US Vice President Mike Pence has directed the U.S. aid agency in Iraq to give aid directly to Christians and Yazidis. In this regard, the USAID is all set to send millions of dollars to Iraq’s Christian and Yazidi communities. Christians in the region of Nineveh Plains will be prime beneficiaries of this funding.
In keeping with the details, the United States Agency for International Development will be giving $10 million. Mark Green, USAID administrator explained that $10 million will be given to two groups one of these is headed by Catholic Relief Services. He explained that another $25 million will be distributed among the “persecuted communities” in Iraq; primarily Christians on the Nineveh Plains and Yazidis in Sinjar.
US President Donald Trump has prioritized helping the beleaguered Christians in Iraq, despite restricting foreign aid. Trump administration pushed for sending more aid to the Christian and Yazidi communities in Iraq. In 2016, the US STATE Department declared that the terror group Islamic State had committed systematic genocide of the Christians, Yazidis and Shiites.
It was speculated that the time was running out before Christians in the region would became “extinct.” Before the US led invasion, Christian population in the Nineveh was about 1.5 million which later declined to less than 200,000. The Yazidis number 500,000 nestled in and around Sinjar. The US aims to dispense aid regardless of religion and politics.
In the face of slow-paced aid, a coalition of faith based groups started highlighting the matter, calling for urgent attention towards the issue. The matter was brought to Vice President’s attention, who began monitoring USAID’s efforts since October last year. Vice President Mike Pence told the group In Defense of Christians that the administration will circumvent the “ineffective” aid programs run by the United Nations. The aid will be redirect to the religious minorities in Iraq through USAID and faith-based organizations.
Recently, Mike Pence directed USAID administrator, Mark Green to visit Iraq before the end of this month and report on the plans to quickly assist the beleaguered minorities in Iraq. Mike Pence’s office released a statement saying that the Vice President “will not tolerate bureaucratic delays.”