Latest Updates

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Aid shipment arrives in Haiti, reaches people in need

A 160,000 pound aid shipment that Islamic Relief USA coordinated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in Haiti this past weekend.

Aid workers have been working round the clock to make sure it reaches people in most need.

Senior IR-USA staff-member Anwar Khan accompanied the shipment and has been helping pitch tents and administer aid.

“We’re only getting started,” Khan says, explaining Islamic Relief’s plans for long-term development.

“The Haitian people need real solutions to get their lives back to normal, and Islamic Relief is trying to help.”

Follow @AnwarKhan_IRUSA on Twitter to receive latest updates from the field.

After the quake on January 12, more than one million people are now homeless and in desperate need for temporary shelter.

Islamic Relief' is helping hundreds of people escape the hunger and cold they have been enduring for more than 2 weeks.

But Islamic Relief is not the only Muslim-American orgnaization to respond to the Haiti emergency. Click here to read an article on on the Muslim-American response to the emergency.

Click here to read more about Islamic Relief's efforts in Haiti.

Donate today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1,200 people receiving shelter, services in Haiti

An Islamic Relief-administered camp is now housing about 1,200 people in the Delmas 33 neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital.

Each family received a 13 x 13 sq. ft. tent, a kitchen set and hygiene kit.

Islamic Relief aid workers also distributed food, water, and other much-needed items to people in the streets of Port-au-Prince.

Stay updated. Follow @AnwarKhan_IRUSA on Twitter.

Click here to read more on Islamic Relief's response in Haiti.

Donate today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti aid worker diary

Islamic Relief aid workers log their daily experiences at the end of a long day. © (Islamic Relief / Omar Mullick)

Naeem Muhammad is a U.S. staff-member with the Islamic Relief delegation in Haiti. Reflecting on some of his experiences from the field, on Tuesday January 19 Muhammad wrote:

I barely got any sleep last night. I could feel the cold, sharp rocks through my tent floor as I lay there, but at least I had something to sleep in. Compared to the victims we saw, I was in great shape.

It‘s freezing at night, and only God knows how the 1.5 million homeless Haitians are coping.

Just yesterday, the team’s first day in Port-au-Prince, I met a man who told me that
he refused to sleep indoors because he’s scared of being flattened in another aftershock, or an even bigger quake.

“I won’t sleep under bricks,” he told me. “No bricks, no cement.”

His voice echoed in my head all day, until I met Imam Muhammad Zakariya, a local imam in Port-au-Prince. He took the Islamic Relief team to a mosque which had been almost entirely spared from the earthquake, but the neighboring area was devastated.

Hundreds of people had set up makeshift shelters out of sheets and plastic just outside the mosque’s doors, and the mosque was providing water for all the homeless victims in the area.

The people were really suffering, and they had nothing. But at least the mosque was caring for them, regardless of their background. This is exactly what Islam is about, and this is exactly what Islamic Relief is about: helping those in need regardless of their religion, race or gender.

Walking past the mosque, I met a woman named Joanne, who was carrying a baby. She told me the child’s parents were killed, and she is having trouble finding food and water for the child. I looked around and saw my team members talking to people just like Joanne and I realized, there are so many people in need right in front of us.

My team and I are proposing to launch distributions at the very site in front of this mosque, in addition to launching a widespread campaign that will provide shelter, food, and clean drinking water for neighborhoods all around Port-au-Prince.

Driving back to our U.N.-administered campsite, I realized how was lucky I was to sleep in a safe and secure campsite.

But it’s hard to sleep when I know that 1.5 million of my neighbors are going to sleep hungry, thirsty and scared. It’s really hard to sleep.
Click here to read more about Islamic Relief's response in Haiti.

Your support is needed. Donate today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Islamic Relief teams surveying, strategizing

Islamic Relief aid workers have completed a second day of needs-assessments in Haiti's devastated capital of Port-au-Prince, and the team is proposing a variety of projects.

Priorities currently include: clean drinking water, food and shelter for the estimated 1.5 million homeless people.

Your support is needed. Donate today.

Photos, stories and diary entries are pouring in from the field on a daily basis. Stay updated. Follow Islamic Relief USA on Twitter.

Click here to read more about Islamic Relief's work in Haiti.

Monday, January 18, 2010

1.5 million homeless in Haiti

Islamic Relief aid workers setting up tents for the night at the designated base camp in Port-au-Prince. (Islamic Relief/Omar Mullick)

Authorities are now estimating that 200,000 people are dead and 1.5 million are homeless after last Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti.

Survivors are also dying from lack of food, water, medicine, and shelter.

Islamic Relief aid workers are currently on the ground in Haiti, but support is desperately needed. Donate today.

View pictures and read more about Islamic Relief's response here.

Aid workers arrive in Haiti

Discussing logistics and security on the way to Haiti, Islamic Relief's emergency-response team agrees to terms in the event that security is compromised on the road. (Islamic Relief / Omar Mullick)

Islamic Relief emergency responders arrived in Haiti yesterday to find the stench of death in the air. Thousands of earthquake victims have began to wander into the countryside with no clear destination, so they can escape the death and destruction of Haiti's devastated capital, Port-au-Prince.

An Islamic Relief staff member in Haiti, Adil Husseini, shared his experience from the field in a diary entry:

Port-au-Prince greeted us with the smell of death.

Nothing hit us like seeing the dead bodies; their stench overpowered
everything else.

As we entered deeper into the heart of the city it became apparent how the infrastructure that was once in place had been brought to its knees. People were trying to keep hold of anything they found or were able to salvage amidst the disaster.

Some had taken to looting and the local security struggled to bring a sense of order to a community so desperate and still very much in a state of shock.

At the gas station, huge crowds gathered to fill their vehicles with the last remaining
drops from a tanker that had been abandoned. A local Haitian told us that fuel prices had risen by over 60 percent in the last few days.

Port-au-Prince has been devastated by this catastrophe. Huge buildings have been completely destroyed, cars are crushed under the rubble, homes have been abandoned and families have been broken.

The Islamic Relief team here is assessing the situation to help meet people’s needs but the task is not easy. Many roads are blocked off and the lack of security is increasingly becoming an issue.

To read more about Islamic Relief's response, click here.

Haiti needs your help. Click here to donate.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Emergency Team Deployed to Haiti

An Islamic Relief emergency team was deployed to Haiti today.

Thousands upon thousands of Haitians are in desperate need for food, water, medicine, and shelter after Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake destroyed the island nation's capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Islamic Relief USA launched a $1 million appeal on Wednesday, and is also coordinating a shipment of much-needed supplies.

CNN sent a team to see Islamic Relief donors in action:

Click here to donate.

Click here to read more about Islamic Relief's Haiti Earthquake emergency appeal.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

100,000+ feared dead in Haiti after 7.0 quake

An estimated 3 million Haitians have been affected by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that has "flattened" the island nation's capital of Port-au-Prince, according to Haiti's Consul General to the United Nations Felix Augustin.

"More than 100,000 are dead," Augustin told reporters on Wednesday.
Haiti's prime minister fears that several hundred thousand people are dead after the worst quake to hit the region in 200 years.
Victims are in desperate need for food, water, shelter and medicine, especially since Haiti’s infrastructure is already very modest and has now been brought to its knees by the quake.
Islamic Relief USA has launched a $1 million appeal, and is working with partners on a massive aid shipment to be sent to Haiti in the coming days.
Read more on Islamic Relief's response here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Islamic Relief USA grantee featured on NPR

A Baltimore women's shelter that receives grant money from Islamic Relief USA was featured on National Public Radio (NPR) last week.

The shelter, which helps battered Muslim women overcome domestic violence, is operated by Asma Hanif.

Hanif opened the shelter 12 years ago after meeting so many abused women at the health clinic where she worked as a nurse.

"My biggest problem was that if you send a Muslim woman to be counseled in a shelter that's run by Christians, then what the people say is the reason why you're being beat is because of that religion. We do not want Islam to be the focal point of domestic violence," Hanif told NPR.

Read the entire story here.

To learn more about Islamic Relief USA's domestic projects, click here.