The aid agency Islamic Relief UK has launched its winter appeal, which focuses on supporting people living in poverty in Syria, Yemen and Gaza.
This year, the charity will also raise funds to support people experiencing homelessness in the UK.
Islamic Relief UK is aiming to raise £200,000 for 14,000 Syrian people who have been forced to flee their homes due to the ongoing war. Facing a harsh winter, and with few of their own possessions, Syrian refugees need warm clothing and blankets.
In Yemen, conflict has also forced millions from their homes over the past four years. Refugees are facing plummeting temperatures, sometimes reaching below freezing: orphans and people with disabilities are particularly at risk. Islamic Relief UK is calling on the British Muslim community to raise £400,000 to help Yemenis face the harsh winter.
Um Mohammed from Yemen, who Islamic Relief assisted last year, said: “We do not have any income and if it were not for Islamic Relief, our conditions would be even worse. I thank Islamic Relief for their support in helping us to overcome the cold weather we suffer in winter.”
Over the past few weeks, there has been an escalation in violence in Gaza killing more than 34 Palestinians. Two thirds of people living in Gaza do not have enough food. Islamic Relief UK is aiming to raise £200,000 for the most vulnerable families during the winter. The charity will repair homes to protect people from the elements and will also provide people with warm clothing.
As well as saving lives overseas, Islamic Relief also works with local partners in the UK to reduce poverty and inequality. This year’s winter appeal will raise money for homelessness charity Crisis UK, providing support to more than 450 people in London experiencing all forms of homelessness including those in unsuitable accommodation such as hostels and B&Bs or those sleeping rough.
Director of Islamic Relief UK, Tufail Hussain, said: ‘As many of us make plans to spend time with our loved ones during the holidays, millions of people in Syria, Yemen, and Gaza are facing a harsh winter without shelter, nutritious food, warm clothing or medical care.
‘Our winter appeal is supporting people who are not only suffering cold and cruel conditions but also devastating conflict.
‘Even in the UK, which is the fifth largest economy in the world, thousands of people will be in unsuitable or unsafe accommodation or sleeping on the streets. That is why we are delighted to partner with Crisis in the UK, so we can help people to face winter both at home and in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.
‘Please donate to Islamic Relief and help save lives this winter.’
Richard Lee, Crisis’ Director of Fundraising said: “Homelessness hurts us all. We all see the human cost and know the devastating toll it takes on our society.
“We are extremely grateful for the funding from Islamic Relief UK. It will help us provide our vital services in London. This includes year-round training, education and support with employment and wellbeing. It helps people to rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind for good.”
To donate to Islamic Relief UK’s winter appeal, please click here.
About Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.
Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo. Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.