Today Yazda executive director, Murad Ismael participated in high-level meetings at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference in Kuwait City. We are saddened that no Yazidi or minority voices were heard. The situation of the Yazidis and other religious minorities should have been at the heart of these discussions, including the plight of Yazidi women as survivors of an ongoing genocide and sexual enslavement.
We welcome the support of the international community towards Iraq and its various communities and regions as the country attempts to recover from war.
We call on international donors to continue to support Iraq and its people but stress that a full recovery will require addressing the concerns of its most vulnerable communities and regions.
Building a future for Iraq will require equal treatment for all of its citizens, and respect for the nation’s religious and ethnic diversity. Such diversity enrichens Iraqi society, and Iraq needs to place these communities at the heart of future reconstructive processes.
In principle, Yazda agrees that funds and investments should target all sectors of the Iraqi economy. However, we urge the Iraqi government, donors, and investors to consider the level of emotional harm and physical destruction suffered by certain groups and areas and allocate funds proportionally.
Future projects should address communities’ physical needs along with social issues such as accountability, de-radicalization, social cohesion, trust, and the physical and mental health of victims, among other humanitarian aspects of the crises.
Communities such as ours will not return to their homeland unless specific and effective solutions are offered. Trust should be built between the government and its people, and among communities to ensure future coexistence.
We reiterate that accountability and justice must be at the heart of the process and the allocation of funds.
Communities suffering from genocide in Iraq deserve and require a more strategic plan to preserve their culture and identity. Without the commitment of the international community and Iraq itself., these communities will continue to suffer and may be completely annihilated.