Independent investigation of Islamic Relief operations

In June 2014 the Government of Israel designated Islamic Relief Worldwide as an ‘unauthorised association’ in the West Bank, alleging links with Hamas. Islamic Relief Worldwide took these allegations very seriously. Though delivering aid to 78,000 people, we made the difficult decision to suspend our programmes in the West Bank and commissioned an independent investigation.

Donate

That investigation examined our projects, partnerships, finances and staffing in the West Bank. It looked in great detail at the thorough systems and processes that we have developed over many years to ensure both that our work benefits those in genuine need and that no money gets into the wrong hands. It found that those systems and processes are working well and there is absolutely no evidence of any links with terrorism.

These findings accord with those of dozens of independent audits conducted each year into our operations in more than 40 countries where Islamic Relief has offices or aid and development programmes – including a rigorous audit of our operations in Gaza in 2013. Not one of these many audits over many years has found a shred of evidence that Islamic Relief funds terrorism or has terrorist links anywhere in the world.

Islamic Relief abhors terrorism in all its forms. We are an impartial, independent, purely humanitarian organisation whose sole focus isto alleviate poverty and suffering – even in the most challenging, conflict-riven and inhospitable of places.

For nearly six months 78,000 poor, marginalised and vulnerable people in the West Bank have been denied support by the suspension of these programmes. They include orphans and premature babies, widows and small farmers, the sick and the unemployed. We want to get back to meeting the fundamental needs of people whose average family income is just $46 a month – food, education, health care and the means to a livelihood.

In 2013 Islamic Relief delivered £155 million worth of aid and assistance worldwide.Our partners and funders include governments and major UN agencies such as the World Food Programme and Unicef.We are thankful for the generous support we continue to receive from institutions and the public, and for the privilege of being able to translate that generosity into life-saving and life-changing support for poor communities. We understand the responsibility that this brings, and we know that we can only succeed in this important work if we are accountable to our beneficiaries, donors and our partners.

In the spirit of true accountability, it is not for Islamic Relief to exonerate ourselves of alleged wrongdoing. That is why we commissioned an independent investigation in this case, and why we have shared its findings in full with a number of major stakeholders.

For any enquiries, please contact Martin Cottingham (martin.cottingham@islamic-relief.org.uk / 07702-940982 / @MartinCott) . This number is for journalists only – for general enquiries please call 0800-520 0000 during office hours

Posted in: News on Friday, 12 Dec, 2014