The country is witnessing its worst food crisis since independence in 2011 due to continuing conflict
The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has contributed USD $5 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support an integrated health response for communities affected by crises and acute food insecurity across South Sudan. This funding brings USAID’s fiscal year 2022 humanitarian contribution to health care services in South Sudan to $34 million.The country is witnessing its worst food crisis since independence in 2011 due to continuing conflict, four years of persistent floods, 18 months of localised drought, and the impact of a global food and fuel crisis exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked and unjust war in Ukraine. With USAID’s support, the WHO will reach an estimated 1.1 million vulnerable internally displaced persons, returnees, and host community members who are at risk of elevated disease burden and death due to diseases across 20 counties in South Sudan’s Jonglei, Lakes, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, and Western Equatoria states facing severe levels of acute food insecurity. Specifically, the new funding will ensure the procurement and distribution of inter-agency emergency health kits for partners providing essential health and nutrition services to crisis-affected people. In addition, it will allow the WHO to strengthen its capacity for prevention, early detection, investigation, and response to disease outbreaks through increased deployment of rapid response teams and improve coordination for effective humanitarian response and the integration of service delivery at all administrative levels. This will also include screening and treatment of severely malnourished children in food insecure areas. USAID Mission Director Kate Crawford said, “The United States and USAID continue to support South Sudanese people facing humanitarian disasters, food insecurity, and violence. This contribution to WHO will improve the quality of life and health of South Sudanese. Meanwhile, we continue to urge the Government of South Sudan to address the drivers of persistent subnational violence and assume responsibility for the health and well-being of its citizens. We also call for better protection of aid and humanitarian workers.” “We appreciate the timely contribution from USAID to support the health response in communities impacted by crisis and acute food insecurity, which will contribute to the reduction of preventable illness and death from infectious, non-communicable, and epidemic-prone diseases related to acute food insecurity, floods, and subnational violence in priority high-risk counties of the country,” said Dr Fabian Ndenzako, the WHO Representative a.i. for South Sudan. “USAID’s support will enable us to improve coordination for effective humanitarian responses and ensure that has affected communities have access to critical services.” The United States has been the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan since its independence. This new assistance brings the total U.S. support to South Sudan to more than $706 million so far in 2022 alone.