(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. State Department announced an additional $83 million in humanitarian aid to South Sudan on Tuesday, saying the funds will be distributed to agencies including the World Food Program and UNICEF.
Fear of a full-blown civil war continues in the region as the South Sudanese government and military fight rebels over conflicting ethnic views and control of oil-rich regions. Increasing violence and thousands of deaths have forced residents to seek shelter.
Nearly $68 million of assistance will go toward non-governmental organizations and the International Organization for Migration to help refugees and displaced persons. U.S.-funded aid agencies will also provide food aid and distribute relief supplies to more than 708,000 people.
“Amid ongoing fighting and unpredictable security conditions, the United States and the organizations we fund are working to provide assistance to as many people in need as possible,” the announcement reads. “However, this aid can only be effective if all obstacles to the delivery of life-saving assistance are removed.”
The State Department called on involved parties to end the conflict and violence, and allow the United Nations and humanitarian organizations to reach those in need.
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Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN
Chieu Luu and Huizhong Wu, CNN