Children in Need

About the Situation

By the Numbers

153 million children are orphaned by one or both parents worldwide

One in six children–about 100 million–in developing countries is underweight

Probability of dying before age 5:
Mali: 128 in 1,000
Afghanistan: 99 in 1,000
USA: 7 in 1,000

(Sources: UNICEF, World Food Program and the World Bank)

In a world full of upheaval, children are the most vulnerable community members—vulnerable to hunger, to illness, to deprivation and to exploitation. Children are disproportionately affected by many illnesses, and in some countries, as many as 1 in 8 die before their fifth birthday. And for many children living in communities suffering deprivation, school is often a luxury—a situation that perpetuates the cycle of poverty.

Improving children’s daily lives by safe-guarding them against illness; providing them with educational opportunities; and by giving them access to proper nutrition, water and sanitation services, can also provide a cushion that would help alleviate suffering in emergency situations. Perhaps most important, those basic resources can provide a world of hope to children—including 143 million orphans—for a brighter future.

How the Children in Need Campaign Helps

For nearly two decades, Islamic Relief USA has been working to improve the lives of children around the world. Areas of focus include emergency relief, orphan support, health and nutrition, water and sanitation.

Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported for children in need:


When human or natural disasters occur, Islamic Relief rushes to alleviate suffering. Immediate projects often include distribution of food, water and baby milk, as well as health-care services.


Islamic Relief teams are building and equipping schools, holding literacy classes and training teachers around the world. Many of our education projects help young girls gain the skills needed to break free from the poverty trap—that, in turn, benefits the entire community and provides a gateway to greater achievements for generations to come. IRUSA is currently supporting more than a dozen education-related programs for children worldwide.


Millions of children around the world live in hunger. Islamic Relief has established numerous programs around the world to provide nutritious, wholesome foods to children so that they can grow into healthy adults.


To help children remain the care of loving relatives, this program helps guardians provide orphans with food, clothing and an education. Islamic Relief USA donors sponsor thousands of orphans in dozens of countries around the world. With our global affiliate Islamic Relief Worldwide, the tens of thousands of orphans are sponsored each year. Additional programs add supplemental education and vocational training.


By building new health centers, supplied with modern equipment, Islamic Relief is helping improve children’s access to health care in communities from Pakistan to Mali, Palestine to Somalia. Nutrition programs also help children stay strong so they can learn, grow and resist illnesses.


Malaria kills nearly 1 million people each year, most of them African children. Islamic Relief helped provide the tools necessary to alleviate the number of preventable deaths from this illness. Efforts were focused in Mali.

How You Can Help


by organizing and attending local fundraisers that support IRUSA’s efforts.


by sharing information about IRUSA’s efforts with your social media networks.


to the Children In Need fund to support this effort.