some life-changing work in a bid to eradicate global poverty.