Green Lane Masjid, a mosque and community centre in Birmingham, has donated £1.2million to Human Appeal, a leading humanitarian aid charity in the UK. The money will go towards providing flour for starving people inside Syria and providing aid for Syrian refugees in Lebanon during the winter.
Human Appeal’s flour distribution project is renowned throughout the international aid community as one of the best in the world, and it feeds 200,000 Syrians every month. International organisations like the UN have worked with Human Appeal on this project.
The total amount donated by Green Lanes Masjid is £1,234,000, mainly given by members of Birmingham’s Muslim community. This was raised through regular collections in the mosque, through fundraising dinners, organised street collections and many other creative methods.
Othman Moqbel, Human Appeal’s Chief Executive, says of Green Lane Masjid’s support for Human Appeal: “We are very grateful for Green Lane Mosque’s support. £1.2million is the equivalent of 4,113 tonnes of flour, which could feed up to 832,000 Syrians.
“This week has seen the plight of Syrians recapture international attention, so money to alleviate their suffering is needed more than ever – especially such a staggering amount”.
“We can’t emphasis enough on the importance of distributing flour to the bakeries of Syria. 9.8 million Syrians are classed as food insecure, with 6.8 million severely food insecure. Food production in Syria has also hit a record low with the 2015/2016 cropping season at the lowest ever. The wheat harvest estimate is approximately 1.5 million tonnes which, 55% lower than the pre-conflict average.
“Bread constitutes a major part of the Syrian diet, however, poor harvest, price hikes in agricultural inputs and loss of agricultural infrastructure has increased the price of bread by 87% in public bakeries. Shares of household expenditure on food has increased tremendously with families spending more than half of their incomes on food.
“Human Appeal began delivering flour to hard-to-reach and besieged areas of Syrian from 2011, today we have reached 3.7million people with our flour and the feedback we get is always positive and they are grateful to receive the food because most of them don’t have the 300 Syrian Pounds needed to buy a bag of bread. Human Appeal currently provides the bread for about 208,000 beneficiaries every month. For an average of 17 bakeries each month, we provide the flour to keep them in operation, giving their staff a regular income and liberating them from being dependant on humanitarian aid.”