Mr. Ashur Eskrya, President of the Assyrian Aid Society-Iraq, participated in the deliberative meeting held at the US consulate in Erbil on Sunday, July 1st 2018, with attendance of representatives of humanitarian organizations and a high-level US delegation headed by Mr. Mark Green the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ambassador Douglas Silliman, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, former Congressman Frank Wolf, Ambassador Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Mr. Ken Cross, Consul General in Erbil, Ms. Sarah Makin-Acciani, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Vice President, Ms. Stephanie Dobitsch, Special Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa for the Vice President, Ms. Casey Smith, Acting Trips Director and Deputy Director, Protocol and Special Events (USAID) and Ms. Shari Ulery, Political Officer, US Consulate General, Erbil.
The meeting touched on the humanitarian situation after the liberation of Nineveh province, especially the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar, the obstacles faced by the returnees to their abandoned areas and ways of dealing with, especially with regard to reconstruction of destroyed homes, fields and shops in liberated areas, and the possible contribution of USAID in this area, especially after the United States announced its intention to provide support to religious and ethnic minorities in the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar to support stability in their historic areas.
Mr. Ashur Eskrya discussed the most important projects implemented by the Assyrian Aid Society-Iraq since 2014, after the occupation of a terrorist organization of ISIS for large areas of Iraq and the effects of the genocide that affected the Assyrian Christians and Yezidis.
Mr. Eskrya also discussed the importance of cooperation in shelter, relief and the return of displaced people to their areas. He also called to open a USAID center in Nineveh Plain to oversee the reconstruction of the areas and in coordination with local organizations and the Nineveh community.
The priorities of the next phase and the need of the various components of the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar, the Assyrian Chaldean, Syriac, Yazidis and Shabak were identified in terms of rebuilding infrastructure and restoring confidence among the various components of the region.