US to Provide $180M to Fight Famine in South Sudan

As South Sudanese rebels and government leaders struggle to come to terms, the U.S. will provide $180 million in food aid for the young nation’s beleagured population, the White House announced Tuesday.

“The scale of the suffering and humanitarian need there is shocking, and the threat of famine is real — so much so that we are using this emergency funding authority for the first time since 2008,” national security adviser Susan Rice said in a statement.

A day after the two sides missed a self-imposed deadline for forming a transitional government, Rice blamed the famine on “the inability of South Sudan’s leaders to put their people’s interests above their own.”The bloody civil war, which broke out last year amid tensions between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, has left tens of thousands of people dead, according to international organizations. Some four million people are suffering from the food crisis and 1.5 million have been forced to flee their homes, according to Care International.”It is more critical than ever that both sides end the violence and ensure the safety of humanitarian aid workers so that they can reach those most in need across South Sudan,” Rice added.