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Despite Unprecedented Challenges Worldwide in 2020, Canada’s IDRF Helped a Record Number of People

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International Development & Relief Foundation

Photo of Mahmood Qasim, CEO of IDRF

Mahmood Qasim, CEO of IDRF

More than 840,000 vulnerable people supported through charity’s relief and development projects

The past year was unprecedented in terms of the challenges presented to the charitable sector by COVID-19.”
— Mahmood Qasim, Chief Executive Officer, IDRF

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, January 15, 2021 / -- While 2020 will go down in history as one of the most difficult years ever for the charitable sector in terms of being able to fund critical programs and projects, the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) set new records in the number of people it helped.

“The past year was unprecedented in terms of the challenges presented to the charitable sector by COVID-19,” said Mahmood Qasim, the Chief Executive Officer of IDRF. “On the one hand, the number of vulnerable people in need dramatically increased as the virus devasted hundreds of refugee camps, and millions of people struggled to find food and medicine for their families. On the other hand, fewer people in the developed world were able to make donations as businesses shut their doors and laid-off workers faced a bleak economy.”

In light of these challenges, IDRF had to adjust the way it operated, and ask more of its supporters than ever before. For example, more dollars were pivoted towards providing vulnerable people in Canada with quarantine kits which included food items, cleaning supplies, hygiene items and personal protection equipment (PPE). More aid was earmarked for refugee camps to provide COVID-19 testing centres, hygiene kits, food packages, clean water, PPE, and sanitization programs to prevent the spread of illness and disease. And supporters who could donate were asked to give more than in the past. The result was truly inspiring.

Partly as a result of a special fundraising campaign in association with Conquer Covid-19 that was supported with some major one-time gifts, IDRF raised $11.3 million in revenue in 2020, or some $3 million more than the previous year. And in 2020 it invested nearly $10 million on development and education programs, almost double what it spent a year earlier. This investment in humanity fed over 398,000 people, provided water to more than 215,000 people, provided Covid-19 relief to over 200,000 people, established income generation programs for more than 1,400 people, and helped 6,000 young people in Canada prepare for the employment challenges they face in an ever-changing economy.

“Thanks to the generous support we received, IDRF was able to invest 90 cents of every dollar raised towards our relief and development programs around the world,” explained Mr. Qasim. “As a result, we were able to help more than 840,000 of the world’s most vulnerable people in 2020.” However, Mr. Qasim is quick to point out that there is still much work to be done.

“The challenges faced by the world’s poor and vulnerable people continues to grow, and with it the need for even more of the relief and development aid we provide at IDRF,” he said. “In this regard, we are blessed to have some of the most caring, compassionate, and generous supporters in the world, and a tremendous team of employees. On behalf of the board of IDRF, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our supporters, partners, volunteers and staff.”

About IDRF:

IDRF is a Canadian registered charitable organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people in Canada and around the world. Founded in 1984, IDRF has an enviable reputation as one of Canada’s best-run charities and has been recognized by third-party organizations such as the Financial Post and MoneySense for its effectiveness, efficiency, and results. Find out more about IDRF's work in its Annual Report, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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