The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on September 30 new support to local organizations advancing recovery efforts in the Ninewa Plain. These grants represent the U.S. government’s enduring commitment to helping religious and ethnic minorities recover from genocide and return home. Special Representative for Minority Assistance programs, Max Primorac highlighted that “These grants reflect the strong commitment of the U.S. to work through local and faith-based groups, and partner with other nations such as Hungary to restore Iraq’s rich ethnic, religious, and cultural mosaic.”
USAID is providing a grant to the Bartella Reconstruction Committee to rehabilitate the town’s Mar Mattai Cultural Center, which was damaged during the conflict with ISIS. Although more than 1,000 families have returned to Bartella, the community lacks a large venue for cultural events, including weddings and holiday celebrations. USAID’s assistance will enable the facility to resume functioning as social hub for the entire sub-district.
In Qaraqosh, USAID supporting the Assyrian Aid Society to rehabilitate 30 shops damaged by ISIS, enabling businesses there to reopen. This project is being implemented in partnership with the Government of Hungary, which is providing assistance to rebuild homes and other infrastructure in Qaraqosh. Together, the United States and Hungary are coordinating their efforts to revive economic activity and encourage returns in the Ninewa Plain.