K of C, USAID team to help Mideast mi­nori­ties

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - KICKOFF - Staff Re­ports

WASH­ING­TON, D.C. — The Knights of Colum­bus and the U.S. Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment signed an agree­ment to­day to work to­gether in help­ing re­li­gious mi­nori­ties who have been the tar­gets of at­tempted geno­cide by ISIS, ac­cord­ing to a Knights news re­lease.

Be­gin­ning in Iraq and ex­pand­ing through­out the re­gion, the ini­tia­tive will try to sta­bi­lize and re­build per­se­cuted com­mu­ni­ties by de­liv­er­ing aid rapidly and di­rectly to “in­di­vid­u­als and house­holds most in need,” ac­cord­ing the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing signed by the Knights and USAID.

To fa­cil­i­tate that, USAID plans to rely on “the unique ex­per­tise and re­la­tion­ships of trust that or­ga­ni­za­tions like K of C [have] forged with lo­cal and faith-based or­ga­ni­za­tions in the re­gion,” the re­lease said.

USAID, charged with im­ple­ment­ing Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence’s “Geno­cide Re­cov­ery and Per­se­cu­tion Re­sponse Pro­gram in the Mid­dle East,” has more than $195 mil­lion for planned and ac­tive re­cov­ery projects in north­ern Iraq.

The Knights of Colum­bus al­ready has com­mit­ted more than $20 mil­lion in aid to the re­gion since 2014 and plans to do­nate $5 mil­lion more over the next six months.

Be­yond that, the mem­o­ran­dum fore­sees that the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween USAID and the Knights of Colum­bus “will bring to­gether fund­ing not only from the U.S. govern­ment, but also from the vast net­work of Amer­i­can phi­lan­thropists to as­sist the sur­vivors of geno­cide and per­se­cuted com­mu­ni­ties to re­con­sti­tute them­selves af­ter years of suf­fer­ing and war.”

The agree­ment notes that “both USAID and the K of C will lever­age our re­spec­tive strengths ... to help pre­serve and pro­mote plu­ral­ism in the Mid­dle East,” as­sist­ing not only Chris­tians but Yazidis, Shi’a Mus­lims and other eth­nic and re­li­gious vic­tims of per­se­cu­tion by ISIS. “We can­not al­low ISIS to suc­ceed in driv­ing them out” of the lands they have called home for cen­turies, Supreme Knight Carl An­der­son said in the re­lease.

The Knights of Colum­bus has been a lead­ing U.S. and in­ter­na­tional ad­vo­cate on be­half of the per­se­cuted mi­nori­ties. The or­ga­ni­za­tion sub­mit­ted a re­port two years ago de­tail­ing ISIS atroc­i­ties in the re­gion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.