The UK government's Department for International Development is to match fund UK public donations to Islamic Relief's 2012 Ramadan appeal, up to £5 million.
The appeal coincides with the first anniversary of the Somalia famine. A year ago Islamic Relief was one of the few international agencies able to distribute aid on both sides of the conflict.
Jehangir Malik, Islamic Relief’s UK Director, said: "We are delighted to announce support from the Department for International Development's UK Aid Match scheme for our Ramadan appeal. The Government will match the public donations we receive pound for pound up to £5 million, which means that our supporters can double their donations and we can double the impact of our work to support poor communities and lift people out of poverty."
The funds raised by this year's Ramadan appeal will be used to support a wide range of projects around the world, with a particular emphasis on strengthening communities to resist the impact of climate change.
Ramadan and charitable giving
The holy month of Ramadan is a time when most Muslims choose to give zakat, honouring their religious obligation to give to charity. Islamic Relief receives around a third of its annual income in the UK during Ramadan. Last year’s Ramadan appeal raised £9 million in the UK, including £4.1 million earmarked for East Africa. In 2011, 300 dinners, collections and other events in the UK raised money for Islamic Relief during Ramadan.
About UK Aid Match
UK Aid Match is the British Government’s scheme to give the public a say in how a portion of the aid budget is spent by matching public donations to charity appeals for projects to reduce poverty in developing countries. UK Aid Match was launched in June 2011 and has committed to match funding 13 appeals.
Past appeals that have benefited from the UK Aid Match scheme include the Financial Times Seasonal appeal 2011 for Sightsavers, Sport Relief 2012 and CAFOD Give it up! for Lent appeal.
Current appeals benefiting from the programme include Christian Aid Week 2012, Soccer Aid for UNICEF, WaterAid 'The Big Dig' Appeal, and Riders for Health.