The US government has allocated financial aid to support ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq which were displaced in the wake of the Islamic State (IS) group rampage.
The new contributions, awarded to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and The Solidarity Fund Poland, were announced by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green.
“USAID made an award of $6.8 million to CRS, which is working in partnership with the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil, to assist vulnerable families with their immediate household needs and to ease their return home when possible,” according to a statement by USAID.
The US organization said it will “provide $528,500 to a multi-donor project to deliver high-quality health care to communities affected by the persecution of ISIS”, explaining that “beneficiaries will include displaced people who are living in camps and non-camp locations in Northern Iraq, as well as disadvantaged members of host communities.”
“This new assistance is part of the U.S. Government's commitment to help persecuted minorities and preserve Iraq's heritage of religious and ethnic pluralism,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian aid organization said that it is “working with elected officials, community leaders, local and faith-based non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to help religious and ethnic minorities targeted by IS to improve their living conditions, expand their economic opportunities, and promote their democratic participation.”
According to USAID, assistance from the U.S. Government to support persecuted ethnic and religious minorities in Northern Iraq now totals nearly $380 million, which includes critical funding through USAID's Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response initiative, and complements H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018.