The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced a grant of several hundred thousand dollar to the Catholic University in Erbil. The USAID press release states that the grant is given under its New Partnership Initiative program. With this Initiative USAID aims to improve global health in USAID partner countries and assist populations in Iraq that are recovering from the genocide perpetrated by ISIS. Furthermore, USAID announced it is supporting the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with USD 18 million to support the return and recovery of displaced religious and ethnic minority communities in the Nineveh Plains and Western Nineveh Province.
The Catholic University opened its doors in 2016 in Erbil. It is a private non-profit education institute with an associated hospital in Ankawa, the majority-Syriac suburb of Erbil. The University has several hundreds of students who follow educational programs in English in the fields of International Relations, Oriental Studies, English Language, IT & Computer Science and in the fields of Accounting & Economics. The new USAID New Partnership Initiative grant will be used to provide classes in business language and computer software for widows, victims of abuse, and former ISIS captives.
The Catholic University was initiated and founded by the Chaldean archbishopric of Erbil to especially support the educational, healthcare and professional labor needs of the Christian communities of the Nineveh Plain and in the Kurdish Region in Iraq (KRI). The University and Virgin Mary Hospital serve all people of the Nineveh Plain and KRI. The Christian communities are the Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians of different Christian denominations who suffered severely under ISIS and of whom tens of thousands remain in Ankawa-Erbil after they fled their cities and villages on the Nineveh Plain. Only 60-70 thousand of them have returned to their towns and villages on the Nineveh Plain.