The U.S. House of Representatives this week unanimously passed legislation intended to aid victims of genocide in the Middle East. Sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390) instructs the executive branch to aid organizations, particularly faith-based ministries, working to meet “humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs” of those persecuted. Moreover, the bill calls for U.S. support for groups that are conducting criminal investigations or preserving relevant evidence against the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
Following passage of this bill, Rep. Eshoo said, “H.R. 390 will provide urgently needed humanitarian relief to the survivors of what both the Congress and the State Department have labeled as ‘genocide’ and ensure we hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”
Similarly, Rep. Smith declared, “President Trump and Vice President Pence have strongly, publicly committed the administration to providing relief to Christians, Yazidis, and other genocide survivors, and ensuring perpetrators are brought to justice. H.R. 390 will help ensure that officials implement these commitments and is a blueprint for implementation.”
More information about this bill is available from Rep. Smith’s office here.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: June 9, 2017