The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided more than $389 million in support of the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response initiative to help ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq heal and restore their communities after the genocide committed by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This assistance combines short, medium, and long-term efforts that will help meet the immediate, life-saving and recovery needs of these populations; restore access to essential services; rehabilitate critical infrastructure; improve access to jobs; support local businesses; and mobilize local and national actors to prevent future atrocities.
USAID recognizes the need to find the right local partners for this work. We are currently working with a combination of over 100 local, faith-based, and international organizations to implement our Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response program.
Helping Persecuted Minorities Heal and Restore their Communities
1. Iraq Community Resilience Initiative
Purpose: Enable the recovery of communities liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including the Ninewa Plain, Sinjar, Mosul, and Western Anbar.
Implementers: Chemonics, with Iraqi civil society organizations, faith-based groups, and local government entities, including: Al-Afaq for Economic Development Organization; the Association of Anbar Agricultural Engineers; Assyrian Aid Society; Assyrian Christian Committee; Beban Charity Society; Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil; Chaldean Culture Society; the Directorate of Mosul Municipality; the District Offices of Hamdaniya, Rutba, and Tal Kayf; Economic Development Organization; Eyzidi 24; Eyzidi Organization for Documentation; Ezidi Fraternity Organization; Friends Youth Forum; the General Company for Grain Trade - Ninewa Branch; the General Company of Northern Electricity Distribution; Ghasin Al-Zaiton; Ghiratuna lil Mosul Volunteer Group; Hope Ambassadors Volunteerism Group; Humanitarian Ninewa Relief Organization; Justice Organization for Minorities Rights; Khaloha Ajmal; Nadia's Initiative; Ninewa Civil Defense Directorate; Ninewa Directorate of Youth and Sport; Ninewa Health Directorate; Ninewa Water Directorate; Odessa; Peace Through Arts Foundation; Rainbow NGO for Child Protection; Sahara Economic Development Organization; Sunrise Organization for Civil Society Development; Volunteer with Us Foundation; Wasil-Tasil; Yazda; Young Messengers Organization for Relief and Development; and Youth Bridge Organization.
2. Safe Return
- Purpose: Mental health and psycho-social services, assistance with livelihoods, and legal support, focused on reintegrating internally displaced persons (IDPs).
- Implementers: Heartland Alliance International, with sub-awards to Yazda, Prosperity Catalyst, Iraq Health Access Organization, Commission for International Justice and Accountability, and Alliance of Iraqi Minorities.
3. Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) in the Ninewa Plain and Western Ninewa Province
- Purpose: Rehabilitation of public infrastructure in liberated areas by funding water, health, education, and electricity stabilization activities.
- Implementers: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- Purpose: Livelihood, housing rehabilitation, and social-cohesion services to support the return and recovery of vulnerable ethnic and religious minority communities.
- Implementers: International Organization for Migration, with sub-awards to Samaritan’s Purse and Yazda.
- Purpose: Assist vulnerable IDP families with immediate household needs, such as shelter and food, and ease their return home when possible.
- Implementer: Catholic Relief Services, with partner Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil.
- Purpose: Building on a previous award implemented by Catholic Relief Services, in joint partnership with the Archdiocese of Erbil, this new activity provides short-term, multi-purpose cash assistance to internally displaced households in and around Erbil to help meet their essential needs, while helping families to access information, think through key decisions, and plan for integration or return.
- Implementer: Ankawa Humanitarian Committee
7. Primary and Secondary Health Support to Northern Iraq
- Purpose: Deliver high-quality healthcare through two stationary clinics and one mobile medical team to communities affected by the persecution of ISIS, including IDPs and disadvantaged members of host communities.
- Implementer: Solidarity Fund Poland, with a sub-award to Step-In.
8. New Partnerships Initiative (NPI)
- Purpose: USAID has awarded small grants through the NPI to six local groups in Northern Iraq to help religious and ethnic minorities targeted by ISIS. The new NPI implementers in Northern Iraq are the following:
- Philadelphia Organization for Relief and Development: Establish a community center in the town of Qaraqosh to provide services for people with disabilities, training in employment skills, child care, and a community food bank.
- Catholic University of Erbil: Provide classes in business language and computer software for widows, victims of abuse, and former captives of ISIS.
- Top Mountain: Support a business incubator and employment program for Iraqi youth, which will promote entrepreneurship, provide business training, and build commercial networks.
- Shlama Foundation: Improve job opportunities through training engineers on the installation of solar power, provide electricity for families, and install solar-powered pumps for farms and street lighting for villages.
- Beth Nahrain: Help re-establish a local, women-led organization decimated by ISIS, which will in turn provide small-business vocational training to women in the Nineveh Plains.
- Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights: Provide trauma-rehabilitation and resilience services to survivors of genocide; legal services and programs in justice/reparations; and activities to promote inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue.
9. Maintaining the Presence and Life-Ways of Northern Iraq Minorities Upon Ancestral Homelands
- Purpose: Assess agricultural damage done by ISIS that impacts the traditional cultural practices of persecuted communities and provide pathways for restoration of these resources.
- Implementers: University of Duhok, Purdue University, Indiana University, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and Notre Dame University.
10. Improving Health Services and Outcomes in the Ninewa Plains
- Purpose: Increase access to health care in Ninewa Plains by restoring the functionality and quality of care in select primary and secondary facilities managed by the Ninewa Directorate of Health.
- Implementers: John Snow International Research and Training Institute, International Medical Corps
Promoting Economic Recovery in Northern Iraq
- Purpose: Work with religious leaders and youth to build trust among communities; improve vocational and leadership skills so young people can obtain dignified employment and start their own businesses; address how competition between job-seekers for employment can inadvertently undermine trust and understanding between different religious communities.
- Implementers: Catholic Relief Services, with sub-awards to Caritas Iraq, YouthBuild International, and Iraqi al-Amal Association.
2. Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) in Mosul
- Purpose: Rehabilitation of public infrastructure in liberated areas. The United States funds water, health, education, and electricity stabilization activities.
- Implementer: UNDP.
- Purpose: Improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and their revenue growth to bring jobs and economic prosperity. Support to SMEs can include investment capital, investment insurance, or technical assistance.
- Implementers: Shell Foundation and GroFin.
Preventing Future Atrocities
1. Building Community Resilience in Ninewa Post-ISIS
- Purpose: Enhance cooperation between the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, local civil society, and communities from the Ninewa Plain and Western Ninewa Province to address policy actions needed to remove barriers to sustainable returns of IDPs and community resilience.
- Implementers: U.S. Institute for Peace, with sub-awards to Sanad for Peacebuilding, Alliance of Iraqi Minorities, Network of Iraqi Facilitators, the Middle East Research Institute, and Alliance 1325 - Supporting the Implementation of National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325.
2. Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response - Learning and Pilots
- Purpose: Assist survivors of sexual and gender-based violence committed by ISIS to recover; address systemic issues that fuel sexual and gender-based violence; and strengthen Iraq’s ability to prevent and address such violence in the future.
- Implementers: Tetra Tech MSI, with a subcontract to Global Communities.