The government of Hungary and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 18 “to increase coordination to help communities in the Middle East recover from genocide and persecution by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).” The archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, thanked President Donald Trump this week for his administration’s support for persecuted Christians in the Middle East
The agreement between the two nations follows Hungary’s declared strategy of taking assistance “to the troubled spots where it’s needed, instead of bringing the trouble and instability to Europe.
According to Archbishop Warda, the financial assistance is a welcome Christmas present.
“We now have people on the ground from USAID to follow up with the churches and everyone affected by the ISIS genocide,” he said.
The funding is currently being used to rebuild schools but USAID will soon be announcing other projects as well, since Islamic State militants destroyed numerous dwellings as well as basic infrastructure.
“These are tangible results,” Warda said. “We’re seeing it more than before.”
Persecuted Iraqi Christians have long been “forgotten” by the world, and when they see concrete examples of support and solidarity, “it affects them,” the archbishop said.
“Our people need a big ally, someone to tell them you’re not forgotten and we’re watching closely what’s happening on the ground. They need a friend to support them, and we’re starting to see that now,” Warda said.
Photo: ©Aid to the Church in Need