September 29, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – The United States on Monday announced nearly $83 million in additional emergency assistance for South Sudan.
Anne C. Richard, the US assistant secretary announced this at the annual meeting of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ governing executive committee in Geneva, Switzerland.
The new pledge reportedly brings to over $720 million, the total US emergency assistance for the young nation this fiscal year.
The new funds will be used to help South Sudanese who are living as refugees in neighboring countries or are internally displaced inside South Sudan, a statement released by the State Department said.
“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,” it partly read.
Aid agencies say the conflict in South Sudan could lead to 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, the statement noted, further pledging the American government’s commitment to the people of South Sudan.
This US contribution will reportedly allow both international and non-governmental organizations to provide refugees and internally displaced persons 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, among other needs.
But while the US urged other donors to continue to respond and provide assistance to South Sudan, it called 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 the country.
“Gains made through international assistance can only be sustained if leaders prioritise peace and invest in services for their own people,” it stressed.