USAID Gives Muslim Brotherhood Tied Charity $100,000

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a grant of $100,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), an organization that has been banned by Israel and the United Arab Emirates for raising money for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel and the UAE banned IRW in 2014.

Senior figures have been closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, a trustee of IRW, Dr. Essam el-Haddad, was a national-security advisor to former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel arrested and deported Iyaz Ali, IRW’s Gaza branch project director in 2006, for working “to transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations.”

“The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure” an Israeli Foreign Ministry statement read. “The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives.”

IRW has also been tied to the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a Turkish charity which recruited human shields for Hamas during Israel's Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

The country code for this specific USAID grant is KEN, denoting Kenya. The specific project is described as “saving water for food: a grand challenge for dev[elopement].”

While any given project run by Islamic Relief Worldwide may or may not be a cause worth U.S. federal resources, the connections of the charity’s leadership as a whole and the designations made by foreign governments suggest USAID could find less controversial partners with whom to support international development projects. 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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