Additional Humanitarian Assistance for South Sudan
The United States announced $49.8 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help victims of conflict in South Sudan. With this new assistance, the United States has provided more than $300 million in humanitarian assistance in Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 to assist South Sudanese victims of conflict as well as refugees seeking asylum in South Sudan.
This new funding includes $24.8 million for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and $7.5 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from the State Department's Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, for their 2014 programs in South Sudan.
USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance is providing $17.5 million to UN agencies--UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. These new funds will allow these UN agencies to provide life-saving assistance to those affected by the violence, including emergency health care services, shelter, access to clean drinking water, hygiene and sanitation facilities, support reunification of families separated by the fighting, and transport life-saving relief to those in need.
In addition to these new funds, USAID's Office of Food for Peace has authorized WFP to redirect a portion of USAID's existing contribution of $90 million to WFP's Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation, and USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance is working with non-governmental organization partners to re-orient ongoing programs to meet the immediate emergency needs arising from this new crisis.
UNHCR, with the Government of South Sudan and partner organizations, is already providing protection and assistance to 228,000 refugees in South Sudan, the majority of whom fled conflict in Sudan's Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states in 2011 and 2012. The additional funding will help UNHCR assist this group and respond to the current crisis that has displaced an additional 180,000 South Sudanese since December 15, 2013 and led more than 15,000 to seek refuge in neighboring countries.
ICRC, working with the South Sudan Red Cross, is providing emergency assistance to South Sudanese victims of conflict in Juba, the capital, and other areas throughout the country. In response to the current crisis, ICRC is providing urgently needed medical support to hospitals treating the wounded. On December 17, ICRC called on the fighting parties to take all feasible precautions to minimize civilian casualties and allow people to safely reach health-care facilities.
The United States strongly supports the efforts of the UN, ICRC, and other humanitarian organizations to meet humanitarian needs in South Sudan. We call on all parties to the current conflict to cease hostilities, take measures to protect civilians, and allow humanitarian organizations to reach those in need.