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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 Turkey based NGO that reaches out to 135 countries and territories across 5 continents 

- IHH is the first NGO in Turkey that internationally organizes the slaughter and delivery of meat to the needy in Eid Al-Adha

- IHH is among the first relief organizations that entered Gaza when the wall on Egypt-Gaza border was pulled down in March 2008.

- IHH is the first NGO that reached Sarajevo under siege and show the plight of Bosnians to the world during the Bosnian War

- IHH is the first NGO from Turkey that delivered aid to Kosovo. 

- IHH is the first NGO in the world that delivered aid to the people in Chechnya.

- IHH is the first NGO in Turkey that launched a national aid campaign for Africa (2006 Africa Emergency Aid Campaign)

- IHH is acknowledged by Kosovo government as one of the top three organizations that deliver aid to the country.

- IHH is the NGO from Turkey which organized the biggest health-care campaign in Africa that is Africa Cataract project.