US pledges another $50 million to South Sudan

The United States is pledging up to $50 million in emergency assistance to address the humanitarian crisis developing in South Sudan, the White House said Monday.

The commitment is intended to support a United Nations effort to help some 300,000 refugees that have fled into neighboring countries amid a bloody civil war between the government of South Sudan and rebel forces. According to the White House, the aide will also “ provide critical household items, shelter support, and protection services to internally displaced persons” that remain within South Sudan.

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The announcement comes ahead of an international pledging conference scheduled for Tuesday in Oslo, Norway, where other nations are expected to unveil their commitments. U.S. humanitarian assistance now totals $433.6 million since the start of the conflict just over 16 months ago, the White House said.

Earlier this month, the U.S. imposed economic and travel sanctions against leaders on both sides of the ethnic conflict, which has displaced more than 1 million people and left thousands dead. 

Negotiating teams in the world’s youngest nation announced earlier Monday that they were putting flagging peace talks on a two-week hiatus, according to the BBC. Observers fear that continued fighting could lead to mass famine and a public health crisis.

"Even as we continue our intensive effort to end the violence, we are working to meet the humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese people," said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden in a statement.