Results 1 to 5 of 5
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Judy
  • 1 Post By Beezer

Thread: USAID Shifts on Aid to Christians, Yazidis in Iraq

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    34,496

    USAID Shifts on Aid to Christians, Yazidis in Iraq

    USAID Shifts on Aid to Christians, Yazidis in Iraq

    $150 million in aid for religious minorities will help them rebuild after ISIS genocide




    Iraqi Christians attend a mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the predominantly Christian Iraqi town of Qaraqosh (also known as Hamdaniya), some 30 kilometres from Mosul / Getty

    BY: Susan Crabtree
    January 12, 2018 4:00 pm

    USAID, responding to pressure late last year from Vice President Mike Pence, announced today that it is altering its policies in order to ensure that millions of dollars in U.S. aid appropriated by Congress reaches Iraqi religious minorities.

    Pence, during an October speech at a dinner highlighting the plight of persecuted Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere, promised that the Trump
    administration would stop the State Department's "ineffective" relief efforts that directed all the funds to United Nations, which has a religious-blind policy of disbursing the funds to all refugees in Iraq.

    "The United States will work hand in hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith," he said. "This is the moment, now is the time, and America will support these people in their hour of need."

    Two months later, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) agreed to increase assistance to religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, to enable them to return to their homes in areas liberated by ISIS.

    "Following Vice President Pence's remarks in October of last year, USAID renegotiated the terms of its agreement with the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) so that $55 million of a $75 million payment will address the needs of vulnerable religious and ethnic minority communities in Ninewa Province [also called Nineveh], especially those who have been victims of atrocities by ISIS," USAID announced.

    USAID said the modified agreement ensures that the U.S. contribution to the fund will help the populations in liberated areas in Nineveh province resume normal lives by restoring services such as water, electricity, sewage, health and education.

    The $75 million is the first installment of the UNDP FFS fund. The rest of the pledge will depend on the UNDP's success in "putting in place additional accountability, transparency, and due-diligence measures," USAID said.

    USAID also announced that it is soliciting "innovative" ideas agency-wide to support the resettlement of ethnic and religious minorities in their ancestral homes in Iraq and that the results of that competition will be announced in early Spring.

    The USAID announcement is eight months in the making and comes after lawmakers and human rights activists repeatedly argued their case to top officials at the State Department and USAID, which had resisted any change to their "religion-blind" policy of channeling most of the aid money to the United Nations.

    That prior policy was "needs-based" and did not give priority to Christian and other religious minorities in Iraq, even though both the Obama and the Trump administrations have declared that both groups, as well as Shiite Muslims and others, have suffered genocide at the hand of ISIS.

    ISIS's campaign of murder, kidnapping, and enslavement decimated the Christian population in Iraq, which numbered between 1.4 million in 2002 and is now below 250,000, according to human rights groups who worked to chronicle the ISIS genocide in Iraq.

    Catholic charities and activists who have spent years urging the Obama administration and now Trump administration to better assist minority religious communities in Iraq applauded USAID's policy change and the United Nation's commitment to help these communities with the funds.

    The Knights of Columbus, one of the largest Catholic charities, and Aid to the Church in Need, another global Catholic charity, have sent millions of dollars in donations to the Catholic archdiocese in Northern Iraq, one of the few groups on the ground working to house and feed displaced Christians and Yazidis and help rebuild their homes.

    "Vice President Pence deserves great credit for turning the ship of state in order to help save Iraq's besieged religious minorities," said Nina Shea, an international human rights attorney who directs the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.

    Shea said the policy change now requires USAID to undertake the difficult task of ensuring that the troubled UNDP, which she said "has long marginalized these Christians and Yazidis, finally applies some of our funding to assist them in a meaningful way."

    "All of us committed to seeing their communities survive the cradle of Christianity will be monitoring the implementation in the months ahead," she said.
    Stephen Rasche, an attorney for the Catholic archdiocese in Erbil and the director of internal displaced people resettlement programs, in early October accused the U.N. of squandering U.S. taxpayer aid for reconstruction projects.

    The aid programs are so mismanaged that some U.S. dollars are going to benefit Iraqis who took over areas that persecuted Christians fled even though the United Nations says the project is aimed at helping Christians, Rasche testified before a House Foreign Affairs panel Oct. 4.

    The Washington Free Beacon obtained photos of United Nations Development Program projects in Christian and Yazidi towns in northern Iraq, showing "completed" school-rehabilitation projects that amounted to a thin coat of paint on exterior walls with freshly stenciled UNICEF logos every 30 feet.

    Inside the building, the rooms remained untouched and unusable, lacking running water, power, and furniture, Rasche testified.

    Several lawmakers and human rights activists for months have argued that U.S. agencies have a responsibility to intervene more directly and effectively.

    Republican Reps. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Robert Aderholt of Alabama, and Chris Smith of New Jersey, along with Democrat Rep. Anna Eshoo of California, last fall sent a letter to USAID Administrator Mark Green arguing that these communities now face "dire conditions where they desperately need assistance if they are to survive."

    The concern prompted USAID counselor Thomas Staal, one of the agency's top officials, to visit Iraq in early December to see how the U.S. and Iraqi government could improve its support for minority communities following the defeat of ISIS.,

    Staal met with government officials in Baghdad and United Nations officials who are implementing U.S.-funded stabilization programs in Anbar, Nineveh, and Salah ad Din provinces. He also sat down with leaders of outside groups and representatives from Christian, Yazidi, Sabean-Mandea, Kakai, Baha’I, Zoroastrian, and Jewish communities to hear their concerns and needs in the post-ISIS rebuilding.

    During visits to Erbil and Kirkuk, Staal met with the archbishops of the Syriac Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church, and the Chaldean Church to discuss the aid the United States is providing. During a visit to Teleskof, he attended the rededication of the St. Gorgis Chaldean Church, a powerful symbol that survived ISIS attempts to eradicate Christian monuments and artifacts throughout Iraq.

    Three and a half years ago, ISIS looted and burned the church and beheaded members of the congregation on its altar, Staal recalled in a blog post after his visit.

    "I spoke to the congregation, and assured them that the United States stands with them. Americans stand with them in their hour of need, and we are committed to helping persecuted Iraqis continue to rebuild as they seek out that bright future," he wrote.

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/usaid-s...zidis-in-iraq/


    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    34,496
    Critics: U.N. Squandering U.S. Aid for Reconstruction Projects in Christian, Yazidi Areas of Iraq

    Photos of buildings show fresh exterior paint and stenciled UNICEF logos but rubble remains inside


    Exterior of the Girls School Teleskov / UN Rehab project

    BY: Susan Crabtree
    October 4, 2017 9:50 am

    An attorney for the Catholic archdiocese in northern Iraq accused the State Department and United Nations of failing to ensure that millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer-funded foreign aid is actually helping to rebuild Christian and Yazidi communities destroyed by the Islamic State.

    Stephen Rasche, the legal counsel and director of internally displaced people resettlement programs for the Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil, testified before a House panel Tuesday that there is so little oversight of the aid programs that they are having virtually no impact in Christian, Yazidi, and other religious-minority communities.

    The aid programs are so mismanaged that some U.S. dollars are going to benefit Iraqis who took over areas that persecuted Christians fled even though the U.N. says the project is aimed at helping Christians, the lawyers said.

    "While status reports from UNDP work in Ninevah purport to show real progress in the Christian-majority towns, on the ground we see little evidence of it," he told a House Foreign Affairs panel Tuesday.

    Despite warnings from activists and Catholic leaders, the Trump administration has continued policies initiated under President Obama that direct aid to Iraq through the United Nations' Development Program (UNDP).

    The United Nations has a "religion-blind" policy of distributing most of the money to refugee camps that Christians and Yazidis avoid out of fear of further persecution.



    Exterior of the Girls School Teleskov / UN Rehab project

    Exterior of the
    The few UNDP projects in Christian and Yazidi areas "in most cases cosmetic by nature," Rasche said, even though they appear to be far more extensive in official U.N. documents chronicling the work.

    So-called "completed" school-rehabilitation projects in the towns of Teleskov and Batnaya "take the form of one thin coat of painting of the exterior surface walls, with freshly stenciled UNICEF logos every 30 feet."

    Inside the buildings, he said, the rooms remain untouched and unusable.

    "There is no water, no power, and no furniture," he said. "Bear in mind that these are government schools, which were due to open today."

    The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is a UNDP partner.

    The Washington Free Beacon obtained several photos of the UNDP projects in Teleskov showing the fresh exterior paint with the stenciled UNICEF logo while the insides of the buildings remained covered in dust and rubble.


    Interior courtyard of the Girls School in Telesk / UN rehab project


    Far worse, Rasche said, is that UNDP reports claim that work projects in the town of Telkayf were directed to assist religious minority communities, but there are no remaining Christians there.
    "There are no more Christians in Telkayf," Rasche said. "They were forced from this town by acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes."

    ISIS was firmly in control of this town until last fall and many of its Sunni Arab residents remained, he said.

    "Many of those residents, who openly welcomed ISIS while simultaneously reengaging in the forced and violent expulsion of the majority Christians, are still there."

    The Islamic State expelled roughly 10,000 Christian families from the town, and there is no U.N. aid planning for those refugees, he said.

    "That such a representation could be made in the UNDP report, without even the barest attempt at an explanatory note, shows clearly the profound depth of disconnect between representation and reality," he added. "In effect, U.S. taxpayers are financing the spoils of genocide."

    The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Shireen Jerdo Ibrahim, a Yazidi woman who was captured and tortured by ISIS but managed to escape, testified during the hearing that her community in Iraq is still waiting for U.S. and U.N. assistance they believed would come after then-Secretary of State John Kerry's genocide declaration in March of 2016.


    Interior of the Girls School Teleskov / UN Rehab project


    "Our hope was there would be steps following [the genocide declaration] to provide justice and protection for my people," she said. "We are still waiting for action."

    Even though ISIS has been pushed out of the region, she said adherents of its ideology remain there so Yazidis and Christians and other religious minorities don't feel safe returning without some security measures in place.

    The Catholic Archdiocese of Iraq is one of the only groups on the ground working to house and feed displaced Christians and Yazidis and help rebuild their homes. The Knights of Columbus, one of the largest Catholic charities, and Aid to the Church in Need, another global Catholic charity, are the main funders of the work, providing more than $26 million for the efforts over more than three years since ISIS began its onslaught in Iraq, Rasche said.

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate, along with human rights activists and Catholic groups, for months have pressed the State Department to direct money Congress appropriated to assist Christians, Yazidis, and other persecuted religious minorities in Iraq.

    Instead, the State Department has continued the Obama-era policy of channeling most of its U.S. aid to Iraq through the United Nations.

    Critics complain that despite this policy, the State Department in late September quickly dispatched $32 million help the Muslim-majority Rohingya, a persecuted minority group in Burma.

    Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.), a longtime champion for improving human rights around the world, said during Tuesday's hearing that "career staff" at the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are "thwarting the commitment of the president, vice president, and Congress to give aid to Christian and Yazidi survivors of the ISIS genocide."

    "These bureaucrats have refused to direct assistance to religious and ethnic minority communities, even to enable them to survive genocide," he said. "This obstruction is unacceptable, and I urge Secretary Tillerson and new USAID Administrator Green to put an end to it," he said.

    Trump and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly pledged earlier this year that they would make protecting Christians in the Middle East a priority.

    Pence was particularly adamant in his promises during a world summit on the persecution of Christians in May. He said the administration would reaffirm "America's role as a beacon of hope and life and liberty."

    The Free Beacon in July first reported on an effort by Obama holdovers at the State Department to avoid using the word "genocide" to describe the ISIS slaughter of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq and Syria from speeches and formal documents.

    Smith urged the Senate to vote on a bill he authored with Rep. Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.) that would explicitly authorize the State Department and USAID to direct U.S. aid to faith-based entities such as the Archdiocese of Erbil.

    An aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) did not have an update or announcement for potential floor consideration of the bill.

    Congress earlier this year allocated more than $1.4 billion in funds for refugee assistance and included specific language to ensure that part of the money would be used to assist Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslim—all groups the State Department deemed victims of genocide in 2016.

    While Tillerson affirmed the genocide declaration over the summer, critics say nothing has changed on the ground—that the aid is still not getting to the Yazidi and Christian communities.
    "Even though the U.S. already has the authority to provide such assistance, we were aware some in the bureaucracy inaccurately claimed they lacked the authority and so we wanted to remove the excuse," Smith said.
    http://freebeacon.com/national-secur...di-areas-iraq/
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    47,232
    Okay, just stop sending them money. Just stop. The Catholic Charities has lots of money, they can send it, they can manage it to rebuild their own schools. Why are Americans sending Catholics in Iraq money to rebuild their schools to begin with?
    Beezer likes this.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  4. #4
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    7,299
    GET OUT OF REBUILDING OTHER NATIONS!

    USE OUR MONEY TO REBUILD OURS!

    HOW ABOUT STOP THESE WARS AND BLOWING STUFF UP!

    GET ALONG...NO MORE REBUILDING...THEY JUST BLOW IT RIGHT BACK UP AGAIN!
    Judy likes this.
    NO DACA - NO AMNESTY - NO PATH TO STAY - LET WORK PERMITS EXPIRE

    HAND UAC'S OVER INTO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF THEIR EMBASSY!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    34,496
    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Okay, just stop sending them money. Just stop. The Catholic Charities has lots of money, they can send it, they can manage it to rebuild their own schools. Why are Americans sending Catholics in Iraq money to rebuild their schools to begin with?
    They are not all Catholics. Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities have almost been eliminated by ISIS, we have all seen the footage and heard of the sex slave sales. The money that we were giving the UN to help all Iraqis was being spent to rebuild the Christians property for the Muslims that had confiscated it. I Have issues with Catholic Charities concerning their immigration contracts and actions here , but it seems that they were doing the job the UN was supposed to be doing in Iraq. It also appears that the UN has been lying about the actual rebuilding work. see pictures of completed projects above. I wonder which UN bureaucrat has fat pockets now..

    Jay Sekulow has been an advocate for a long time.

    We must stop ISIS and end the genocide against Christians



    By Jay Sekulow
    Published August 05, 2016 Fox News


    (AP Photo/File)


    With the beheading of a French priest by members of the Islamic State (ISIS) still fresh in the minds of millions, ISIS is now following up that brutal assassination with a verbal assault aimed at Christians – calling Jesus “a slave of Allah” who will “wage jihad” upon returning to earth.

    This sacrilegious tirade comes in the form of a new article in the English-language magazine Dabiq, which according to news reports calls on Christians to leave Christianity.

    The cover story, “Break the Cross,” argues that Jesus will do precisely that upon his return: “break the cross, kill the swine, and put aside the jizyah [infidels’ tax, assuming all the infidels will have been killed].” “The true religion of Jesus Christ is a pure monotheistic submission – called Islam… when he returns in the final days, the Messiah will adhere to the Law of Muhammad and wage jihad for the cause of Allah,” the article argues, citing Islamic doctrine.

    One thing becomes very clear as ISIS continues to strike out in Western Europe and the United States – the jihadist genocide against Christians is rapidly spreading across the globe.

    What has been happening in Syria, Iraq, and Africa could now happen in any town or city in the United States or Europe. These jihadists are at war with us with one clear goal – eradicate Christians and any other group that refuses to bow its knee to its radical Islamic ideology.

    Other recent reports reveal more atrocities and more evil of historic proportions. ISIS burned alive a 2-year-old girl and her family. They executed 19 Yazidi girls who refused to become sex slaves.

    Children are crucified and buried alive. Dozens are executed by kneeling above explosives buried in the sand right before they are detonated. The atrocities are endless – and now they are expanding into the West.

    As the atrocities expand, so must our vital international advocacy campaign to end the ISIS genocide and defend Christians and other religious minorities.

    For years, we have been defending persecuted Christians at the UN, on Capitol Hill, and around the world. Our advocacy ensured that the Obama Administration recognized the ISIS genocide against Christians.

    Our organization, the American Center for Law and Justice, has sent key legal letters to U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, the 47 Member States of the U.N. Human Rights Council, and to Secretary of State John Kerry.

    We’ve submitted key legal documents and made two oral interventions at the U.N. Human Rights Council.

    We also filed written observations regarding ISIS atrocities against Iraqi Christians in a case before the European Court of Human Rights.

    And we are seeing results. Congress, the European Parliament, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have passed genocide resolutions. Secretary Kerry recognized the “genocide against . . . Christians.”

    A representative of the U.N. Secretary General’s office raised the issue at the U.N. Security Council, and numerous countries called for action to protect religious minorities for ISIS genocide at the U.N. Human Rights Council.

    But we can’t stop there. We are actively preparing numerous legal letters and other advocacy measures – part of our 7-point plan – working in Congress, at the U.N., with world leaders, and pressuring the Obama Administration into action.

    We have a moral and international legal obligation to act to stop this genocide and protect these Christians and other religious minorities.

    We must destroy ISIS.

    There is no other option.

    Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law. He also serves as a member of President Trump’s legal team. Follow him on Twitter @JaySekulow.
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/08/05/must-stop-isis-and-end-genocide-against-christians.html
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

Similar Threads

  1. Pray for the Christians of Syria and Iraq!
    By artclam in forum Other Topics News and Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-24-2016, 02:49 AM
  2. 'US Gov't Targeted Me for Helping Christians Escape Iraq'
    By European Knight in forum Other Topics News and Issues
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-21-2016, 11:25 PM
  3. IRAQ: ISIS USING YAZIDIS AS HUMAN SHIELDS AGAINST U.S. AIRSTRIKES
    By Newmexican in forum Other Topics News and Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-15-2014, 02:40 PM
  4. ISIS massacres 80 Yazidis in northern Iraq town
    By JohnDoe2 in forum Other Topics News and Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-15-2014, 11:26 PM
  5. Persecuted Christians in Iraq Look to Putin as an Unlikely Ally
    By AirborneSapper7 in forum Other Topics News and Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-29-2014, 08:35 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •