For Immediate Release
The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has pledged an additional $5 million to transport urgent, life-saving assistance to communities displaced by recent violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. This assistance will allow the U.N. World Food Program to contract additional helicopters that will deliver food and other emergency relief supplies in Pibor County. Since March, fighting has displaced approximately 100,000 people to remote areas where they lack access to food, safe drinking water, shelter, and health care. As of July 2013, the U.S. Government has provided nearly $146 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan.
The United States continues to express tremendous concern for this displaced population, calling for unfettered humanitarian access to all parts of Jonglei State. On July 19, 2013, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah called for the demilitarization of town centers in South Sudan.
“The military has a responsibility to protect civilians, but we have heard disturbing reports of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers harming and intimidating civilians in Jonglei State,” said Shah. “The Government of the Republic of South Sudan must ensure that its military forces adhere to humanitarian principles and protect all civilians regardless of their background or ethnicity.”
The large-scale displacement comes at the onset of the rainy season, when risk of flooding and disease increases in rural areas, and inundated roads pose logistical challenges to aid workers struggling to reach people in need. The helicopter support provided by USAID will help overcome these obstacles and reach vulnerable families.
USAID recognizes the international community’s efforts to provide urgent humanitarian assistance in Pibor County, making the response to the Jonglei State crisis a multilateral effort. We and our partners are working to provide assistance to as many as 26,000 people found thus far in rural areas but remain concerned about those not yet located by the international community. USAID stands ready to join international partners in the push to find and extend aid to additional displaced individuals.
Last updated: January 18, 2014