NEW YORK ─ Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights Founder and Chairman Salah Ahmad released the statement below following President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. will end its combat role in Iraq by the end of 2021:
“Today’s announcement by President Biden is welcomed news for those of us who have been working to build lasting democratic institutions in Iraq. We believe that the conclusion of the combat mission is the perfect chance for the U.S. to lead in building post-combat support programs for the people living in the region.
“Through our mental health and civil society support programs, people who work at Jiyan Foundation have seen first-hand how the horror of violence caused by war, terrorism, and genocide have affected these communities. The absence of peace-building and support will only leave room for more violence in the future. It is crucial that the United States and its allies not abandon Iraq, and the Kurdish region in particular, to groups seeking to destabilize the newly formed democracy.
“Now is the time for the international community to step up & prevent further conflict through investments into mental health, infrastructure and building stable institutions. Building on-going development programs for the region which will need to include medical, mental, and physical health care, investments in infrastructure, and peacebuilding resources for government and nongovernment agencies. We cannot waste any time.”
Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights US is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports survivors of human rights violations, defends fundamental freedoms, and promotes democratic values throughout the world. Jiyan seeks to build democratic societies that protects the dignity of the human being, where adults and children enjoy the rights to life and freedom, and citizens are free from violence, torture, and terror.
Our programs, projects, and initiatives provide mental health, medical treatment and other health services to survivors of trauma, terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations. Our work supports nine treatment centers, a clinic for Yazidi women and families, a Healing Garden and mobile teams helping survivors in 11 refugee and IDP camps in nine regions throughout Kurdistan, Iraq, and Syria. Since 2005 these programs have provided support to nearly 100,000 people.