Canadian Muslims have announced that an Eid gift of $250,000 will be presented to the Fort McMurray, the Alberta city that was devastated by wildfires in May.
“On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Toronto-based International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) announces a gift of $250,000 to the people of Fort McMurray,” Farheen Khan, IDRF Director, Fund Development and External Affairs, told IQRA.ca.
Fort McMurray is an urban service area located in northeast Alberta, in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands, surrounded by boreal forest. It has played a significant role in the development of the national petroleum industry.
In early May, a wildfire dubbed “the beast” tore through Fort McMurray, forcing the evacuation of 90,000 people. About 2,400 structures were destroyed. Thousands more were damaged.
The contribution will be given to Habitat for Humanity for rebuilding and repairing housing for those who were uninsured or had minimal insurance coverage.
“Unfortunately the fires have left so many families without a place to live,” said IDRF Board Chair, Zeib Jeeva. “The money raised will be used to repair and build a number of homes, the first being for a single mother of two.”
“Thanks to the generosity of the community, this family will have a new place to call home soon.”
The Eid gift for Fort McMurray was raised on June 30, the eve of Canada Day, in the City of Markham at a fund-raising dinner hosted by Khalid Usman, former Markham councilor with the help of Mayor Frank Scarpitti of Markham and John McCallum, Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
“What better way for Canadian Muslims to celebrate both Canada Day and Eid than to join hundreds of thousands of other Canadians in helping their fellow Canadians who have had their lives turned upside down in Fort McMurray,” said IDRF Board Chair, Zeib Jeeva.
International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) implements relief and development projects across the world, including in South and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Americas, Eastern Europe, the Middle East in Canada. IDRF has been chosen by the Financial Post as one of the Top 25 Charities in Canada for two consecutive years.
Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.
Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.