26th October 2020
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US announces additional $108 million for S.Sudanese in and outside the country

Authors: Emmanuel Joseph Akile | Daniel Danis | Published: Friday, September 25, 2020

A family tries to cross through a flooded area in Unity State. Photo/Luony Samuel Madol/facebook.

The United States has announced nearly $108 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of South Sudan, including those displaced to neighboring countries.

The funding includes nearly $97 million from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and more than $11 million from the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.

“A Dialogue with the World’s Top Ten Donors on Global Humanitarian Needs,” hosted by the United States, we announced nearly $108 million in humanitarian assistance for the people South Sudan, including South Sudanese in neighboring countries,” US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo told a UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Thursday 24 September 2020.

This brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the response, including refugees and those affected by conflict and natural disasters, to nearly $907 million in Fiscal Year 2020 alone and nearly $5.5 billion since the start of the crisis in 2014, including more than $64 million in supplemental humanitarian assistance to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

According to the Trump administration, heavy rains, fighting between armed groups, food insecurity, a deteriorating economic situation, and the coronavirus pandemic have compounded an already dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that more than 625,000 people have been affected by flooding in areas along the White Nile since July.

It said nearly 90 per cent of those affected are in Jonglei, Lakes and Upper Nile states, adding that Ayod, Bor South and Duk counties in Jonglei, Awerial in Lakes, and Panyijiar and Koch counties in Unity are a high priority for a scale-up in operations, where physical access allows.

OCHA warned that the number of displaced persons and water levels are expected to rise in the coming months, adding that the food crisis could worsen in the 34 counties already affected by the flooding.

The US notes that this and past humanitarian support will continue to provide emergency food assistance, health care services, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and assistance to survivors of gender-based violence.

Nearly 2.2 million South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries, most of whom are women and children, and their host communities will also benefit from the additional funds.

There are millions of South Sudanese seeking refuge in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance, both in South Sudan and globally.

This year alone, the country availed $46.9 million to help South Sudan respond to the coronavirus pandemic, including nearly $38 million through USAID.

The USAID has so far provided nearly $5.6 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance since the civil war erupted in December 2013 and July 2016.

This is part of the more than $1.8 billion in development assistance given to South Sudan since its independence in 2011.

“We will continue to be a catalyst for the international response to alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan,” the State Department affirmed.

In South Sudan, USAID has also just announced the finalization of a four-year strategy for its assistance program.

According to USAID Mission Director for South Sudan, Haven Cruz-Hubbard, the program is meant to build a more self-reliant, self-supporting and self-sustainable South Sudan.

In an exclusive interview with Eye Radio,he revealead that the strategy will center on building the resilience of families, households and communities to maintain stability and productivity even in times of external shocks such as natural disasters, inter-communal violence among others.

“The first is to continue to meet the basic humanitarian needs of communities in crisis,” he said, adding that they are also looking “to decrease overall dependence on foreign aid” and “a pathway out of our traditional assistance-relationship.”

The United States said it provides countrywide support for the UN Humanitarian Air Service to transport humanitarian workers and relief supplies.

In addition, the country said it supports the operations of a network of nearly 30 non-governmental organizations, including faith-based organizations, and international organizations like the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Children’s Fund, the World Food Program, the International Organization for Migration, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

It, however, wants other donors to meet their obligations for the people of South Sudan.

“We appreciate contributions from donors to date but recognize the significant needs that remain and call on current and new donors to make new contributions or to fulfil existing pledges to make this life-saving assistance possible,” the State Department concluded.

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