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Support the People of South Sudan – from the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, 21 April 2014

April 21, 2014 by  
Filed under PCUSA

Support the People of South Sudan!


The people of South Sudan are in desperate need of help.   On April 12, the United States along with the European Union and the United Nations outlined the problems and called for immediate action in a statement below:
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“Despite a Cessation of Hostilities agreement, fighting has continued, causing tremendous suffering and large-scale displacement inside and outside the country. This is a man-made disaster. All parties need to urgently work together to create the conditions for peace and stability to return to South Sudan.
There are five million people in need, 800,000 people who are internally displaced, and 280,000 who have fled to neighboring countries. We thank those countries for hosting refugees from South Sudan.
 Humanitarian agencies have reached more than one million people with life-saving aid. But this is just a fifth of the people in need. There must be immediate and unconditional access for the UN and humanitarian organizations to reach people in need across all areas of South Sudan.
The next three months are critical. Protecting people from violence is essential. Prevention of communicable diseases is key, especially among displaced people as the rainy season approaches.  There are already extremely high rates of malnutrition amongst displaced people and the communities helping to host them. People need to be able to plant crops before the rains and have access to other sources of humanitarian assistance in order to avert a catastrophic decline in food security which could affect up to seven million people.
The United States and the International Community must protect civilian communities and deliver food, seeds, tools, shelter, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation.
Supplies must be delivered to the parts of the country where people need them most. We must do this despite the fighting, the insecurity, the rainy season, and the bureaucratic obstacles.
There must be an adequate level of response to the most acute needs of refugees in the neighboring countries, and the very specific need in terms of protection for thousands of children, women, and unaccompanied minors who are the majority of the displaced. It is also very important to remember the host communities that can be put under tremendous pressure in already very fragile contexts.
The international community must stand by the people of South Sudan in its hour of greatest need. Unless action is taken now up to a million people could face famine in a matter of months.”
Please contact your members of congress and urge them to support increased diplomatic initiatives and funding for humanitarian aid for South Sudan.  And, urge the Secretary of State and President to use all possible means to continue to press for humanitarian access.
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