Last week, Stephen hosted an Islamic Relief event in Parliament’s Churchill Room, ahead of the start of Ramadan. The event – also attended by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn – marked the launch of the organisation’s latest appeal, which this year will donate money to support access to clean water for people in Ethiopia.
The UK Government has announced that it will match the first £2 million donated through its ‘Aid Match’ scheme and Islamic Relief estimates that in total 20,000 people will benefit from the project. The organisation - founded 35 years ago this year - developed in response to the devastating famine in Ethiopia. In recent years, climate change has meant that the frequency and severity of droughts is increasing and the people who suffer most are those who rely on the land to make a living.
Speaking after the event, Stephen said: “Islamic Relief is making a vital contribution to development projects year on year and I am delighted to support this latest initiative, aimed at helping some of the most vulnerable people in our global community. I pay tribute to all those involved in the organisation and to those who made today’s event possible. As chair of the Interfaith APPG, I recognise the important contribution faith groups make to the fight against global poverty and I encourage people of all faiths and none to join together and support this campaign”.
Last year, British Muslims raised over £10 million for Islamic Relief’s Ramadan campaign.