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MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, June 3, 2021 — Baitulmaal, a Dallas-based international humanitarian relief agency, in collaboration with the Spanish Islamic Reliance of America (SIRA), recently delivered food staples to provide 52,170 meals for families in Mexico and Peru.

Around 235 families in Guadalajara, Chiapas, Tamazula, Puebla, Toluca, Queretaro, and Cuernavaca in Mexico and Cuzco, Peru were provided food packages that include items such as rice, beans, sugar, coffee, cereal, eggs, oil, canned goods and dates. The recipients, who were of diverse backgrounds, included those impacted by unemployment due to COVID-19, as well as single mothers and other underprivileged families. The packages were distributed for the Ramadan season, a time marked by fasting, charity and worship.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are an estimated 840,000 Muslims in Latin America, and this number is growing. As minorities, many struggle to practice their faith and meet their needs amidst the regionโ€™s growing poverty levels, according to Elizabeth Sohail, program manager at Baitulmaal.

โ€œThis past year has strained many families,โ€ Sohail said. โ€œWe wanted to ensure that our brothers and sisters across the border were able to fulfill their fasts with nutritious meals provided by their Baitulmaal family.โ€

According to the World Bank, this year saw an increase in poverty levels worldwide — the first rise in a generation of declining levels — due to the global pandemic, conflict, and climate change. About 120 million additional people are living in poverty as a result of the pandemic, with the total expected to rise to about 150 million by the end of 2021.

In Mexico, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 16 million more people to fall into extreme poverty, according to a study by the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Various estimates put the poverty rate in Mexico at around 50 percent of the population living under $5 USD per day. And in Peru, the economic slowdown and rising unemployment have driven up the poverty rate to around 27 percent in 2020, pushing almost 2 million people into poverty, according to the World Bank.

Baitulmaal distributed approximately 3.9M meals this past Ramadan, and is preparing to provide more food and meat distributions for the upcoming Hajj season. If you would like to learn more or contribute to these programs at Baitulmaal, please visit their website at Baitulmaal.org.

Baitulmaal is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides life-saving, life-sustaining and life-enriching aid to people in need around the world. With headquarters in Dallas, Texas, the charity has offices in: Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Nairobi, Kenya; Mogadishu, Somalia; Amman and Al Ramtha, Jordan; and Karachi, Pakistan.

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