News / Africa

US to Give S. Sudan $180 Million for Food

US Pledges Additional $180 Million to Avert Famine In S. Sudani
August 13, 2014 4:09 AM
Violence in South Sudan has displaced more than 1.5 million people, forcing many into temporary shelters and refugee camps. Heavy rain in recent days has inundated one of the largest refugee camps in the country's north, adding to the misery of people who have nowhere else to flee. The United States on Tuesday pledged to provide $180 million in additional aid to help avert famine in the war-torn country. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.
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The United States will give South Sudan approximately $180 million in emergency food aid to help avert famine, the White House said.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice announced the funding Tuesday, saying South Sudan is facing “the worst food security situation in the world.”

"The people of South Sudan are suffering because of the inability of South Sudan's leaders to put their people's interests above their own," Rice said in a statement announcing the aid.

The young central African country of roughly 11.3 million has been ravaged by civil war since mid-December, when fighting broke out between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his former deputy-turned-rival, Riek Machar. Tens of thousands have died in the conflict and more than 1.5 million have been displaced, according to the aid group CARE. It estimates that “4 million people are at risk of a severe food crisis.”   

In July, the United Nations predicted that nearly 1 million children younger than age 5 would need treatment for "acute malnutrition" this year. The U.N. also estimated that nearly a third of the population was "dangerously food insecure."

‘No military solution’

On Tuesday, a U.N. Security Council delegation met with Kiir in the capital, Juba. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said afterward that there is no "military solution to what ails South Sudan."

She urged the country's leaders to follow through on a pledge to form a transitional government.

The council's visit should "underscore to the leadership here just how important it is to follow through on the commitments made to put together a transitional governing body in a run-up to elections," she said.

Power and Security Council President Mark Lyall Grant said the council is ready to impose sanctions on those who undermine peace efforts and commit human rights violations. 

The delegation is expected to meet with Machar, as well.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also sharply criticized South Sudan's warring factions, after they missed an August 10 deadline to form a transitional government.

In a statement, Kerry called the failure an outrage and said neither the government nor rebels were seriously engaged in peace talks, which have been taking place in Ethiopia.

"The scale of the suffering and humanitarian need there is shocking, and the threat of famine is real," Rice’s statement said, noting it draws on "emergency funding authority for the first time since 2008."

The United States is the leading international benefactor to South Sudan, established in July 2011 after seceding from Sudan. Since the recent crisis began, the U.S. has provided the African country with more than $456 million in humanitarian aid, the White House said.

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Comment Sorting
by: Lisa from: Tx
August 12, 2014 11:10 PM
God Bless American. I will always say if you hate the Americans then your a devil. If it was not because of American the whole south Sudan would have been still fighting, if American rescue some of us from the camps, by then we did not have anything food the only hope was the food from UN under the USA, i use to wonder who are the Americans and why are they helping us? The truth came to my minds that, American is the only nation on earth who believe in human life and also they represent Jesus in many ways. Thanks for the food. And yes peace is coming through Jesus not kiir.

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