Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday that President Trump ordered the State Department to stop funding "ineffective" United Nations relief efforts to combat the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and that, instead, the U.S. will help Christians directly through the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Pence noted how the Obama administration spent over $1 billion in humanitarian aid to the Middle East, but sent the funding to various U.N. programs.
Pence outlined how the U.N. was neglecting vulnerable communities, especially religious minorities and said persecuted Christians in the Middle East have not been getting the relief they need.
"My friends, those days are over," Pence said Wednesday at the In Defense of Christians' annual Solidarity Dinner for Christians in the Middle East in Washington, D.C. "Our fellow Christians and all who are persecuted in the Middle East should not have to rely on multinational institutions when America can help them directly."
"Tonight, it is my privilege to announce President Trump has ordered the State Department to stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the United Nations and from this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID," he added.
Pence also shared he will visit the Middle East in December, where he said he will tell various leaders that it is time to bring an end to the persecution of Christians and religious minorities.
He will discuss peace agreements with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the Associated Press.