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Brief History

IHH The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief started with the humanitarian relief work of a handful of volunteers who could not stay aloof to the Bosnian War that broke out in 1992. Their humanitarian efforts eventually led to the establishment of the foundation in Istanbul.

IHH reaches out to the people in war-torn and occupied countries, people in countries hit by natural disasters, dislocated people who became refugees and deliver them aid in kind and in cash. IHH also realizes projects to bring about permanent improvement in needy people’s lives.

In addition to aids in education, social welfare and healthcare IHH acts to fight the human rights violations. It is among IHH’s priorities to inform the public leaders in the country about the suppression and oppression that is going on in other regions and to raise public awareness about them in order to take concrete steps for the solutions.

IHH carries out routine aid campaigns in Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. Moreover, it realizes permanent aid projects in wart-torn and occupied countries and in regions hit by natural disasters. Some of these projects are building permanent housing, education centers, and well drilling. IHH creates public awareness about the problems of those countries in need through various aid campaigns organized annually. That leads to the support of Turkish public, which is pivotal in realization of important projects in those regions.

In addition to the humanitarian aid projects in Asia, Africa, the Balkans and Far East Asia, IHH makes a great difference through its humanitarian work in Turkey as well. The foundation sets a good example about how NGOs can play active role in restoring and improving the social welfare of the society. It tries to help those living in regions hit by natural disasters, delivers educations aids, periodic aids during Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr in Turkey.

IHH prioritizes to carry out permanent and sustainable projects in the regions where it is operating. Department of Waqf of Republic of Turkey defines IHH as “the foundation which uses its resources with highest efficiency” and The Grand National Assembly of Turkey granted IHH “Outstanding Service Award.” Currently IHH operates in more than 100 countries and works on emergency aid, health care, education and social welfare.

Firsts from İHH

  • IHH is the first NGO that broke the siege in Sarajevo to deliver aid and to raise awareness about the horrible things happening to Bosnians during Bosnian War.
  • IHH is the first Turkey based NGO that delivers relief aid to 135 countries and territories across five continents.
  • IHH is the first NGO in Turkey that carried out international Eid al-Fitr charity campaigns.
  • IHH is one of the first relief organizations that entered Gaza following the fall of the wall built on Egypt-Gaza border..
  • IHH is the first charity organization from Turkey that delivered aid to Kosovo.
  • IHH is the first charity organization in the world that delivered aid to Chechen people.
  • IHH is the first NGO in Turkey that launched a nationwide campaign for Africa (2006 Africa Emergency Aid Campaign).
  • Kosovo government named IHH among the top three organization that delivered the greatest amount of aid to the country.
  • As a Turkey-based NGO IHH launched the biggest healthcare campaign in Africa with its “Cataract Project”
  • IHH is the first NGO in the Islamic world that carries out humanitarian diplomacy.
  • IHH organized an international humanitarian aid flotilla headed to Gaza in 2009 by land and in 2010 by sea.
  • IHH carried out the greatest humanitarian diplomatic operation since WWII in the world by facilitating the release of over two thousand captives and prisoners in Syria in 2013.
  • IHH established Independent Monitoring Council of five members including one IHH representative to supervise and monitor Philippines-Bangsamoro peace process in 2013.
  • IHH proposed World Orphan Day to OIC which endorsed it and announced 15th of Ramadan every year as such in 2013.
  • IHH organized “Open the Road to Aleppo” convoy of 5.000 vehicles with over 40.000 participants that drove from Istanbul to Antioch in an effort to open safe passage for civilians in besieged Aleppo in 2016. As a result of its humanitarian efforts 45.000 civilians were evacuated from Aleppo to safe zone.