Governance, Aid, Faith Community
Signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding Between USAID and Knights of Columbus
October 12, 2018
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Knights of Columbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding Thursday that will facilitate partnerships to help communities in the Middle East recover from genocide and persecution. The partnership between USAID and the Knights of Columbus is a cornerstone of the Vice President’s commitment to helping communities recover in the wake of the genocidal campaign waged by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
USAID deeply values the contributions of the Knights of Columbus to respond to genocide and persecution in the Middle East. The relationships of trust the Knights have forged with persecuted communities, and their deep experience promoting interfaith dialogue, provide them with a reach and a voice in communities that often exceeds our own. The importance of a trusted voice when assisting survivors of genocide cannot be overstated.
The Memorandum of Understanding will allow USAID and the Knights of Columbus to leverage U.S. Government funding against the contributions of American philanthropists in a coordinated response to genocide and persecution. USAID and the Knights of Columbus will work together to identify populations in need and assist them, convene local actors, advance pluralism, and collaborate on efforts to prevent future atrocities.
The new partnership is part of USAID’s continuing effort to expand its partner base, including with local and faith-based organizations, to meet the needs of persecuted ethnic and religious minorities more effectively and promote diversity in the Middle East. USAID looks forward to adding additional public-and private-sector partners to advance the Vice President’s Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Initiative in the Middle East Region.
Knights of Columbus
Bringing Help and Support to Persecuted Christians
Since the establishment of the Christian Refugee Relief Fund in 2014, the Knights of Columbus has collected more than $18 million. As of Dec. 31, 2017, over $16 million has already been distributed to provide food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care to persecuted Christians in the Middle East.