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Saturday, October 16, 2010

World Food Day: Give Your Qurbani/Udihiyah and Help Feed the Hungry

Today is World Food Day, a worldwide event designed to raise awareness, understanding, and action against hunger. This year’s World Food Day comes after massive flooding destroyed crops and clean water supply for millions in Pakistan. In numerous countries in Africa, severe droughts have led to food shortages and a major hunger crisis. And in developing nations all over the world, ailing economies are marginalizing the availability of food.

Islamic Relief USA humanitarian workers travel to remote corners of the world, reaching out to those most affected by poverty and hunger. As IR USA VP of Fund Development Anwar Khan says, throwing packages off a truck to waiting hands by the side of the road makes for great media footage, but it doesn’t help the elderly ladies in the back of the crowd who aren’t strong enough to elbow their way to the front and collect their due aid. And it doesn’t help remote villagers, often the poorest of the poor, who cannot be reached by paved roads alone.

In any given country on any given day, one person may die from an obesity-related illness while 100 miles away someone else dies of hunger. We, the nearly seven billion citizens of Earth, produce enough food to feed between 9 and 11 billion people, but one billion people around the world are still living with hunger, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

A Season of Sacrifice: Udhiyah/Qurbani

This week at Islamic Relief USA, we launched our yearly Udhiyah/Qurbani program. The Islamic tradition of Udhiyah/Qurbani, in which Muslims honor the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), sets a stage for feeding the world’s poor. This Islamic mandate calls for Muslims to sacrifice an animal (goat, sheep, cow or camel – click here for more information) and share that meat with the less fortunate. This is an opportunity for Muslims to ensure at least some of world’s hungry are fed and provided for, especially during the Islamic holy days.

In 2009 alone, more than a million people benefitted from IR USA’s Udhiyah/Qurbani meat distributions. Many of these people eat little or no meat during the year and look forward to these annual provisions. Many have not eaten a solid meal for weeks, while others have been suffering from starvation. The outpouring of food and nourishment eases their hunger pangs.

This World Food Day and in the weeks to come, give generously through Islamic Relief USA’s Udhiyah/Qurbani program and help feed those who are unable to feed themselves.
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