US Secretary of State, John Kerry, on Monday announced a further donation in humanitarian assistance worth about $138 million to war-torn South Sudan.
Kerry made the announcement when he met with regional ministers in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to a press release issued by the US Embassy in Nigeria, the donation, made through the US Agency for International Development, USAID, includes 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.
The US has remained the largest donor to South Sudan, a country that has known little peace since independence.
Thus far, the US’s assistance to the country is just short of the $2 billion mark.
“A recent outbreak of violence in Juba, broader insecurity throughout the country, and severe economic declines have conspired to worsen an already dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.
“Warring parties have terrorized and abused innocent civilians, especially women and girls. More than 2.5 million people have fled their homes – internally and to neighboring countries. Forty percent of the population now faces life-threatening hunger, with some people on the brink of starvation.
“Food security conditions are at their worst since South Sudan gained independence in 2011,” the statement read.
Kerry, however, admitted that peace cannot be brought about by humanitarian assistance alone, saying, “We strongly urge the country’s leaders to prioritize the needs of their people by protecting the population and ensuring the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance.”
The American diplomat is expected in Nigeria on Tuesday, where he will first go to Sokoto state before coming to Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The two are expected to talk about security, economy and the fight against corruption.