Policy and publications

A year of horror in Sudan

The brutal war in Sudan has created one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises and pushed the country to the brink of famine. One year since the conflict erupted, this report highlights the extreme violence against civilians, the impact of the war on food production and healthcare, and the challenges facing the humanitarian response. With the war still spreading and the humanitarian crisis neglected and underfunded, the report sets out urgent recommendations for the international community and parties to the conflict.

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A learning review of multi-purpose cash assistance cash assistance in Afghanistan

This report examines how well an unconditional, multi-purpose cash assistance programme in Afghanistan (MPCA) was run. It looks at what went well, what problems there were, and what can be learned for future programmes. The report found that the MPCA programme helped families, but it could be improved by better targeting recipients, distributing the cash more effectively, and including more women. Also, while cash is helpful, long-term solutions are needed. Learning from this programme is important for future efforts.

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Türkiye-Syria earthquakes: One year on

One year has passed since two devastating earthquakes struck southeast Türkiye and north Syria, their impact intensified by the existing vulnerabilities in the region. Today, hundreds of thousands of survivors, especially children, remain in dire need of assistance. This report examines the causes and impact of the disaster; details Islamic Relief's response; and sets out the action needed to assist devastated communities.

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Bridging Localisation and Climate Adaptation Pathways

In response to the escalating global climate crisis, Islamic Relief presents our research study, 'Bridging Localisation and Locally-Led Adaptation Pathways.' Anticipating a surge of over 50 million people in need of humanitarian assistance by 2030 due to climate breakdown, this evidence-based exploration delves into the dynamic interplay between localisation and locally-led climate adaptation. Commissioned by Islamic Relief Worldwide under the STRIDE programme and with support from Islamic Relief USA, Islamic Relief Germany, and Aktion Deutschland Hilft, the study aims to provide valuable insights for policymakers, climate change practitioners, and humanitarian actors.

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Global Reach, Impact and Learning Report

This report aims to highlight the diversity of Islamic Relief's operations and to use analysis of impact and reach data to assess the value of the organisation’s community-driven solutions, sustainable development programmes, and humanitarian support. Our aim is also to articulate changes occurring at the project level across various contexts in which Islamic Relief has been active.

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STRIDE Conceptual Framework

The STRIDE Conceptual Framework aims to help shape the future of humanitarian efforts by Islamic Relief country offices and global partners. Addressing the pressing need for enhanced localisation and strategic partnerships, it sets out effective organisational responses. It positions Islamic Relief as a dynamic, value-adding partner of choice, committed to remaining relevant, prepared, and innovative within the complex humanitarian landscape. The accompanying transformative approach propels the implementation of this framework, providing a roadmap to navigate challenges and foster positive change.

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Climate Action Policy Paper: Loss and Damage

Loss and Damage describes the impacts of climate change that have not been averted or minimised through adaptation and mitigation. This brief outlines Islamic Relief's demands for the operation of the UN's new Loss and Damage Fund. This is part of a series of climate action position papers on various aspects of the climate crisis.

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Islamic Relief in Afghanistan

This report details Islamic Relief’s extensive work supporting vulnerable people in Afghanistan since 1992, providing life-saving humanitarian interventions and carrying out long-term development programmes, including projects designed to support women and girls, and orphaned children.

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Towards a Resilient Pakistan

One year on from the floods which impacted 33 million people across the country, Pakistan is still struggling to recover from the profound losses suffered. As the debt crisis continues to grow and aid initiatives remain severely underfunded, thousands still lack access to basic needs such as food and safe drinking water. In response, Islamic Relief has been at the forefront of the crisis over the past year through its implementation of the 4 Rs – relief, recovery, resilience, and research. This report details the lessons learned through our community-based research efforts, with particular emphasis on issues impacting marginalised or vulnerable groups. To address such issues, the report discusses climate justice and climate funding options and offers recommendations for the government, donors, and relevant international institutions.

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Annual Report 2022

In 2022 humanitarian crises upended the lives of many communities Islamic Relief supports. Against this backdrop of rising need, our latest Annual Report details how we assisted more people than ever before.

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new director

Director of Network and Resource Development

Adnan joined Islamic Relief in 2004 as a regional fundraiser in the UK. He worked in multiple roles over 10 years at Islamic Relief UK, including setting up the first digital team and leading the growth of digital fundraising and engagement. Adnan also led numerous fundraising and marketing campaigns, which played a significant part in the growth of Islamic Relief UK.

Having moved to Islamic Relief Worldwide in 2014, Adnan has held different roles that have helped grow Islamic Relief’s global digital footprint into new geographic territories, supporting Islamic Relief members with their digital and marketing growth as well as developing new products and initiatives for the Islamic Relief family.

Adnan graduated in Industrial Design and Technology from Loughborough University. He has since completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from Durham University and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Institute of Data and Marketing.

Nadeem Azhar

General Counsel

Nadeem joined Islamic Relief Worldwide in September 2022. He has worked in the charitable sector for over a decade.

He studied Modern History and Politics at Manchester University, and at the University of Law in London before qualifying as a solicitor in 2011.

Nadeem is an experienced corporate, commercial and governance lawyer, having worked with various faith-based and grant making charities as well those in health and education settings. He was a partner at a law firm in London before moving in-house where he focused on setting up and restructuring charities and social enterprises.

Most recently, Nadeem was Lead Counsel at Mind, a leading mental health charity, where he co-authored a new federation agreement, revamped legal processes, and played a major role in developing its strategic and fundraising partnerships.

Nadeem has been a charity trustee for the Seafarers Charity, as well as many grant-making bodies and theatre companies.

Adnan Hafiz

Director of Network and Resource Development

Adnan joined Islamic Relief in 2004 as a regional fundraiser in the UK. He worked in multiple roles over 10 years at Islamic Relief UK, including setting up the first digital team and leading the growth of digital fundraising and engagement. Adnan also led numerous fundraising and marketing campaigns, which played a significant part in the growth of Islamic Relief UK.

Having moved to Islamic Relief Worldwide in 2014, Adnan has held different roles that have helped grow Islamic Relief’s global digital footprint into new geographic territories, supporting Islamic Relief members with their digital and marketing growth as well as developing new products and initiatives for the Islamic Relief family.

Adnan graduated in Industrial Design and Technology from Loughborough University. He has since completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from Durham University and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Institute of Data and Marketing.

Board of Directors
Javed Akhtar

Director of Finance

Javed Akhtar has more than a decade of experience at Islamic Relief, having worked in a similar role between 2003-2014. In that role he strove to implement wide-ranging financial and accounting processes which aided in the transparent nature in which Islamic Relief now operates.

Javed also has diverse experience across the private sector, having worked at American chemicals and pharmaceutical giant DuPont, shipping firm FedEX and technology consultancy company Accenture. In all his roles, he prioritises using the latest technologies to improve monitoring and reporting at every level. Javed’s commitment to embracing digital end-to-end technology, enhancing accountability to our stakeholders and promoting financial transparency is ensuring that we remain at the forefront of financial developments in the sector.

By training, Javed is a chartered accountant with a Master’s degree in NGO Management with Charity Accounting and Financial Management from Cass Business School.
Board of Directors
Affan Cheema  

Director of International Programmes

Affan Cheema is an experienced leader who has spent 25 years working in the international aid sector on poverty eradication in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He has worked in fast onset emergencies, protracted crisis and development environments whilst working for Islamic Relief Worldwide and Care International. He is also a trustee of South West International Development Network (SWIDN).

Through his career Affan has held numerous roles including institutional fundraising, programme and grant management, and programme quality assurance.  Affan’s leadership has helped Islamic Relief Worldwide secure the highly coveted Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), seen as the sector’s premier benchmark for operational excellence.

Affan completed his BA in Economics and Geography from University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) and his MSc in Development Administration and Planning from the University of Bristol. He is PRINCE2 qualified, is a keen sportsman and recently co-edited a book entitled -Islam and International Development: Insights for working with Muslim Communities-.
Board of Directors
Dr Hossam Said

Managing Director, Humanitarian Academy for Development (HAD)

For nearly three decades Dr Hossam has provided the strategic vision to manage, lead and develop a range of international humanitarian interventions around the world.

At the start of his career, Dr Hossam served on the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, before moving to Islamic Relief Worldwide to manage the core global business activities as International Programmes Director.

During this time the organisation increased its global reach, gaining both domestic and international repute and credibility. Dr Hossam has also served on the Islamic Relief Worldwide Board of Management and Executive Committee for the past 15 years; sharing responsibility for strategic organisational development and the change management process, whilst forging strong relationships with many other charities.

Dr Hossam gained an MBA from Aston Business School in 2004 and graduated as a Medical Doctor from Cairo University in 1981.
Board of Directors
Martin Cottingham  

Director of External Relations and Advocacy

Martin Cottingham joined Islamic Relief in 2012 as IRUK Media Relations Manager, and was appointed Head of Communications in 2015 before taking up his current position as Director of External Relations and Advocacy for Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Martin has helped Islamic Relief to increase its mainstream media profile and expand its campaigning work, producing hard-hitting advocacy reports on floods in Pakistan (2011) famine in Somalia (2012) disaster risk reduction (2013) and aid to Afghanistan (2014). He has over 20 years’ experience working in media, communications and marketing roles for international development and environmental charities.

Martin graduated from the University of London with a degree in English and Drama (1982-85) then trained as a journalist with a postgraduate diploma at City University (1986-87). He has previously worked for Christian Aid as Editor of Christian Aid News and Media Relations Manager (1988-97) for Oxfam as Regional Campaigns Manager (1997-2000) and at the Soil Association as Marketing Director (2001-2006), as well as working for a wide range of organisations as a freelance writer, researcher and communications consultant.

Tufail Hussain

Director of Islamic Relief UK

Tufail Hussain has 17 years’ experience in the humanitarian and development sector, leading on marketing and fundraising campaigns for several organisations before joining Islamic Relief UK in 2016 as Deputy Director. Tufail was appointed Director of Islamic Relief UK in 2019 and in 2021 provided valuable leadership as interim CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Tufail is driven by a passion for empowering disadvantaged youth and mentors a number of young people. He also works to strengthen engagement between British Muslims and wider society. Under his leadership, Islamic Relief UK has significantly increased its income and developed successful partnerships with communities across the country. He has travelled around the world to raise awareness of major emergencies such as the Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan crises and the floods in Pakistan and Sudan.

A father to 5 daughters and a son, Tufail is also a sports enthusiast and passionate Liverpool FC supporter. Tufail has run the London Marathon twice, raising over £35,000 for humanitarian causes.

Before joining Islamic Relief he was CEO of Orphans in Need, where he oversaw a new strategy that increased income from £2 million to £9 million in 3 years and opened up new UK and international offices. Tufail is also a trustee of the Muslim Charities Forum and a Director of TIC International (Islamic Relief Worldwide’s clothes recycling and trading arm).
Waseem Ahmad

Chief Executive Officer

Waseem Ahmad joined the Islamic Relief family over 24 years ago, serving as Programme Officer in the Balochistan province of south-western Pakistan before becoming Head of Programmes in Pakistan. Waseem then moved to Oxfam and Tearfund before returning to Islamic Relief to establish our mission in Malawi. Later serving as Head of Programme Funding and Partnerships, Waseem led the response to major crises across the globe, including the East Africa drought, Pakistan earthquake and the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Waseem then served for nearly 6 years as our Director of International Programmes, during which time the charity secured and retained the coveted Core Humanitarian Standard certification in recognition of the quality of our programming. He was appointed CEO of Islamic Relief in May 2021.

With a special interest in community mobilisation and infrastructure, Waseem received an MSc in Project Planning and Management from the University of Bradford, as well as an MSc in Economics from Arid Agriculture University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Waseem has also worked for Lepra Health in Action and is a member of the International Civil Society Centre’s Board of Trustees. The father-of-3 enjoys walking and playing football, and is a keen birdwatcher.