Emergency Relief: A Time for Action

Muslim Hands providing aid for emergency relief

In the developing world, the aftermaths of cyclones, earthquakes and other calamities are made much worse because of existing poverty. Without the safety net of insurance, savings and accessible transport, people are left helpless with nothing to fall back on when disaster strikes.

Missing that crucial window of opportunity straight after disaster strikes is simply not an option - for survivors it can make the difference between life and death.

Muslim Hands was first established when the crisis in Bosnia arose in 1993 prompting a community in Nottingham to send aid to those suffering in the conflict. Since then we have responded to countless more emergencies and developed a specialised network of staff and volunteers around the globe to ensure a fast response.

We've been present on the ground for widely publicised disasters such as the Asian Tsunami of 2004, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa Famine of 2006. But we've also been present at crises that never reached our TV screens, including sub-zero winters in Kashmir, cholera outbreaks in Guinea Buissau and acute droughts in Mali and Niger.

What we provide in emergencies

Muslim Hands recovery efforts include:

  • Food supplies and means to cook to prevent malnutrition
  • Clean water for those affected to prevent disease
  • Vaccinations  to prevent the spread of disease
  • Emergency shelter  for displaced people
  • Temporary schools to avoid disrupting children's education

The above list doesn't include the long-term reconstruction of homes and schools, provision of medical care to victims and generating livelihoods in badly hit communities, which are all part of the MH emergency response.

Read more about our emergency appeals and how you can help here: Emergencies.

Aid that lasts beyond the media spotlight

Relief action after a disaster strikes varies from place to place, depending on conditions and the needs of those affected.

No two disaster zones are ever the same, with political, economic and social factors complicating each scene. Having permanent field offices has always improved our ability to cater recovery efforts to the long-term welfare of the communities.

Civilian crisis in Libya

Civilian crisis in Libya

Weeks of civil unrest and violence in 2011 caused turmoil for thousands of people in Libya as they were forced to flee their homes and find security in refugee camps away from the sites of conflict. 

The Muslim Hands Emergency Response team were based in the Tunisian border town of Zarzis where the political uncertainty meant over 448,000 people had crossed over the Libyan border, desperate for humanitarian assistance. 

Muslim Hands Libya provided essential sanitation facilities for thousands of evacuees, mostly foreign migrant workers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somalia, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Eritrea and China. 

A tent area was set up in the Tent City - Shousha Camp where Muslim Hands workers provided essential food and clean water to those who sought security. 

With many workers left at the airport with no guarantee of when they would be able to return home, Muslim Hands teams in partnership with the UN World Food programme, set up a large feeding centre providing an average of 3,000 meals per day. 

Muslim Hands also helped to repatriate over 250 migrant workers who were stranded and left without help. 

Haiti eathquake

Haiti earthquake

In January 2010, the colossal Haitian earthquake left Haiti in total devastation. In only 35 seconds, almost 250,000 were killed and a further 3 million people left injured or displaced from their homes. 

Muslim Hands was present on the ground in Port au Prince within a matter of days. Food water and essential non-food items reached up to 20,000 people across Port au Prince in the first few weeks alone. 

A medical field clinic was also set up to treat quake victims with the most common and urgent injuries addressed immediately. Three temporary schools were also set up across Port au Prince with the provision of equipment and educational supplies. Alhamdulillah, a trained team off 55 staff overlooked over 600 children at these MH camp schools.  

To this day, we have a consistent and growing presence in the capital. We have established a permanent field office in Haiti to coordinate and carry out vital food, water and education relief. 

Pakistan floods relief

Pakistan flood relief

Unparalled as Pakistan's worst natural disaster in living memory, the devastating floods of August 2010 began across the North West regions, left 1,900 people dead and over 18 million people in desperate need of aid. 

All 6 of the permanent Muslim Hands field offices across Pakistan were mobilised with over 250 staff on the ground and hundreds of volunteers working tirelessly across the worst affected regions within Khaybar, Pakhtunkhwa, South Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan and Kashmir. 

Muslim Hands relief efforts focused on many fronts as regional teams were coordinated to work concurrently responding to the most urgent food, water and medical needs. 

In total Muslim Hands Pakistan assisted 774,000 flood suvivors with food packages, cooked food, safe drinking water, medical aid, bedding and tents. 

In pictures

Our short gallery showcases some of the emergency relief work Muslim Hands has carried out around the world.