Naser Haghamed is approaching two years into his role as chief executive officer of Islamic Relief Worldwide — an organization known in the sector for its strong, community-focused donor base, and its superlative access to even the most entrenched conflicts. Yet to sustain access to those environments, the former child refugee is still fighting many of the same invisible lines, labyrinthine processes, and brutally suspicious gatekeepers he battled as a child.

"Derisking" — an ongoing wrangle between humanitarian organizations such as Islamic Relief and the international banks in processing payments to environments deemed high risk for money laundering or terror financing — is one example.

"The areas where we're working — Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Palestine — this is where we still have problems transferring money across," he said.

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