In what contexts can faith-based organizations have better access to deliver aid?

Research Associate (United States)





Amjad Mohamed-Saleem
Answer posted: 8 August 2015

In many cases, faith-based organizations (FBOs) and institutions are first responders and the places that people run to for support or sanctuary. In these cases, they can often be best placed to efficiently deliver aid.

In other cases, like we have seen in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Muslim organizations have been able to work somewhat better because it was felt they had a better appreciation of cultures and traditions.

In certain contexts, such as the case of the Order of Malta in Lebanon, by virtue of the fact that they are an FBO, people trust them better than a secular agency.

We should not forget that faith and spirituality play a huge role in the lives of many people vulnerable to disasters worldwide. By virtue of this, FBOs can be a good channel for the delivery of aid.

About the author

Amjad Mohamed-Saleem is a free-lance consultant from Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom and was born in Nigeria. In this capacity he has advised the Commonwealth Foundation, International Alert, among others. In this capacity, he also worked as the Head of Communications and manager of Conflicts Programme for the Cordoba Foundation. He has been country director of the NGO Muslim Aid in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He has also worked in Myanmar, looking at the role the private sector could have in reaching people that humanitarian organizations have trouble reaching themselves, and on issues of peacebuilding and the role of faith in conflict reconciliation in Asia.

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