The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME) was founded in 2005 by members of the Board. Since its inception, FRRME has worked to bridge the sectarian divide through interfaith dialogue and by providing emergency relief to those who have been driven apart by war. Below is a summary of our work.
Through our partnerships with the Syrian Orthodox and Armenian churches, we are feeding 5,500 Christian families every month in Northern Iraq (approximately 33,000 people). We also provide food and water to tens of thousands of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) across 17 displacement camps, including hot food for 7,000 people twice a day in Debaga Camp (the largest camp in the region). We are one of the few humanitarian agencies to provide aid to Khazir Camp on the outskirts of Mosul, Islamic State’s de facto capital in Iraq.
In addition to food relief, we are funding three schools in the region: an all-girls school in Harsham Camp north of Erbil, the Um Al Noor Kindergarten in Erbil, and a school for children with special educational needs in Kirkuk. In 2015, we helped turn a former British military base (Camp Bastion in Afghanistan) into Camp Sawra – a tented village for displaced Christians in the Dohuk region of Iraq. We are also providing work for IDPs in Baharka Camp north of Erbil. Job creation is vital as it helps create hope and provides a salary to people who have nothing.
We are providing financial assistance and food packages to 500 Iraqi Christian families living in Jordan. Most of these people fled Northern Iraq in the summer of 2014 when Islamic State annexed the region. The Jordanian government does not currently permit Iraqi refugees to work (this is due to high levels of domestic unemployment) so they are not able to support themselves. Most of the families we are caring for are seeking asylum in the West but this process can take years.
As well as provision for rent (Iraqi Christians cannot live in refugee camps for fear of persecution), we provide monthly food packages via a voucher scheme. In 2015, we founded a school in Marka which still educates 175 refugee children (we stopped funding the school at the end of 2016), and previously we funded a free health clinic in Sweifieh. We currently partner with a number of churches and organisations in Jordan to achieve our work, including the Nazarene Church, Syrian Orthodox Church, and Greek Catholic Church.