Last night President Trump ordered the State Department to cease funding ineffective relief efforts at the UN for Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East. Effective yesterday, America will provide direct support to persecuted communities through USAID. Further, the U.S. will work closely with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those persecuted for their faith.
“This is good news and we want to thank President Trump, Vice President Pence, and all those who have been working diligently on this issue” said Frank Wolf, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. “This should impact humanitarian aid for those living as Internally Displaced Persons and refugees and stabilization assistance for the Christians and Yezidis returning to areas seized from them by ISIS.”
Wolf recently returned from Iraq and he has since testified before both the House and the Senate about the dire situation. In addition, 21CWI released a report with recommendations regarding northern Iraq where the Christian population has dwindled from 1.5 million in 2003 to just 250,000 today. Families leave daily searching for security, economic opportunity and education. Terror has displaced these minority families from their homes for three years, and many believe they can stay only if the U.S. and its international partners ensure their ability to rebuild securely. The Yezidi community shares many of the same concerns.
Safe return to their homes in Iraq has direct national security impact on the U.S. and its allies in Europe, as well as Israel. The U.S. must help Christians and Yezidis to return home safely. Based on the directive issued from the White House, the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) can now structure assistance in a way that is responsive to these genocide victims’ unique circumstances.