International aid and development organisation Human Appeal UK has received a sizeable donation from a Birmingham mosque and community centre. Green Lane Masjid gave £1.2 million to the charity to help fund its project providing flour to starving people living in Syria. This initiative is renowned as one of the best of its kind in the world and it is helping to feed 200,000 Syrians each month. The money will also go towards providing aid to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon over winter.
In total, Green Lanes Masjid handed over an impressive £1,234,000, most of which came from members of Birmingham’s Muslim community. The money was generated through fundraising dinners, regular collections in the mosque, street collections and a range of other methods.
‘A staggering amount’
Commenting on the generous donation, which he described as a “staggering amount”, chief executive of Human Appeal Othman Moqbel said the charity is “very grateful” for the support. He added that £1.2 million is equivalent to 4,113 tonnes of flour. This crucial resource could feed as many as 832,000 people.
According to Mr Moqbel, money to help alleviate the suffering being experienced by the people of Syria is needed now more than ever. He pointed out that nearly ten million Syrians are classified as being food insecure, while almost seven million are severely food insecure. He went on to note that food production in the country has hit a record low. The wheat harvest estimate is approximately 1.5 million tonnes, which is 55 per cent lower than the average before conflict broke out.
Mr Mr Moqbel also highlighted the fact that bread constitutes a big part of the diet of Syrians, and the price of this food staple has risen by 87 per cent in public bakeries. Many families are now spending over half of their incomes on food. He concluded by stating that Human Appeal provides bread for around 208,000 people each month by giving flour to bakeries to keep them operating.
As well as its internationally acclaimed flour distribution project, Human Appeal is involved in a wide range of other initiatives in Syria. For example, it is helping to run schools and providing shelter to displaced people. The UK-based charity is also running an Aleppo-based paediatric and gynaecological hospital that offers maternity and child healthcare services to around 20,000 people every month.