President Trump has spoken about the plight of Christians in the Middle East, but he has done little to effect change. Far lower percentages of Christians and Yazidis are returning from displacement to their homes in the devastated Nineveh Plains and Sinjar, respectively, compared with the larger religious groups in Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul. The prior administration decided to have U.S. reconstruction assistance, now at $265 million since fiscal 2015, also flow through the U.N. The director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Mark Green, started only last month and has not yet moved to change this policy.

President Trump can take immediate steps to ensure U.S. aid reaches Iraq’s most vulnerable minorities. First, he can direct his administration to address their humanitarian and stabilization needs. This should include dropping the U.N. as a pass-through for U.S. aid. He can also appoint an interagency coordinator to ensure that bureaucratic hurdles don’t interfere with getting aid to all groups. These relatively small tweaks would help preserve the region’s religious minorities.

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