A look back on humanitarian efforts in 2020
When we take account of all the twist and turns the world took this year it can paint a bleak picture in many of our minds. Billions of people were jolted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 2 million people fatally contracted the virus. It was during these uncertain times the community of supporters of Islamic Relief USA stood tall. Your contributions of time, effort, resources made light shine in the darkness of 2020. As we look back at the challenges of this year we’re reminded that it took massive hearts to pull through.
Pushing through a Pandemic
Medical aid has been top priority for Islamic Relief USA since our inception. Our humanitarian programs and projects meet communities who suffer tremendously when there are outbreaks of viruses much less lethal than COVID-19. A global pandemic intensified the push to secure resources. The successes we’ve been able to make in reducing harm from infectious diseases relate to directly to how capable our medical partners are. It has also depended on getting medical supplies to vulnerable communities efficiently.
In the beginning of the year, the nature of COVID-19’s spread forced us to rely even more heavily on our partner networks even with supply chains being significantly disrupted. Our community of supporters thought of others during this time and helped impact more people than we could have ever imagined.
We were able to dedicate nearly 4 million dollars worth of emergency aid to COVID-19 efforts alone globally. Right here in the U.S. we operated emergency response initiatives in over 200 cities providing food aid, PPE, and supporting partners who themselves are responsible for large community service programs.
The campaign to secure justice after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor once again brought our nation to a critical juncture. We could ignore the pervasive struggles our institutions put Black Americans through, or sincerely attempt to do our part to remedy them. With this in mind, IRUSA reinforced our partnerships and engaged in a wide-spanning effort to see where we as an humanitarian organization fit in the work to undo years of systemic mistreatment.
Our Community Response initiative was one manifestation of it. To truly continue being a support meant that our Community Response program dedicate resources so that communities overlooked would not be left to suffer. This was particularly critical in the midst of a pandemic leveling the Black community. Over $330k in funds have been dedicated to partners to do direct aid with more being released in the coming weeks and new year.
Continuing to Provide Relief
In the midst of COVID-19 we have still pushed forward for communities and families experiencing grave challenges such as famine, drought, floods, orphans support, and food insecurity. When regions in Asia and Africa underwent torrential rains causing massive floods, we were able to provide life-saving aid to survivors.
As wildfires blanketed California and Hurricane Laura buckled countless neighborhoods, our Disaster Relief Team (DRT) team stood alongside organizations like the Red Cross for recovery. In places like Yemen and Palestine, we furthered responses to food shortages as communities were still in the midst of conflict. And right here at home in America, the annual Day of Dignity and turkey distributions saw increases in beneficiaries like never before.
Onward to 2021
Most of all, we cannot explain how important the compassion that our community of supporters has shown to those in need. What has been certain in a year of countless uncertainties is your love. Love brought food to the doorsteps of our neighbors when they needed it the most, shelter when their homes were taken, and relief after a virus took hold across the globe. IRUSA knows we are in this together, because you showed it. Thank you.