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Providing Qurbani for Eid in conflict and disaster zones

Almost  three million people living in some of the most remote and dangerous areas of the world will be receiving meat as part of Islamic Relief’s Qurbani distributions, during the Eid Festival.

The international humanitarian and development organisation is distributing quality Qurbani meat in 35 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, during Eid al-Adha, which this year is celebrated between 21-23 August.

Many of the recipients have been displaced or forcibly evicted in their homelands and face ongoing hardship. They include families in war-torn Syria, people living with severe malnutrition and cholera in Yemen, and farmers in East Africa who have lost all their livestock to drought.

Islamic Relief’s Qurbani distribution is an enormous logistical undertaking that requires buying tens of thousands of animals and then distributing meat, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances. Islamic Relief carries out a rigorous needs assessment to ensure that the meat is distributed to those who need it most, including Muslims and non-Muslims.

In many places where the Qurbani is distributed, it is the first meat that families have eaten in a long time.

Samina Haq, Head of Programmes at Islamic Relief UK, said:

“We have been distributing Qurbani meat overseas since 1986. Each year it is an enormous undertaking. We face numerous challenges to obtain the best-quality meat at the most competitive prices whilst reaching as many people as possible.

“Our teams on the ground, from Syria and Gaza to Afghanistan and Mali, are working in very dangerous contexts, dealing with numerous challenges, such as the extreme heat, no electricity and very weak infrastructures. They are driven by the desire to help as many people in need as they can.”

In Syria, we are distributing more than 2,500 sheep in Idlib and Aleppo, working closely with local authorities, organisations and communities.

For Yemen, we are importing 3,800 goats from Ethiopia to be distributed to over 75,000 people in Aden, Taiz, Dhamar, Sana’a, Amran and Sa’ada. In Dhamar and Sana’a, Islamic Relief is prioritising people recently displaced from the violence in Hodeida. The regular clashes and airstrikes in the country make it difficult to use big refrigerated trucks that are highly visible and therefore vulnerable to attack. Our teams have to take various long diversions to avoid dangerous conflict flashpoints in the country.

Islamic Relief is also giving Eid gifts to children in Afghanistan, Yemen, Gaza and Ethiopia.  These include new clothes, school bags, books, pens and pencils and footballs, depending on the wishes of the children.

Islamic Relief is also distributing Qurbani to some of the most vulnerable groups in Great Britain, including the homeless, elderly, refugees and children living with destitute families. The distributions stretch across the country from Devon and Cornwall in the south to Glasgow in the north.


Notes for Editors

Islamic Relief is an international humanitarian and development organisation that aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people in more than 30 countries, mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

As well as responding to disasters and emergencies, Islamic Relief promotes sustainable economic and social development by working with local communities – regardless of race, religion or gender. In its 34-year history, Islamic Relief has helped more than 117m people across the world. Islamic Relief is one of the 13 UK charities that form the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee).

Eid ul Adha, also called the “Festival of Sacrifice“, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr). This year it will be celebrated between 21-23 August.

During this festival, Muslims around the world slaughter an animal – a goat, sheep, cow or camel – to reflect the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, for the sake of God.

Islamic Relief is organising Eid in the Park prayers at Mile End Stadium on the 21st of August at 9.30am and is expected to attract over 5,000 people.

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