Representatives from The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters (IHQ) travelled to Erbil in Iraq to formalize the ongoing relationship between The Salvation Army and the Iraqi Salvation Humanitarian Organization (ISHO). Commissioner Robin Forsyth (International Secretary for Program Resources, IHQ) and Mr. Muntajab Ibraheem (Chairman, ISHO) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, ensuring the continued close working relationship between the two organizations. An engraved crystal bowl was presented to Mr. Muntajab to mark the occasion.

Between 2003 and 2006 The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services operated an extensive community recovery program in Iraq. In delivery of this program it used a combination of international staff and Iraqi employees who worked alongside each other to ensure the achievement of common goals. From May 2004 until March 2006 the program was managed from Kuwait because of security concerns but implemented within Iraq by Iraqi personnel.

When The Salvation Army formally concluded its work in Iraq some of its Iraqi workers – building on the experience they had gained working with and for The Salvation Army – formed and subsequently managed ISHO as an independent humanitarian organization.

Today ISHO is a flourishing non-governmental organization with offices in Baghdad, Basra and Babylon. It supports a number of important projects, working in local Iraqi communities and with internally displaced people who are returning home, providing housing, health education and school equipment.

The Memorandum of Understanding envisages that The Salvation Army will continue to provide organizational and project support to ISHO and – where necessary – training and publicity. Similarly ISHO will assist The Salvation Army where it can within the region.

Representing The Salvation Army at the meetings were Commissioner Forsyth along with Major Raelton Gibbs and Major Drew Ruthven (both from International Emergency Services, IHQ). The ISHO representation included Mr. Muntajab, Ms Shaima’a Karim Sadoun (ISHO Deputy) and members of the ISHO board.

From the US, donations for the work of ISHO can be sent to: ISHO, c/o The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728 with designation “ISHO.” Donors can also give via www.salvationarmyusa.org, or 1-800-SAL-ARMY

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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