by WorldTribune Staff, October 27, 2017
The U.S. will no longer rely on the United Nations to provide humanitarian aid to persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East, Vice President Mike Pence said.
“My friends, those days are over,” Pence said at the annual In Defense of Christians summit in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 25.
“Our fellow Christians and all who are persecuted in the Middle East should not have to rely on multinational institutions when America can help them directly,” Pence said, announcing President Donald Trump’s order to the State Department to “stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the United Nations.”
“And from this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID,” the vice president said.
“The practitioners of terror seek to stamp out all religions that are not their own, and believers of many backgrounds have suffered grievously at their hands – Yazidis, Druze, and even their fellow Muslims,” Pence said, adding that the exodus of Christians from the Middle East has not been seen on today’s scale since “the days of Moses.”
Pence noted that the Obama administration paid more than $ 1 billion for humanitarian aid, with the majority of the funding funneled through the UN, “Yet the United Nations has too often failed to help the most vulnerable communities, especially religious minorities. The result has been that countless people continue to suffer and struggle needlessly.”
Pence added that “while faith-based groups with proven track records and deep roots in these communities are more than willing to assist, the United Nations too often denies their funding requests. The United States will work hand-in-hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith.”