INVEST, On development, US tasks gov’t

By Jale Richard

The United States has asked the government of South Sudan to invest more in development in order to pull out many people from overreliance on humanitarian assistance.

According to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification [IPC] update released jointly by the government and three UN agencies last month, 54 percent of people in South Sudan are still severely food insecure.

The report said in spite of a slight improvement in the food security situation since June 2019, more than half the population of South Sudan – some 6.35 million people – do not know where their next meal will come from, three United Nations agencies warned today.

Many of these people are displaced from their homes in to Internally Displaced Persons’ [IDPs] camps across the country. The remaining populations live in urban areas where living conditions are hard due to economic challenges.

Speaking to journalists yesterday in Juba, the Ambassador of the United States of America, Thomas Hushek said the government of South Sudan should improve more in development areas.

He said recovery efforts can be done by donors in the country, but investment in sectors such as education and health has to be done by the government.

“There are certain responsibilities that do fall to the government, the government needs to invest in development that is also in the peace plan,” Ambassador Hushek said.

“They need to reinvest some of the petroleum money in to development here. This country has some of the lowest investment, public expenditures in health and education anywhere in the world way below African standard, way below international standard.”

Mr. Hushek said the government should figure out how people can reclaim their homes back so that they can settle in their homes.

“We are committed to live-saving assistance but we don’t want to do that forever. South Sudan ought to be raising enough food to feed itself and feed some of its neighbors. It is a rich country,” he added.

The ambassador said the US will continue asking the government of South Sudan to make it safe for South Sudanese refugees to return home.

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