The International Organization for Relief, Welfare and Development, formerly known as the International Islamic Relief Organization or International Islamic Relief Organization of Saudi Arabia (IIROSA), is a charity based in Saudi Arabia founded by the Muslim World League in 1978. It is a full member of The Conference of NGOs, where it serves on the board. The IIRO is included in a list of some of the UNHCR’s major NGO partners and has been involved in many joint programmes with UN Agencies and intergovernmental (such as the World Health Organization) and non-governmental organisations.
It has enjoyed consultative status on the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 1995. It was the first Islamic NGO to gain observer status with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). It used also to be a member of the International Humanitarian City based in Dubai, UAE.
Following the 9/11 terror attacks, it was alleged that one of Osama bin-Laden’s brothers-in-law had utilised the IIRO Philippines and Indonesian Branches to work with terrorist organizations worldwide, and that a brother of Al-Qaeda official Ayman al Zawahiri working for the IIRO in Albania had brought a number of members of the terror group Egyptian Islamic Jihad to work for IIRO in that European country. IIRO denies any wrongdoing.
In 2003 and 2004, approximately US$36 million was spent on 2258 projects involving 4,586,085 recipients in 81 countries. IIROSA’s seven main programs received:
Social Welfare: US$13 million.
Engineering Department: About US$7 million.
Society Development and Seasonal Projects: About US$6 million.
Emergency Relief: About US$4 million.
Health Care: US$2 million.
Educational Care: US$2 million.
Qur’an Memorization: US$1 million.
IIRO worked in shared projects with the World Health Organization, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the World Food Program.
IIRO provided assistance to the victims of 2005 earthquake in the affected areas and regions of Pakistan which were virtually isolated and inaccessible.
In 2012/2013 approximately SAR 127 million riyals was spent on 1,294 projects which benefited 7,056,349 individuals in 58 countries. IIROSA’s seven main programs received:
Emergency Relief Program: SAR 54.5 million riyals.
Community Development & Seasonal Projects Program: SAR 25 million riyals.
Educational Welfare Program: SAR 12.4 million riyals.
Social Welfare Program: SAR 11.8 million riyals
Engineering Department: SAR 9.9 million riyals.
Health Care Program: SAR 7.8 million riyals.
Holy Qur’an and Da’wa Program: SAR 4 million riyals.
IIRO activities during this period were based in 58 countries, as follows:
Countries of activities
Middle Eastern and Asian Countries: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, China, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. African Countries: Uganda, Chad, Tanzania, Comoros, South Africa, Lesotho, South Sudan, Mozambique, Niger, Benin, Djibouti, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Cameroon, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Togo, Gambia, Ghana Kenya, Mali, Egypt, Mauritania and Nigeria. European Countries: Germany, Switzerland, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosova and Macedonia. South American Countries: Brazil.