US announces assistance to South Sudan

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The US has announced humanitarian assistance to the South Sudanese people to the tune of nearly $138 million. The announcement was made by US Secretary of State John Kerry following a meeting with regional foreign ministers from Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan during his current visit to Kenya.

Kerry met the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and discussed key challenges in East Africa, including the prospects for resumption of a political process in South Sudan and support to Somalia’s political transition.

According to US Department of State, Kerry will also visit Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

The funding to be provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) includes nearly 58,000 metric tons of food aid and specialty nutrition products, along with emergency health and nutrition services, safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, and cholera treatment and prevention messaging to stem the current outbreak.

In an interview broadcast by Eye Radio, Kerry urged South Sudan leaders to fully implement the peace deal signed in 2015 or face sanctions.

The UN recently authorised the deployment of a 4000-strong force to bolster the UNMISS, and warned South Sudan that it would face an arms embargo if it did not cooperate.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan government announced that it had received a request from South Sudan seeking for support because of the economic challenges the country is facing.

The Kenyan government announced that it was willing to assist to the extent that it can. The meeting between Kenya and South Sudan agreed that South Sudan sends a delegation to Nairobi to deliberate on the subject.

That delegation should include the Finance Minister, Central Bank Governor, as well as other relevant officials involved with food security, economic management and humanitarian affairs, who would have a clear proposal outlining the needs of South Sudan.

The recent outbreak of violence in Juba, and broader insecurity throughout the country has worsened an already dire humanitarian crisis in the country. Reports indicate that hostilities in the country have so far claimed more than 10,000 lives, displaced more than 2 million people, while more than 250,000 have sought refuge within UN peace keeping bases.

The US is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to South Sudan, and has provided more than $1.7 billion since the conflict began in December 2013.

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