US to provide $138M in aid to South Sudan amid humanitarian crisis

US to provide $138M in aid to South Sudan amid humanitarian crisis
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The Obama administration on Monday announced a new aid package of nearly $138 million to South Sudan, as the planet’s youngest country struggles to confront a humanitarian crisis.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryPresident Trump faces Herculean task in first debate Trump, Biden have one debate goal: Don't lose Trump-Biden debate: High risk vs. low expectations MORE announced the new assistance following meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, focused on halting the instability.

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The government of South Sudan has been skeptical of a United Nations-approved plan to deploy 4,000 new troops to the country following a new wave of violence in July. Leaders in Juba, the capital, have warned that the move could undermine the nation's sovereignty, despite international concerns that the country is on the brink of a civil war.

“There is absolutely no question that we need to move forward with the deployment of the regional protection force authorized by the U.N. Security Council," Kerry said on Monday, according to Agence France-Presse.

"This is not an intervention force, it is a protection force, with a very clear mandate to protect people, to ensure access, freedom of movement and to be free from ambush or attack of any sort."

In the weeks since the recent flare-up of violence, concerns have mounted about the security of the roughly 2 million people who have been forced from their homes, including approximately 200,000 people living in U.N. camps.

The new support includes nearly 58,000 metric tons of food and nutrition, the State Department said, as well as health supplies. More than 140 cases of cholera have been reported across the country, raising fears about a new outbreak.

The U.S. is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to South Sudan, whose independence in 2011 was championed by officials in Washington, especially under the George W. Bush administration. Since the current civil conflict began in December of 2013, the U.S. has provided more than $1.7 billion in aid.