For Immediate Release
Since its independence, South Sudan has made modest but important steps on the path to development. But today, fighting between government and rebel forces puts that progress at risk, wreaking havoc on a people who have faced more than their share of suffering and denial. Recent violence in South Sudan has left thousands dead and has driven nearly half a million people from their homes.
The United States and the international community are responding to the needs of those affected by the violence. On January 3, we announced an additional $50 million in humanitarian assistance to help provide safe drinking water, emergency health care, vaccinations, improved sanitation, and shelter to those in desperate need, bringing our total humanitarian funding for South Sudan to nearly $320 million for FY13/14. We are also working to help the estimated 86,000 people who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. We commend South Sudan’s neighbors for keeping their borders open to those fleeing the violence and for their tremendous generosity in providing and expanding safe space to accommodate the growing number of refugees.
We condemn recent attacks directed at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and humanitarian workers. We call on all parties to permit immediate and unconditional access for the UN and humanitarian organizations to all areas of South Sudan, and to take steps to ensure they can operate safely and without obstruction. Attacks on aid groups must stop and leaders of both parties to the conflict must put an end to the looting of humanitarian supplies. Those who have fired on and attacked UN peacekeeping bases, raided UN and NGO offices and warehouses, and killed drivers delivering assistance must be held to account.
For decades, the United States Agency for International Development has stood with the people of South Sudan—through the years of Sudan’s civil war, during more recent communal violence, and in response to natural disasters such as floods and drought. We have invested in South Sudan’s people and infrastructure, working to improve the Juba-Nimule road, expand access to electricity, and offer young people educational opportunities to reach their full potential. We share their vision for a peaceful, unified, democratic state – and their desire to live free of fear and violence.
Last updated: January 18, 2014