Home World Congresswoman Karen Bass Floor Statement on South Sudan Aid Resolution

Congresswoman Karen Bass Floor Statement on South Sudan Aid Resolution

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WASHINGTON, DC —Yesterday, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) introduced a bipartisan resolution to increase in USAID emergency funding to address growing famine in South Sudan. The resolution, cosponsored by 26 Members of Congress, also calls upon the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to grant unfettered humanitarian access to affected communities.

The outbreak of violence in South Sudan, broader insecurity throughout the country and severe economic decline has worsened an already dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Warring parties have terrorized and abused innocent civilians, especially women and girls, and more than 2.5 million people have fled their homes, both to other internal locations and to neighboring countries.  Forty percent of the population now faces life-threatening hunger, with more than 100,000 people facing famine.  Food security conditions are at their worst since South Sudan gained independence in 2011.  If urgent humanitarian action is not taken to abate this trend the situation could worsen.

“This manmade crisis can be averted with support from USAID and the international community,” Rep. Bass said. “Internal conflicts have created these dire conditions and must cease to ensure that necessary resources can reach those dying from acute malnutrition.”

Prohibiting humanitarian assistance from getting to starving communities has undermined the most proactive attempts by the United States and other contributors to address what has now become a famine.   This resolution calls on South Sudan’s leaders to put their people first and to allow unfettered access to displaced and starving populations, and cease violations of humanitarian principles. Without immediate action an estimated 5.5 million people will experience famine by the end of the year.

“The resolution represents our continued commitment to support efforts by USAID, the international community—including the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union—to facilitate humanitarian access to affected areas,” Rep. Bass concluded. “It is vital that we provide life-saving food and other nutritional assistance to the people of South Sudan.”

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