Media CenterCRS Calls on Congress to Act to Curb Violence and Suffering in South Sudan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Relief Services
BALTIMORE, MD, April 29, 2016 -- Catholic Relief Services (CRS) submitted testimony to a House subcommittee on April 27, highlighting the ramifications of – but also solutions to – the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.
“When the peace agreement was signed in August of last year, we all had hopes for a better future. And while slow progress is under way, suffering remains,” states the testimony to the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs committee.
The violence, a result of tensions between leaders in South Sudan’s first government, has forced almost 2 million from their homes with 270,000 fleeing to neighboring countries. A persistent El Niño-driven climate pattern has caused drought so severe, “nearly half of the country's population are unsure where their next meal will come from,” according to the testimony.
CRS has worked in South Sudan for more than 30 years, and currently implements emergency relief and long-term development programs, which are key to ensuring the country gets back on track as soon as peace returns. “Resiliency, improved livelihoods, and development outcomes where possible, when set alongside robust peacebuilding efforts, can prevent humanitarian disasters from getting even worse,” CRS testifies.
To curb further violence and reduce suffering, CRS recommended that the United States:
- Stay active in alleviating suffering and bringing an end to the conflict.
- Continue to call for immediate full implementation of the August 2015 Peace Agreement.
- Continue to fund conflict mitigation, peacebuilding, and longer-term development activities.
“CRS acknowledges and appreciates the critical financial support of $1.6 billion provided to South Sudan by the US government since the start of the current conflict. With South Sudanese facing violence, food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to health services and displacement from their homes, it is important we support them in any way we can,” the testimony reads.
“While South Sudan has experienced setbacks, it is important to refrain from stepping back from our commitment to its people.”
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.