Records of Islamic Relief Worldwide

Scope and Content

Records created by Islamic Relief Worldwide including global headquarters based in Birmingham, UK, fundraising offices in London and other UK regional branches and materials collected from international offices. Includes, publications, ephemera and posters, video and administrative records relating to fundraising activities and international humanitarian and development programmes.

Administrative / Biographical History

Islamic Relief Worldwide is an international humanitarian and development NGO. Inspired by Islamic values, the organisation has a presence in over 40 countries and assists all people regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or gender when they are in need. Islamic Relief's key areas of work are humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness, development programmes that improve access to sustainable livelihoods, healthcare, education, water, sanitation and hygiene and advocacy.

Islamic Relief was founded in 1984 by Dr Hany El Banna, a medical student in Birmingham, UK in response to famine in East Africa. Its first project in 1984 was a to establish a chicken farm in Sudan. Initially a volunteer-led operation, the organisation's first head quarters was in Moseley Road, Birmingham. Islamic Relief raised funds primarily though community fundraising and events at Mosques and other Islamic organisations in both Birmingham and the wider UK. Fundraising often centred around the seasonal observances of Ramadan and Qurbani and the Islamic principles of charitable giving Zakat and Sadaqah. Much of the organisation's fundraising continues to centre around these principles today.

By the early 1990s the Islamic Relief had grown to employ a number of full time staff including Dr Hany El Banna as the organisation's first CEO. A global headquarters was established in Rea Street, Birmingham in 1992. Fundraising offices (know as 'partner' offices) were established throughout the 1990s in Europe, USA and Asia. A UK partner office known as 'Islamic Relief UK' was established in London from which UK fundraising became coordinated. Humanitarian and development projects were implemented throughout the 1990s by field offices in a growing number of countries notably Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Sudan, Chechnya and Kosova.

Islamic Relief's key activities in the 2000s include providing relief during wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, responding to Tsunami in Asia in 2004 and earthquake in Kashmir in 2006. The organisation has been key in providing relief during conflict in Syria and in Yemen in the 2010s. The organisation has also been active in campaigning for gender and climate justice since the 2010s bringing a faith based perspective to these issues.

Access Information

Access is subject to the archive's 'General Access Conditions' (available on request) and data protection considerations.

All files must be reviewed before access is granted, some files may be partially of fully closed following review. An access status and statement will accompany any file that has been reviewed. If no access status is provided, this file is yet to be reviewed. If materials you wish to see have not yet been reviewed, you may request this by email
Materials dated less than 20 years old are generally closed to access. Materials of any date already in the public domain, such as publications and posters, are open to general access.