WASHINGTON — The U.S. announced on Thursday an additional $22 million in humanitarian assistance to refugees and people displaced by the violence in South Sudan.
With the latest funding, the U.S. is providing more than $456 million this fiscal year to those affected by the crisis in South Sudan, which was plunged into violence in December when President Salva Kiir accused former Vice President Riek Machar of attempting a coup. Thousands have died and more than 1.3 million people have fled their homes since the conflict erupted.
The additional money is to be spent by international and nongovernmental organizations to provide access to clean water, food, health care, household items, job training, gender-based violence prevention and programs for child protection.
Since the outbreak of the current crisis, more than 400,000 refugees have fled from South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, seeking refuge in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan. Hundreds continue to flee each day and more than 1 million South Sudanese remain internally displaced. More than 1.3 million people fled their homes during the critical planting season, leaving them now heavily dependent on charity.
Earlier this month, a coalition of British aid organizations became the latest aid group to warn that parts of South Sudan may slip into famine by August if more aid is not delivered and fighting continues. The Disasters Emergency Committee said member agencies have less than half the money needed to prevent South Sudan’s food crisis from getting worse. The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF warned in April that nearly 250,000 children in South Sudan will suffer severe acute malnutrition this year if more action is not taken.