Islamic Relief USA Partners with United Nations Relief and Works Agency to Distribute Meat to Families in Need in Gaza

17 August 2018

Islamic Relief USA, a non-profit humanitarian and advocacy organization, has partnered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to help distribute fresh, high-quality meat in the Gaza region, as part of IRUSA’s annual Qurbani program.

Some 4,400 families in Gaza are expected to benefit from the program. Each family will receive seven kilograms of meat. Priority will be given to families who face a high degree of food insecurity and who have never received assistance from the organizations in the past.

“We greatly respect the work of UNRWA and are proud to call them a partner during the Qurbani season, helping distribute meat to families who otherwise would not have access to it,” said Sharif Aly, chief executive officer of Islamic Relief USA.

“Qurbani is of great significance to Muslims the world over. We are honored to serve Palestine refugees on this occasion in collaboration with Islamic Relief USA,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Islamic Relief USA for partnering with the Agency to support Palestine refugees.”

Qurbani not only helps fulfill an Islamic tradition it also provides meat to many people who don't get much of it, if any, for much of the year, largely because of inaccessibility or because it's too cost-prohibitive and families need the money for other essentials. Many subsist on non-meat products, which could put them at risk for inadequate nutrition. 

Islamic Relief USA has been a generous partner to the Agency. In 2018 alone IR USA contributed US$ 2.4 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to support 3,000 vulnerable Palestine refugees in Gaza. 

Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to provide relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. Its programs benefit millions of people each year in more than 40 countries 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.

Background Information

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance. 

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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