Washington, D.C., Nov. 21, 2011–Abed Ayoub, CEO of Islamic Relief USA, has been appointed to the U.S. State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group to help inform U.S. policy.
Along with the other members, Ayoub will take part in dialogue and provide input on relevant topics including the challenges and opportunities for partnership. The group also will identify model action programs or projects for collaboration between the U.S. government and NGOs.
“We feel honored to be in this group, working with diverse leaders,” Ayoub said. “As a humanitarian organization, we can bring a lot to the table. Unfortunately, most of the disasters in the world are in the Muslim world, and we’re hoping that we can maximize the benefits going to the beneficiaries by being in this group.”
The Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group is divided into sub-groups. Ayoub will serve on the Sub-Group on Faith-Based Groups and Development and Humanitarian Assistance, which examines faith-based organizations’ challenges, opportunities and resources in addressing societal needs for such assistance. This forum also will work to ensure NGOs’ freedom to operate and deliver humanitarian aid.
Other members of the Development and Humanitarian Assistance sub-group include Richard Stearns, President/CEO of World Vision; Carolyn Woo, CEO of Catholic Relief Services; David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World; and Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service.
The group held its first meeting in October. Ayoub said the Development and Humanitarian Assistance sub-group discussed the role of humanitarian organizations and heard issues facing the State Department, particularly the drought and famine in East Africa.
“The State Department wants to engage faith-based organizations,” Ayoub said. “Hopefully Islamic Relief can participate in solving world issues and ease the suffering of the people.”
The group will continue to meet through November 2012.
Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization with eight consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. In 2010, Islamic Relief USA programs benefited more than 4.3 million people in 34 countries, including the United States.
In addition to its 4-star rating on Charity Navigator, Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.