Today, Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard announced nearly $83 million in additional emergency assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan and South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda. The additional funding was announced at the annual meeting of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ governing Executive Committee in Geneva. With this announcement, the total U.S. emergency assistance for the South Sudan crisis in fiscal year 2014 is more than $720 million.
Conflict in South Sudan threatens to create a famine in a country where more than two million people are already facing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity and tens of thousands of children are at risk of malnutrition-related death. Without progress on political negotiations, the end of the current rainy season is likely to bring a new, intensified chapter of fighting and displacement. With over 450,000 new South Sudanese refugees since December 2013, there are now more refugees than when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended Sudan’s long civil war in 2005. An additional 200,000 South Sudanese are expected to flee to neighboring countries by the end of the year.
The United States remains committed to the people of South Sudan. This latest U.S. contribution will allow both international and non-governmental organizations to provide refugees and IDPs with basic life support such as access to clean water and sanitation; food, health care, and essential household items; gender-based violence prevention and response; critical services to treat malnutrition; distribution of seeds, tools, and livelihood support kits; employment training; and programs to protect children, including education and efforts to reunite families torn apart by displacement.
While the United States is striving to do all we can to help, we urge other donors to continue to respond and similarly ramp up assistance to prevent the worst consequences of this conflict. Most importantly, the United States calls on all parties to the conflict to end the violence and allow immediate and unconditional access for humanitarian workers to reach people in need across all areas of South Sudan. Gains made through international assistance can only be sustained if leaders prioritize peace and invest in services for their own people.
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