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U.S. embassy defends decision to evacuate citizens

By Opio Jackson

The United States embassy in Juba has defended last Saturday’s decision to evacuate its citizens from Juba.

Jonathan Janan Cedra U.S. Embassy Spokesperson said while there is currently no confirmed case of covid-19 in South Sudan, “the United States Department of State has issued worldwide health advisory on Covid-19.”

He said the Saturday flight was a response to the worldwide health advisory issued by the U.S department of State.

According to the U.S department of State, the U.S citizens are urged to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of Covid-19.

“The flight on Saturday enabled U.S citizens to follow that advice. The U.S Embassy in Juba has reduced its staffing and it is accessing the feasibility of certain problem at this time and retain efficient staff to perform a core steps of bilateral engagement,” Janan said.

“The flight on Saturday commercially operated by the Ethiopian airlines and majority of passengers were not American citizens,” he explained.

The diplomat said the U.S. Government was leading the world humanitarian and health assistance response to the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the comprehensive generous U.S response.

He revealed that the State department and USAID are providing an initial investment nearly 274 billion dollars in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to help countries in need.

Janan stressed that on top of the funding, they have already provided to multilateral Organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF. “This includes humanitarian funding for South Sudan of eight million dollars. This assistance will primarily provide health related supports and supply to boost water and sanitation activities,” he said.

According to the World Health Organization, no case of Covid-19 has been confirmed in South Sudan yet.

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