Administrator Power’s Meetings on Faith-Based Engagement, Human Rights, and International Religious Freedom

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For Immediate Release

Monday, May 10, 2021
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

The below is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala:‎

On Monday, May 10, 2021, Administrator Samantha Power held several sessions aimed at strengthening faith-based engagement and addressing violations of religious freedom and human rights abuses.

In the morning, Administrator Power hosted a private conversation with Uyghur human rights activists Nury Turkel, Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF); Omer Kanat, Director and Chair of the Uyghur Human Rights Project; and Tursunay Ziyawudun, a survivor of the internment camps in Western China. The activists shared harrowing, powerful testimony about ongoing acts of genocide and harassment by the People’s Republic of China. During the call, the Administrator affirmed the Agency’s commitment to support faith communities and advocate for religious freedom.

In the afternoon, Administrator Power convened a group of leaders from faith-based organizations to reaffirm USAID’s partnership with communities of faith and their critical role in international development. They discussed timely topics with a need for faith-based engagement, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis in India, and vaccine distribution; irregular migration from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; food insecurity in Ethiopia; and sustainable development that advances human dignity.

USAID’s faith-based approach is rooted in a mandate from President Biden’s February 14th Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which reaffirms the U.S. Government’s longstanding commitment to strengthen partnerships with faith-based and community organizations, noting that these partnerships are “vital for the success and effectiveness of the United States’ diplomatic, international development, and humanitarian work around the world.”

Last updated: June 13, 2021

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