The United States today announced nearly $273 million in new humanitarian assistance for those uprooted and imperiled by the conflict in South Sudan. The additional funding was announced in Nairobi, Kenya by Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard, U.S. Department of State Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration, at the “High-Level Event on the Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan and its Impact in the Region.” U.S. officials joined more than a dozen other countries at the event, pledging support to help South Sudan’s internally displaced population, those who have fled to neighboring countries, and others suffering from this conflict. This latest contribution underscores the United States’ long-standing commitment – one predating the current, senseless conflict – to the people of South Sudan.
With this additional contribution, U.S. assistance to the people affected by this conflict – both those inside South Sudan and in neighboring countries – is nearly $1 billion. More than two million people have been displaced internally and as refugees. Nearly 2.5 million people face acute hunger in South Sudan right now. The new funding will help to feed the most affected people and provide specialty nutrition supplements for children suffering from malnutrition. It will provide seeds, tools, and agricultural training to South Sudanese farmers, boost emergency health services for victims of the conflict, increase the availability of water and sanitation services, support medical and psychosocial services to survivors of gender-based violence, increase access to emergency education for refugee children, build and expand new refugee camps, and provide basic household goods for refugees throughout the region.
Aid can only be effective if it reaches those who need it most. As the peace process continues, all sides of this conflict urgently need to give immediate, full and unconditional access to aid agencies working to help all of South Sudan’s people. Without this access, conditions in South Sudan will only worsen, risking both famine and further cycles of violence.
The United States’ commitment to the people of South Sudan remains steadfast, but humanitarian aid alone is not the answer to the conflict. The warring parties bear full responsibility for this man-made crisis and the suffering of their fellow South Sudanese. South Sudan’s leaders can end this suffering by concentrating on the security and welfare of their people and making the needed compromises to reach a final agreement when peace talks resume on February 20.
In the meantime, a crisis of this scale needs a truly multi-donor response. The United States urges other donors to increase their contributions for humanitarian operations in South Sudan and the region, to provide life-saving aid for the millions of people in need of help.
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