Oct 26 2017
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) commended the Trump Administration for working to ensure Christians, Yezidis and other religious minorities in Iraq targeted by ISIS with genocide are able to access U.S. assistance.
In a speech last night, Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States will direct support to persecuted minorities through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) rather than relying on the United Nations alone to assist these groups. This change will provide a lifeline to thousands of Christians, Yezidis and other religious minorities seeking to rebuild their communities in the aftermath of ISIS’s murderous onslaught.
“Vice President Pence’s remarks last night were timely and will no doubt be a source of tremendous hope to religious minorities in Iraq,” said Rubio. “The message was clear: You have not been forgotten. America is committed to seeing you once again flourish in the lands you’ve inhabited for centuries, and we will take meaningful actions to support you.”
On October 4, 2017, Senator Rubio chaired a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing focused on the plight of Iraq’s minority communities and deficiencies in the current assistance structure.
In August 2017, Rubio penned an op-ed coinciding with the three-year anniversary of ISIS’s rampage through northern Iraq, calling on the president to “quickly end the exclusion of genocide-targeted minorities from U.S. humanitarian and reconstruction aid,” and arguing America “should not cede this important work to the United Nations Development Fund.”
In June 2017, Rubio urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to provide humanitarian assistance to religious minorities in Iraq.