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The United States announced Tuesday it will provide $180 million in emergency food aid to South Sudan, warning of a "shocking" crisis in the world’s youngest nation following months of civil war. The move marked the first time the U.S. has used this type of emergency funding since 2008. National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned that "the threat of famine is real," saying in a statement announcing the aid that "the scale of the suffering and humanitarian need there is shocking."
South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011. Last week the United Nations said it was moving toward a "humanitarian catastrophe," with four million people, including 50,000 children, threatened by starvation. The civil war started after President Salva Kiir accused his deputy, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup in December. "The people of South Sudan are suffering because of the inability of South Sudan's leaders to put their people's interests above their own," Rice said in Tuesday's statement. Prior to her announcement, the U.S. already had provided South Sudan with $456 million in aid.
- On the Edge: Aid Groups Warn of Likely Famine in South Sudan
- 9,000 Child Soldiers Fighting in South Sudan's Brutal Civil War: U.N.