By Clarion Project
Iraqi children in the Nineveh Province wave to troops liberating them from ISIS. (Photo: Akram Saleh /Getty Images)
The U.S. has earmarked $55 million to help Christians and other religious and ethnic minority communities rebuild their lives in the Nineveh Province in Iraq. Minorities in the region were particularly hit by atrocities committed by ISIS when it took over large swaths of the territory beginning in the summer of 2014.
The money is part of the U.S.’ $75 million contribution to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Following Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks in October of last year, USAID renegotiated the terms of its agreement to contribute to the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization. The money will go to helping the populations of this liberated area resume normal lives by restoring services such as water, electricity, sewage, health and education.
The $75 million contribution is the first installment of the U.S.’ $150 million pledge to the program made in July 2017. The fulfillment of the remainder will depend on the success of the UNDP in putting in place additional accountability, transparency and due-diligence measures.
USAID is also soliciting innovative ideas over the next two months to facilitate the resettlement of ethnic and religious minorities in their ancestral homes in Iraq.
Watch the trailer of Clarion Project’s latest film, Faithkeepers, about the violent persecution of Christians and other religious minorities by ISIS in the Middle East. The film features exclusive footage and testimonials of Christians, Baha’i, Yazidis, Jews, and other minority refugees, and a historical context of the persecution in the region.