9 Best Charities Impacting the Middle East (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities Impacting the Middle East (Complete 2022 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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From the Pyramids of Giza to Wadi Bani Khalid and the Burj Khalifa, the Middle East is filled with fascinating sights and ancient landmarks. However, this stunning region is plagued by religious crises, climate change, poverty, hunger, and human rights infringement. As a result, several charitable organizations are directing their efforts toward assisting the people living in the region. So we had to ask: What are the best charities for the Middle East?

The best charities for the Middle East are American Near East Refugee Aid and Embrace the Middle East. Charities such as the Middle East Children’s Alliance and Palestine Children’s Relief Fund focus on providing medical care for children in the Middle East.

Whether you want to help support refugees, ensure every vulnerable person in the Middle East has access to vital medical care, or empower local communities to pull themselves out of poverty, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for the Middle East are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for the Middle East Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission and impact in the Middle East. Some of them have a global reach, whereas others are solely focused on the Middle East. However, they all share the same goal of providing food, access to safe water, education, and medical aid to people in the Middle East. All these charities are dedicated to improving the quality of life of refugees and people affected by war and natural disasters in that region.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for the Middle East

Below are our favorite charities for the Middle East (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

  • American Near East Refugee Aid
  • Embrace the Middle East
  • Palestine Children’s Relief Fund
  • Middle East Children’s Alliance
  • Mosaic Middle East
  • Islamic Relief USA
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Mercy-USA for Aid and Development
  • Doctors Without Borders

(At the end of this article, we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

American Near East Refugee Aid: Where Hope Finds A Way

The American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) was founded in 1968 by a small group of concerned Americans to provide immediate assistance to victims of conflict in Palestine. Today, they help refugees and people harmed by conflict in Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine to live with hope and purpose.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The American Near East Refugee Aid holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.

“Anera provides humanitarian assistance and sustainable development to advance the well-being of refugees and other vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan.”

American Near East Refugee Aid

What they do: The American Near East Refugee Aid mobilizes resources for immediate emergency relief and sustainable long-term education, health, and economic development. They also manage sewage and water purification in disadvantaged communities and teach refugees how to maintain safety in the event of water pollution. In addition, they support local farms and provide resources to boost the agricultural sector in Gaza and beyond. 

What they’ve achieved: The American Near East Refugee Aid is committed to supporting refugees in the Middle East. For example, they built 3 preschools in Palestine and trained 32 Palestine youths in their intensive coding academy in 2021. They also repaired 1,198 homes and businesses affected by a port explosion in Beirut. In addition, they delivered medical supplies worth over $87 million in Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. ANERA has also built 6 solar-powered agricultural wells for irrigation in Lebanon and helped 1,152 Palestinian families connect their homes to a water supply.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the American Near East Refugee Aid through their website. You can also support them by starting a fundraiser or volunteering

Embrace the Middle East: The Christian Development Charity Tackling Poverty and Injustice in the Middle East

Embrace the Middle East was founded in 1854 by a group of English evangelical philanthropists to support missionary work among Armenian Christians in Turkey. Today, they provide grants to their partners to transform lives and restore the dignity of the Middle East’s most excluded and marginalized communities.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial reports, Embrace the Middle East spent 85% of their income on providing grants to their partners and other charitable activities concerning education, healthcare, and community projects in the Middle East

“We believe education is the key to tackling poverty and creating hope for the future. Investing in education is one of the most powerful and effective ways to lift people out of poverty.”

Embrace the Middle East

What they do: Embrace the Middle East works with their partners to fight poverty and injustice in the Middle East through fundraising and support. Through their grants, they empower vulnerable refugee women by providing vocational and life-skill training to enhance their wellbeing. They also operate schools for children with disabilities and special needs to help them live independent adult lives. In addition, they provide counseling and therapeutic services to address the mental health and well-being needs of individuals impacted by the trauma of conflict and the chronic stress of living as refugees.

What they’ve achieved: Embrace the Middle East is committed to providing support to help refugees and marginalized communities in the Middle East. For example, in 2020, they gave over $709,000 to support 18 projects and 26,460 people across key areas including women’s empowerment, education, and healthcare of young mothers and children in Egypt. They also provided more than $638,000 to support 14 projects that helped 9,998 people with livelihood support, specialist disability services, education, and primary healthcare in Lebanon.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Embrace the Middle East through their website. You can also support them by volunteering or engaging in advocacy. In addition, you can buy art pieces and stationery from their shop.

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund: Healing the Wounds of War and Occupation in the Middle East

The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund was founded in 1992 by Steve Sosebee to provide injured and sick children in Palestine with medical care in the US. Since then, they have grown into a global organization with thousands of volunteer medical teams providing local treatment to sick and injured children and youths.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund has a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Levant, regardless of their nationality, politics or religion.”

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

What they do: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund provides children in the Middle East with access to quality medical care, regardless of nationality, religion or political affiliation. They send volunteer medical teams from around the world to provide free healthcare in local hospitals in Palestine. In addition, they train local community-based organizations to respond to the needs of children that are psychologically traumatized by direct exposure to violence in Gaza through their pediatric mental health initiative.

What they’ve achieved: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund has sent over 2000 children to the US for free medical care. They have also built two pediatric cancer centers in Palestine and sent over 500 volunteer medical teams to support the development of the indigenous healthcare system. In addition, they completed a project to supply integrated solar energy systems to 31 children with bullous dermatosis and cerebral palsy in the Gaza Strip. They have provided over 800 malnutritioned children living in Lebanon’s refugee camps with milk and other support while they are in nurseries. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund through their website. You can also offer support by starting a fundraiser or volunteering.

Middle East Children Alliance: Protecting the Health, Lives, and Rights of Children in the Middle East

The Middle East Children Alliance (MECA) was founded in 1988 by Barbara Lubin to fight for the rights and well-being of children in the Middle East. Since their inception, they have continued delivering food and medical aid to Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Middle East Children’s Alliance has a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator

“The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) works to protect the rights and improve the lives of children in the Middle East through aid, empowerment and education.”

Middle East Children’s Alliance

What they do: The Middle East Children’s Alliance creates educational and cultural programs in the US and globally to increase awareness of the plight of the children in the Middle East. They also raise funds to provide direct aid, clean, safe water, university scholarships, and financial support for community-based projects.

What they’ve achieved: The Middle East Children’s Alliance have established the Teach Palestine Project, which provides K-12 educators with free resources on teaching about Palestine. They have also provided over 100 scholarships at Palestinian universities annually to enable dedicated students to obtain the skills needed to make meaningful contributions to society. In addition, they established 73 water purification and desalination units, to provide 90,000 children with access to clean water in the Middle East.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Middle East Children’s Alliance through their website. You can also support them by purchasing homemade and handcrafted items from their shop. In addition, you can set up a fundraising campaign online or volunteer with one of their offices or events.

Mosaic Middle East: Bringing Hope, Help, and Healing to the Middle East

Mosaic Middle East, also known as the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, was founded in 2005 by Andrew White to confront injustice and poverty in the Middle East. Today, they work to improve the lives of vulnerable people in Jordan and Iraq.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Mosaic Middle East spent 95% of their income on raising funds and other charitable activities.

“Our mission is to bring hope, help and healing to the Middle East. Our focus is on vulnerable and persecuted minorities. Our motivation is Christian compassion. Our objective is to strengthen and empower those in need.”

Mosaic Middle East

What they do: Mosaic Middle East is committed to improving the lives of thousands of vulnerable and persecuted people in Iraq and Jordan. They provide vital emergency relief and empower people through sustainable development and centers of empowerment. They also raise awareness about the impact of terrorism in the Middle East and challenge governments and key decision-makers toward peacebuilding efforts. 

What they’ve achieved: Mosaic Middle East provides relief through their emergency support to 7,698 refugees monthly. Over 6 years, they also provided 106,259 free patient treatments through St. George’s Clinic in Baghdad. In addition, they continue to operate inspiring places of restoration for traumatized refugees, providing education and therapy for people of all ages. At their Madaba Center, over 80 people have completed English language courses, 40 children have benefitted from a range of trauma therapies, and 20 people have participated in ongoing creative initiatives.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Mosaic Middle East through their website. You can also support them by sponsoring a refugee or joining their team.

Islamic Relief USA: Working Together for a Better World

Islamic Relief Worldwide was founded in 1984 by Dr Dany El-Banna in response to famine in Africa. Islamic Relief USA became an independent charity in 1993. Today, they provide relief assistance in the aftermath of human and natural disasters and alleviate poverty by empowering communities worldwide, including the Middle East.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Islamic Relief USA has a 3-star rating from Charity  Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Islamic Relief USA provides relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world.”

Islamic Relief USA

What they do: Islamic Relief USA focuses on eliminating poverty in the Middle East by responding to humanitarian crises and catering for long-term needs. They provide those in need with access to basic essentials including healthcare, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects, education, and livelihood support. Their work in the Middle East extends across Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Islamic Relief USA has provided medical supplies, education, and access to food and clean water to people in 8 countries in the Middle East. They have served nearly 5 million people through 74 projects revolving around providing food to orphans, medical services via a mobile clinic, and women empowerment programs.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Islamic Relief USA through their website. You can also support them by starting a fundraiser or volunteering. In addition, you can also follow them on their social media platforms.

International Rescue Committee: Empowering People in Crisis and Beyond

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) was established in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein to help people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover, and rebuild their lives. Today, their work extends to over 40 countries in different regions, including the Middle East. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The International Rescue Committee has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“The mission of the International Rescue Committee is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster, including the climate crisis, to survive, recover and gain control over the future.”

International Rescue Committee

What they do: The International Rescue Committee supports people whose lives have been upended by conflict, natural disasters, and wars. They also resettle refugees in the US, helping them to succeed and thrive. In addition, they shape humanitarian policy and practice to improve the lives of people globally. The IRC provides learning opportunities that teach employment-related and trade-specific technical skills, like accounting, marketing, and budgeting.

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the International Refugee Committee has remained dedicated to supporting people whose lives have been affected by crises. For example, in 2021 they supported almost 1.2 million people in Syria by partnering with local and international groups to ensure the uninterrupted flow of medicines, supplies, and equipment. They also run health clinics and dispatch mobile medical teams, which have helped over 120,000 refugees and people living in poverty in Jordan.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the International Refugee Committee through their website. You can also support them by fundraising or volunteering at their offices in person or remotely. In addition, you can speak up to ensure that the US admits more refugee women, men, and children annually. 

Mercy-USA for Aid and Development: Give A Grain Of Hope

Mercy-USA For Aid and Development was founded in 1986 to alleviate human suffering and support individuals and their communities to become more self-sufficient.  Today, they continue to develop projects in many countries including Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Mercy-USA For Aid and Development has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Mercy-USA For Aid and Development is dedicated to alleviating human suffering and supporting individuals and their communities in their efforts to become more self-sufficient.”

Mercy-USA for Aid and Development

What they do: Mercy-USA For Aid and Development works to improve health, nutrition, and access to safe water globally. They provide free healthcare and nutrition support to extremely poor families in Lebanon. They also screen mothers and children for malnutrition and provide free health and nutrition support, including prenatal care for pregnant moms. In addition, they provide foot dopplers for rapid assessment of vascularity of lower limbs to avoid complications and prevent amputation in diabetic patients in Palestine. Furthermore, they promote economic and educational development in different parts of the world, including the Middle East.

What they’ve achieved: Mercy-USA for Aid and Development works to improve nutrition, healthcare, and access to clean water globally, including the Middle East. For example, in 2020, they provided over 250,000 people in Northern Syria with a healthy source of nutrition. They also delivered monthly food baskets to families and internally displaced persons in Yemen. In addition, the Mercy-USA Kelly Primary Healthcare Center, featuring a birth center and pharmacy, provided free healthcare to over 20,000 people in Syria.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Mercy-USA for Aid and Development through their website. You can also support them by creating a crowdfunding campaign or volunteering.

Doctors Without Borders: Providing Emergency Medical Care

Doctors Without Borders was founded in 1971 by a group of doctors and journalists to establish an independent organization focused on delivering emergency medical humanitarian aid. Today, they provide medical assistance in 72 countries to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare, including the Middle East region.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial reports, Doctors Without Borders uses 80.5% of their financial resources on social missions (humanitarian support, raising awareness, funding projects and programs), 15.1% on fundraising activities, and 4.4.% on management and administration.

“Doctors Without Borders was created in the belief that all people should have access to healthcare regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that people’s medical needs outweigh respect for national boundaries.”

Doctors Without Borders

What they do: Doctors Without Borders provides medical humanitarian assistance to save lives and ease the suffering of people in crisis situations. They provide medical and psychological assistance to people affected by the ongoing conflict in Palestine. They also support migrants and refugees in Egypt by offering integrated health care. Their reconstructive surgery hospital in Amman treats war-wounded patients and victims of violence coming from countries such as Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. 

What they’ve achieved: Doctors Without Borders is committed to providing access to healthcare to people in different regions, including the Middle East. For example, in 2021, they had 23,700 outpatient consultations, 2,990 individual mental health consultations, and 940 surgical interventions in Jordan. In Lebanon, they assisted with over 4,000 births and 124,600 outpatient consultations. In addition, they admitted 24,600 patients to the hospital, assisted with 16,800 births, and had 137,100 outpatient consultations in Iraq.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Doctors Without Borders through their website. You can also support them by starting a fundraiser or joining one of their campaigns. In addition, you can volunteer with them or join a Friends of MSF Chapter in your campus.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for the Middle East. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to the Middle East – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Dennis Kamprad

Dennis is the founder of Impactful Ninja and passionate about enabling you to make a positive impact on the world & society. He started his professional career as a Sustainability Consultant and has worked on several social projects around the world. Outside of work, he is a passionate salsa dancer, fast runner, and multiple Ironman finisher.

Did you know that the internet is a huge polluter of the environment? But fortunately not this site. This site is powered by renewable energy and all hosting-related CO2 emissions are offset by three times as many renewable energy certificates. Find out all about it here.

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