The children of Christian and Yazidi refugees reportedly pleaded with U.S. President Donald Trump for help as the deadline for the State Department and USAID to allocate aid for the Islamic State's victims of genocide drew closer.
In an exclusive report by Fox News, a series of photos were seen showing Christian and Yazidi child refugees staying at camps in Mt. Sinjar and Dohuk holding up signs asking Trump to take action on their plight. International human rights lawyer and Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom director Nina Shea thought the messages could move the U.S. president to help provide aid for the children in need.
"I think it will strike the conscience to see the real faces of innocent children who need to be rescued," Shea told Fox. "When images of the Yazidis fleeing Mt. Sinjar were made public, it galvanized the previous administration to go back with troops, food drops and other aid after our military had already pulled out of Iraq"
She added: "We saw something similar with President Trump's actions after the chemical attacks in Syria."
Although the Consolidated Appropriation Act, which expired this week, had earmarked $1.3 billion of humanitarian aid after former Secretary of State John Kerry declared that ISIS had committed genocide against Iraqi minorities, the Christians and Yazidis have reportedly not received anything from that amount. On Sept. 15, Catholic and Christian churches also filed a request for the USAID to release $22 million of that amount for immediate relief.
USAID officials told Fox that the allegations that it was not providing aid to the minorities were false and that humanitarian assistance was provided to internally displaced persons living in and outside of camps. Shea, on the other hand, maintained that the U.S. can expedite its decision to release aid for the displaced Iraqis, as they witnessed a similar trend with the Rohingya issue.
Meanwhile, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council noted that the Trump administration wasted no time in declaring ISIS' atrocities as genocide but had taken quite a long time to address the issue. He said no one appeared to understand why the money earmarked for the aid still has not been spent and why the State Department insisted on channeling the money through the United Nations.
Perkins urged the State Department to follow through on its promise to help the displaced Christian families who are being persecuted for their faith. He said America ought to ensure that its money is being spent effectively.