Months after the Pence promise, the Iraqi Christians say they are ‘worse’

The Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil


To suffered seven months, according to the Vice-President, Pence vowed to support stop the “ineffective” United Nations-led recovery interventions in Northern Iraq and provide support to the United States directly persecuted Christians and other minorities by the ISIS-directed genocide, and are now fighting to their homes to demand the return of the much promised further support of the United States has not appeared.

Although the beneficiary is not named, some of the most direly oppressed Christian groups, embedded in the region for almost two millennia, say, you have already said, by USAID, the projects submitted for funding had been lodged a Veto without an explanation.

Many of the Christian churches in the Nineveh plain in Northern Iraq were defaced or completely decimated by ISIS.

(Courtesy Knights of Columbus )

The proposals for jobs and economic security were rejected, with the aim of, and also the means of cultural survival for the ancient communities, the number of which, such as the lack of support forces them to leave the country in order to survive.

Meanwhile, private-sector donations, the professions, the Christian organizations had on you, have obviously dried up, as donors, the US assumed that aid would quickly appear.

As Archbishop Bashar Warda, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in the Northern, Kurdish area of Erbil, told Fox News: “We are with the left, yet to provide many thousands of families, the care and the services, and not a penny to do it. In this sense, we are worse off than we were two years ago.”

“The only support for these displaced people comes from the Church, and now it seems everyone is turning away from us.”

Christianity is edgi closer to extinction in Iraq, where a lot of old documents and artifacts were destroyed or defaced.

(The Associated Press)

Archbishop Warda Church, auxiliary organization, has often is the only support for the approximately 60,000 Christians miss in a region that once fled to the top of a million waves of murder, rape, displacement and looting inflicted by ISIS, and the war to overthrow the Islamic extremists.

His new cries of dismay, a pointed reminder that the political promise, even for those, the vice president, then filtered through a cumbersome and often unruly levels of the bureaucracy.

They should have the last word, despite assurances in January from the White house and USAID, two months after the Pence the first commitment that the aid be quickly focused to smash Iraq and was stripped of the minorities by the newly reprogrammed and heavily monitored efforts on the part of the U. N.

The continued reliance on the U. N., which is already contradicted Pence’s original promise was already a few months ago by U.S. officials as a necessary compromise: the U. N. organizations that were already on the ground in Iraq, is still believed to be the fastest and most efficient way to help the minorities had, as a USAID official delicately put it, “missed”, before, mostly of the U. N. itself.

In fact, many have debunked, documented by U. N. neglect, was far more prevalent than the random, supposedly the result of high-minded aid measures, the identity-the very qualities, in other words, the brutally suppressed, supposedly uninfluenced by religious status or minority—under of ISIS.

Due in part to extensive U. N. cooperation with Iraqi government officials and other Muslim-majority interest groups, U. N. reconstruction nearly complete, a majority of the return of the Muslims who had fled favored, the same conflicts, and the Christian properties were often their majority gave to the neighbors.

Christians fear dries their future in Iraq as a means and promises to short

(Fox News/Hollie McKay)

One of the rejected proposals of the Archbishop Warda, of the Catholic University of Erbil, co-authored with an organization in Iraq-is just as Christian Yazidi minority who took specifically for the creation of the “property of program for the protection of the minority…property against illegal seizures in the post-ISIS period, followed.”

All that was supposed to change in the newly negotiated deal with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the main actor on most of the international reconstruction work. Over 75 million US-Dollar in US-provided that “stabilization” funding focused on the areas of the old homeland for hundreds of thousands of Christians and Yazidis, the equally hated by ISIS.

Most of this money was still focused on infrastructure projects that would benefit, persecuted minorities and their Muslim neighbors, as well as their embattled communities to be rebuilt. But more municipalities were taken in formerly Christian areas to be targeted. Additional monitors and auditors have been added to the plans to ensure that the focus remain on the persecuted would be in force.

Under the deal, a further $ 75 million was allocated as a follow-up, released as soon as the UNDP were initial efforts on the opponent.

The reformed U. N. efforts are underway, but the analysis is.

“We are still evaluating,” a senior USAID official told Fox News. “We want to make sure that the efforts are in progress. We get of them [UNDP], to have a look at every single activity. It is a decision in the next month or so.”



A hall of the Church in the Christian village of Barzani, outside of Mosul by ISIS as the target practice

(FOX News/Hollie McKay)

It may be that you do not have time in Washington, but can easily areas of a life in the poverty-stricken and devastated Iraq.

An even greater concern among the oppressed minorities is about $35 million of fresh capital, without the U. N., a supposedly innovative USAID-mechanism known as the Broad Agency announcement, or BAA.

The blandly named initiative to thought of the victims more input in a speeded-up-action—and the victims of the genocide, more direct influence on the resulting money was awarded.

Five months after USAID officials announced that BAA use in the North of Iraq, the result of the much advertised innovation of grinding along in the bowels of the USAID bureaucracy—except for those proposals already rejected in the urgent procedure.

Certain financial awards under the BAA will likely be formalized “in the next few months,” a senior USAID official, added: “We are very this endeavour done.”

Maybe. To call the BAA, a simple and crucial tool for cutting and administrative costs would be misleading.

Still it is quite a novelty. According to the official, used in non-governmental humanitarian officials are hearing from Fox News, the BAA, a consultative mechanism was, in fact, normal USAID procurement bureaucracy, deal with the Agency for at least five years, and is now, with increasing frequency.

Christian leader father Afram looks back on his once-thriving Christian town of Bahzani, Iraq outside of Mosul.

(Hollie McKay)

Its virtues include the fact that it invites companies of all kinds to present their best proposals for the solution of specific problems, and without a long preliminary assessment by USAID, which may accept the proposals for a la carte , if they seem promising.

In the case of Northern Iraq, this happened on a special “co-creation” meeting in March in Baghdad, invited Christian groups and minorities, including Archbishop Warda’s relief organization, was.

So, among other things, of the U. N., the International organization for Migration (IOM), the U.S. government-funded United States Institute for Peace, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the world is Catholic relief organization. A staff of two-Pence – ‘ s employees participated in the meeting.

Under the BAA, USAID can “encourage” rules organizations to form coalitions—which by their nature are likely to favour the larger international organisations to cover the considerable resources, extensive U.S. funding requirements for comprehensive accounting and supervision.

The disadvantages of the BAA belongs to the fact USAID can accept to your favorite proposals, with no money, or a contract for the organization that came up with the well-received idea.

“You are, literally, your giving away the best ideas,” a US development expert, said the BAA-process Fox News. “To make worse, to say you don ‘ T give a short report what is wrong. You can not improve, an idea for the future.”

“I’ve heard nightmare stories where you have had, workshops, and USAID has taken the ideas and said another Converter”, the expert.

Bill O’keefe, CRS vice president for government outreach and advocacy, told Fox News that his organization, the proposals had already been light “green” for further consideration in the BAA, and called the process “really competitive”

“It is not surprising that many groups are not always funded,” he said. “It happens to all of us.” With annual revenue last year of almost $1 billion, however, CRS-clear-roll with many punches.

As the Archbishop Warda Church discovered, together with any reasons for a veto are not included BAA methodology provides reasons for the complaint.

In addition, top officials at USAID will not necessarily know, such as the BAA, proposals will be analysed and evaluated. These decisions are said to have been at the level of the USAID-missions abroad—in this case Fox News, a source from the USAID head of mission informed about some of the details of a five-person group in Baghdad.

Long terrorized by ISIS fanatics, their injustices ignored by local governments and ignored for years by supposedly neutral U. N.-administered utility measures, it is perhaps not surprising, that those who are for the Iraq ‘ s barely-surviving minorities could see something sinister in the dashing of their hopes for the support of the United States.

As the Archbishop Warda told Fox News, “It is clear to us that many people within the [U.S.] government.”

That charge drew a stiff response from the White house, where an official told Fox News: “we believe that the administration make a difference in the assistance and resettlement of the victims of the religious persecution in Iraq. Tens of millions of dollars were directed to identify to the crisis, including 150 specific projects in the Ninewa plain [a Christian heart land of the United States and our partners, including faith-based NGOs.”

“We hope that the initiatives will be judged by results and a positive impact on these vulnerable groups, what are the organisations with the money.”

In the context, however, the millions of dollars, and several of the projects mentioned by the official were the money obligated so far under the reformed UNDP initiative, which is currently still being evaluated.

For UNDP, a spokesman for Fox News said “new projects are in the pipeline, every week”, in minority communities, as of the end of may, 415 in all, with half completed, “for areas such as health, water, electricity, housing and education.”

“In some minority areas,” stressed the spokesman added: “the priorities have become involved in the discussion with religious leaders, and UNDP works closely with you to ensure that these are met.

The speaker offered a list of the 10 cities, the significant Christian population, where the projects “prioritized by community leaders”— were necessary, the religious leaders – as well as the “increased activities” in the historically-Yazidi areas.

A source deeply familiar with the terms and conditions of the minorities, however, Fox News, the quality and the results of the projects, the change is completed or not, is best said.

In addition, the source claims, “the work is done by Kurdish or Arab Muslim contractor for the USAID/UNDP. Christians are not to work, or planning work orders. The quality of the work is bad, because those who work, have no interest in the municipalities themselves.”

In a center speaker for his restoration, Batnaya — in the past, a predominantly Christian enclave cites, in particular, by UNDP, to the North of the newly conquered ISIS stronghold in Mosul, a local source said that a small group of Christians, back in the city, had to flee troops of the enemy Iraqi government and local militias.

According to this source, Christians believe Batnaya is repaired, so it can be inhabited by Muslims from Mosul who are still homeless.

According to Nina Shea, Director of the center for religious freedom at the conservative Hudson Institute, the murkiness of the USAID process and the frustration felt by Iraqi Christians and minorities show the need for an inter-agency “genocide-treat-help-coordinator”, the Problem more decisively, something that encourages you in a long time.

Such a coordinator “would have taken into account all the difficulties, gathered the relevant information held principles apprised and parried to keep the obstacles, the reform of the policy on the route.” Without it, Shea fears, “there is simply no hope.”

Or at least, not much. Christian concerns, as well as that of other persecuted minorities, will receive a wider audience at a June 14 hearing before a Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the chairmanship of Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ).

Smith is the long-standing supporters of the law, and in particular the support of the transfer of U.S. government funds to faith and other groups which do humanitarian aid and reconstruction in both Iraq and Syria. The bill introduced in the house, but the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but has never reached in the Senate.

“Generally speaking, the presumption that, if an indigenous entity wanted to with USAID funds directly, it was not able to do the work, and the necessary accounting and reporting to our standards,” Smith told Fox News. It is an attitude which is to think he Pence was thought to be the original promise to change.

“But the policy is seen [by civil servants] as a political. That is, they are more or less the policy is ignored.”

True, Rep., Robert Ader Holt, R-Ala., a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee: “If the United States does not step up to these Christians, then who?”

Both USAID and officials of the administration, Archbishop Warda client said, in effect, to try again the next time.

The White house official said: “The administration has not defined or explained, one end of the support to the victims of persecution in Iraq.”

The US government could, however, somewhat more time is available, that the victims.

Historically, notes, by Philip Jenkins, a world-renowned authority teaches in the early history of Christianity, who is at Baylor University, the collapse of Christianity in Iraq and even more in neighboring Syria “a disaster” , a mirror of the earlier disappearance of far-flung Jewish population from the region.

Jenkins passed a gloomy Jewish observation about the fate of the two religions in the region: “after Saturday comes Sunday.”

Meaning: after the disappearance of the far-flung Jewish communities throughout the Middle East, the Christian minorities will continue to be.

The question of a rebuttal was whether the United States wants to continue to try.

George Russell is editor-at-large of Fox News and can be found on Twitter: @George Russell or

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