Policy and publications

Islamic Relief Worldwide Safeguarding Policy

This policy is designed to inform, guide and direct staff and representatives of Islamic Relief’s safeguarding policy which has been designed to create a safe, protective and a conducive environment for a culture of safeguarding across all levels of the organisation. It is mandatory for all those representing Islamic Relief locally, nationally and globally to understand, implement and adhere to all the guidelines outlined in this document and other related policies which form part of the safeguarding framework such Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Child Safeguarding.

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“The Land is Aching”: Extreme Climate-Induced Flooding in Pakistan

Pakistan has experienced its worst flooding to date this monsoon season with over 1,700 lives lost and 33 million people affected. In the aftermath of the disaster, an already cash-strapped Pakistan is facing drastically increased poverty, demolished infrastructure, loss of livelihood, and disease outbreaks. Arguing for the urgent need for disaster reduction and disaster management in Pakistan, this report highlights the vulnerability of the country to effects of climate change, Islamic Relief's work to facilitate adaptation, and the impact of disaster events on women and girls. In particular, the report calls for wealthy nations to honour their financial commitments to address loss and damage and prevent future disasters.

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Islamic Relief Climate Policy

This policy navigates the complex and interrelated issues surrounding humanity’s response to the climate crisis. It invokes the scientific and ethical imperative for action. It explores solutions and identifies priorities through Islamic Relief’s strategy of addressing the global drivers and local outcomes of poverty, vulnerability, inequality and injustice. While patient and deliberate progress is necessary, there is no time for further delay. As Greta Thunberg says, we must “act like our house is on fire. Because it is”.

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A gendered analysis on cash for work programming in Lahj governorate

The Sida-funded cash for work (CFW) programme in Yemen provides employment opportunities to approximately 2,000 of the most vulnerable households in Hudayda and Lahj governorates. In this paper, Islamic Relief analyses the ability of female family members to participate in CFW programmes, whilst examining their existing roles and responsibilities, access and control of resources, and protection risks. This learning paper provides key learnings and recommendations for women’s participation in CFW programming.

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Islamic Relief climate action position paper: Climate migration

Climate breakdown has seen hundreds of millions of people displaced from their homes. With many more having to move from their homeland due to collapsing food systems and livelihoods. This paper sets out Islamic Relief’s position towards addressing the challenge at the international level. This is part of a series of climate action position papers on aspects of the climate crisis.

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Islamic Relief climate action position paper: Climate finance

International funding to provide resources to developing countries needs to be increased if there is to be any chance of addressing climate breakdown.  This paper sets out Islamic Relief’s position on how this can be done, ensuring justice and accountability without increasing the debt and poverty levels of people, communities and countries already coping with multiple crises. It concludes with a review of the implications of climate finance for Islamic Relief’s operations. This is part of a series of climate action position papers on aspects of the climate crisis.

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Learning paper on gender responsive cash and livelihood programming in South Sudan

This paper captures learning outcomes from Islamic Relief South Sudan's year gender-responsive relief assistance and community recovery integrated humanitarian response funded by Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (Sida). It particularly examines cash programming and livelihoods, to understand gender mainstreaming, protection and inclusion components using a rights-based approach. It highlights interventions and key findings and provides a set of recommendations for improving interventions.

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“What is our Future?” Afghanistan on a knife-edge

One year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, this new report from Islamic Relief is calling on the international community to step up efforts to address the country’s economic collapse. Afghanistan is now one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises, with rising poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Based on needs assessments and interviews with women, men and children across the country, the report sets out how the crisis is affecting millions of vulnerable people. Their income and livelihoods have been decimated and they are finding themselves turning to increasingly harmful ways of coping, often with women and girls facing the highest risks. The report sets out 10 steps the international community must prioritise in order to save lives, protect livelihoods and ensure a better future for Afghan civilians.

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Islamic Relief Nepal Citizen-led Sustainable Development Goals Monitoring

Groups at further risk of marginalisation are left behind from discussions around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at different levels. Islamic Relief Nepal, as part of efforts to Leave No One Behind, conducted an initiative along with other stakeholders that provided a platform for youth-led SDGs monitoring in Rajdevi municipality of Rautahat District. The monitoring aimed to create a platform for citizens’ voices on the progress of SDGs under specific national indicators by using various participatory tools including community score cards. This assessment report has been prepared for documenting the progress against the SDG indicators and proposed actionable recommendations that contribute towards Nepal’s policy development process and tracking the SDGs progress over time.

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On the Brink: Food security crisis in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen

The food crisis is being acutely felt in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen, where it is exacerbating existing inequalities in society, with women and girls being hit hardest. This report highlights Islamic Relief’s position on food insecurity and provides insights into how we are tackling the crisis. It contains recommendations for the attention of the international community, donors, governments and civil society organisations, advocating for long-term adaptation responses to avert further escalation and save lives.

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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.