AMAR is an award-winning charity that builds and improves the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people.
For more than 33 years, we have provided professional health care, education, and training on a sustained and lasting basis. Our locally educated and trained professionals and volunteers have delivered more than 11 million medical consultations.
AMAR runs Public Health Care Centres for tens of thousands of Yazidi people displaced in 2014 when the invasion by the so-called Islamic State forced millions from their homes. More than nine years since ISIS was ousted, our work continues for the victims, who are scarred both physically and mentally.
We are also leading advocates in the campaigns to combat religious discrimination and to prevent sexual violence in conflict , and currently support Ukrainian refugees in Romania and Ukraine, and Afghani women judges.
AMAR ICF provides humanitarian assistance to, and support for, communities. It was founded in 1991 by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne in response to Saddam Hussain’s systematic attacks on his own people. The foundation strives to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals and rebuild societies affected by conflict, displacement, and other challenges. To date, the foundation has worked primarily in the Middle East, and especially Iraq, though it aims to ‘relieve poverty, distress, or suffering in any part of the world.’ AMAR’s main areas of operation are:
- Healthcare provision: establishing medical clinics, mobile health units, and primary care centres, working to enhance infrastructure, providing essential medications, and delivering vital healthcare services to those in need.
- Education: recognizing the transformative power of education, the foundation promotes access to quality schooling, building, and refurbishing, schools, supporting teacher training programmes, and facilitating educational initiatives that empower individuals and promote long-term development.
- Women’s empowerment: actively promoting gender and women’s empowerment, improving women’s access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, providing vocational training and support programmes to enhance women’s skills, independence, and social standing.
- Psychosocial support: acknowledging the psychological impact of conflict and displacement on individuals and communities, addressing this by implementing psychosocial support programmes, providing psychiatry, counselling, trauma care, and mental health services to help individuals heal and rebuild their lives. AMAR is doing groundbreaking work with the use of singing in choirs for rape victims of ISIS, to restore their humanity and self confidence.
- Research and advocacy: highlighting the challenges faced by vulnerable communities and raising awareness of their needs through collaboration with governments, NGOs, and international bodies to influence policies and bring about positive change. Windsor dialogues website to be revived.
- Policy formulation: bringing together (through the ‘Windsor Dialogues’) government, faith, NGO, academic, and other leaders since 2016, developing long-term strategies for eliminating religious persecution as a driver of forced displacement, shifting global thinking about the global refugee crisis.
- AMAR’s significant record of achievement: Since its establishment, AMAR has played a crucial role in delivering essential services and implementing sustainable projects to address the pressing needs of marginalized populations, empowering women and children, fostering social cohesion. It delivers frontline emergency services to refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and other underserved populations suffering from the devastating effects of humanitarian disasters. It provides public and primary healthcare services throughout the Middle East, building on existing capacity to instil lasting and sustainable improvements to public health. It delivers a range of education and music projects to benefit both adults and children, generating lasting improvements in the ability of both individuals and communities to prosper and grow.Over ten million people in Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Pakistan have been able to benefit from the healthcare facilities made available through AMAR, with many more benefiting from the educational opportunities that AMAR provides.’ The Foundation’s internal dashboard covering the period 2005-2021 gives an indication of the foundation’s impact in Iraq alone:
- Medical consultations 6,801,947
- Women health volunteer visits 1,933,781
- Babies delivered 68,047
- Vaccinations 803,624
- Disease consultations 3,987,758
- Maternal consultations 491,456
- Childcare consultations 538,071
- Mental health consultations 21,466
- Ultrasound sessions 45,021
- Laboratory patients 710,749
- X-ray services 59,430
- Dental sessions 104,554
- Training sessions for widows 87,801
- Vocational training sessions 8,295
- Health education in schools 12,560
AMAR ICF has done much more in recent years, as for example:
- Delivering healthcare in Iraq, opening new primary health clinics, installing a hospital imaging suite and establishing an outpatient clinic
- Designing and building mobile laboratories in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and in Somaliland, to help fight COVID-19 and other communicable diseases
- Providing instruction to medical practitioners in Iraq on life-saving neo-natal techniques
- Refurbishing schools in Basra, operating primary, and secondary educational provision for orphans
- Assisting refugees into work, providing continuing education programmes for adults, in literacy, numeracy, and information technology, and training for national examinations and official qualifications
- Providing vocational training to women in Iraq (nearly 4,000 have been trained between 2015 and 2022)
- Providing music training and support for Yazidis in refugee camps in Iraq, protecting an endangered musical culture, recording, archiving, and teaching Yazidi music to sustain it for future generations
- Undertaking longitudinal research projects on the benefits of music on IDPs’ mental health
- Enhancing the space for, and quality of, political participation in Iraq
- Helping to secure the safety of Afghan women judges fleeing from the Taliban
- Supporting a community action programme in Romania involving over 250,000 volunteers and beneficiaries
- Providing education for youngsters with special needs in Romania
- Enabling a warm welcome in Maramures, Romania, for Ukrainian refugees
- AMAR believes that basic service provision, long-term capacity building, global health research and advocacy can rebuild lives in a systematic and profound way. The foundation’s approach is to respond to the crisis, rebuild the community and restore self-sufficiency. Through robust, long-term programmes of work in country, the foundation has made a significant impact, transforming lives and fostering sustainable development.
- After over 30 years in the field, AMAR has developed a robust model for sustaining essential services and securing service delivery structures that is proven to restore health, education, shelter, and livelihoods. A priority is the active promotion of gender and women’s empowerment, enhancing women’s skills, independence, and social standing. A good example of this is the Empowering Women in Iraq project
- AMAR has a global approach to partnership. There are projects and agreements with local communities such as the Yazidi, government entities like the Iraqi Ministry of Education, and international organizations such as the UN, UNESCO, the World Health Organization, and charities such as that of the Latter-Day Saints. There is also a significant network of corporate support through IBBC.