IHH was formed as a response to the apathetic international response to the killing of innocent civilians during the Bosnian and Chechen wars of the 1990s. The organization aims to provide relief during and following wars and natural disasters to help communities resume their daily lives and stand on their own feet. IHH's main objective is to provide humanitarian aid to any people who are victimized by war, famine, disaster, or other forms of oppression. The group hopes that by supporting the leadership and institutions of the communities in which it works, and by fostering greater cooperation among governments and organizations worldwide, there will develop a lesser dependence on foreign aid and, more generally, a stronger sense of collective consciousness.
A grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported IHH's humanitarian work in Libya during the armed conflict in 2011.
The Zakat Foundation served as a fiscal sponsor for this grant.