Since we were founded in 1984, Islamic Relief has grown into one of the world’s largest relief and development charities. This is our journey.





Islamic Relief


1984: Determined to help people in famine-stricken Sudan, a group of medical doctors and activists set up Islamic Relief.

1985: Starting with a donation of 20p, and based in a small office in Birmingham in the UK, we raise over £100,000 for our first project.

1986: We set up an orphan sponsorship scheme that now supports over 64,000 children. Our qurbani meat distribution program is established, which now reaches over 3.1 million people in 34 countries each year.

1989: Islamic Relief is registered with the UK Charity Commission and incorporated under the Companies Act.



1990: Islamic Relief opens offices in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

1993: UK-based newspaper The Independent raises £37,000 for our Bosnia Appeal as we deliver aid throughout the war, including the siege of Sarajevo.

1994: We become the first Muslim non-governmental organization to receive UK government funding.

1995: As conflict breaks out in the Chechen Republic, we are the first to deliver aid to vulnerable people in Grozny.

1996: Our clothes recycling business, TIC International, is set up in Birmingham – it now manages a national chain of charity shops.

1999: An enormous refugee crisis is triggered as war erupts in Kosova. Islamic  delivers lifesaving aid and helps rebuild lives.



2000: We revive the Islamic tradition of sustainable charitable giving through investment as we begin implementing Waqf projects.

2002: A Framework Partnership is signed with the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department, recognizing our capacity to deliver aid to a high standard.

2003: With a £9 million aid program, Islamic Relief is one of the few international aid agencies assisting people affected by the war in Iraq.

2004: We are one of the first aid agencies to deliver lifesaving aid in Indonesia after the Indian Ocean tsunami. Our work in the country continues to date.

2005: We join the respected Disaster Emergencies Committee (DEC) – the first and still the only Muslim charity to do so – and in the same year raise £35 million in response to the Kashmir earthquake.

2006: 15 million lives are at risk in the Horn of Africa due to drought, and we run feeding centers, provide clean water and healthcare across the region.

2007: We sign partnership agreements with the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), the UN World Food Program and the International Organization for Migration.

2008: The 22-day war in Gaza devastates lives, and we provide a lifeline with our £20 million emergency appeal.



2010: As Pakistan is hit by the worst floods in living memory, forcing 11 million people from their homes, Islamic Relief implements a major relief and reconstruction operation benefiting 428,000 people in over 580 villages.

2011: We are at the forefront of providing emergency aid as East Africa experiences its worst drought in 60 years.

2012: We gain humanitarian access deep inside war-torn Syria, where our work continues to date, as well as in neighboring countries supporting refugees.

2014: With the Lutheran World Federation, we forge the world’s first official cooperation between a global Islamic and Christian humanitarian organization.

2015: We are among the first to distribute aid following the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

2016: The ground-breaking Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, which we helped create as a call for urgent action to save the planet, is presented to the United Nations.

2017: In recognition of the high standard and impact of our work, we become only the tenth organization in the world to attain Core Humanitarian Standard certification.

2018: We pioneer an Islamic Declaration on Gender Justice to help tackle inequality and injustice against women and girls from an Islamic perspective.

2019: The Prime Minister of Pakistan commends our work in supporting the country’s socioeconomic development.

Islamic Relief’s income 1984-2019

Islamic Relief Worldwide income, rounded to the nearest £m