Amid Assyrian complaints from Iraq, Pence promises quick relief action

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Amid Assyrian complaints from Iraq, Pence promises quick relief action

By George Russell/ aina.org

Irked by delays in getting promised direct U.S. aid to Christians and minority Yazidis in northern Iraq shattered by genocidal ISIS attacks, Vice President Pence has ordered USAID Administrator Mark Green to head personally to Iraq "in the coming weeks" and return with a plan to address any slowdown.

Pence made the announcement just three days after a Fox News report pointed out the extent of the delays. The story included a statement by Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda, whose church has been the mainstay of support for some 60,000 brutalized Christians, that seven months after Pence vowed publicly to fix the situation, "we are worse off now than we were two years ago."

In a statement received by Fox News, Pence's office declared that both the Trump administration and the vice president himself "will not tolerate bureaucratic delays in implementing the administration's vision to deliver the assistance we promised to the people we pledged to help."

The statement directed Green to "report back with an immediate comprehensive assessment addressing any issues that could delay the process of aid distribution."

A source close to Warda's office had not returned calls from Fox News on the new Pence announcement as of press time.

"Restoring the rights and property of Iraq's Christian and Yazidi communities, who were nearly wiped out by ISIS's genocidal campaign against them," the Pence statement said, is "a top and unceasing priority" of the administration.

It was, in fact, as a result of that priority that Pence made his promise seven months ago -- which was followed up two months later with a plan to funnel $35 million in aid directly to the suffering minorities, while refocusing and closely supervising another $150 million or so in aid to be handled -- as in the past -- by United Nations agencies.

Sat, 06/09/2018 - 12:18
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