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US announces additional $22m aid to S. Sudan

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July 10, 2014 (JUBA) – The United States government on Thursday announced nearly $22 million in additional humanitarian assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan its refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.

This was announced by Anne C. Richard, the assistant secretary for the Bureau of population, refugees, and migration. The funds, the US state department said, is the latest addition to the more than $456m in humanitarian assistance for refugees, IDPs, and other conflict-affected populations impacted by the crisis in South Sudan this fiscal year.

More than 400,000 refugees have reportedly fled from South Sudan, seeking refuge in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan, while more than a million have internally been displaced.

“This latest U.S. contribution will allow both international and non-governmental organizations to provide refugees and IDPs with basic life support such as access to clean water; food, health care, and essential household items; employment training; gender-based violence prevention; and programs for child protection, including efforts to restore family links severed as a result of displacement”, partly reads a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

The US, it added, strongly supports the efforts of humanitarian organizations to meet needs in South Sudan, but stressed that the aid can only be effective if the Government of South Sudan, opposition forces, and all other parties to the conflict stop fighting and remove obstacles to the delivery of life-saving assistance.

“It is crucial that President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar implement their May 9 agreement to end the violence and allow immediate, full and unconditional access for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and humanitarian organizations to reach those in need,” it added.

Meanwhile, Richard is due to travel to Ethiopia and South Sudan from July 8-15. While in Ethiopia, however, the assistant secretary will travel to Gambella region in Western Ethiopia to visit South Sudanese refugees living in camps and observe refugee programs and assistance provided on the ground.

The US official will be accompanied by the US envoy to Ethiopia; Patricia Haslach as well as officials from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ethiopian Government. She is also due to hold talks in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian government officials and members of international and non-governmental organizations.

Currently, Ethiopia reportedly hosts over 570,000 refugees, including nearly 220,000 refugees from South Sudan, as well as refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan.

During her visit to South Sudan Richard will tour United Nations sites in Juba to evaluate humanitarian conditions and meet with internally displaced South Sudanese, as well as meet with government officials and representatives of both international and non-government organizations.

Her travel schedule will also see her visit Unity States’ Maban county accompanied by the US envoy to South Sudan, Susan Page and representatives from UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to assess the needs of refugees from Sudan who are caught between the war in their homeland and the conflict in South Sudan.

(ST)

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