Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard traveled to Ethiopia and South Sudan from July 8-15th, 2014, the US Department of State office of the spokesperson said in a statement.
While in Ethiopia, Ms. Richard traveled to the Gambella Region in Western Ethiopia to visit South Sudanese refugees living in camps and to observe refugee programs and assistance provided on the ground. U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach will accompany her, as well as officials from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Ethiopian government. In Addis Ababa, Assistant Secretary Richard met with Ethiopian government officials and members of international and non-governmental organizations. Ethiopia is generously hosting over 570,000 refugees, including nearly 220,000 refugees from South Sudan, as well as refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan.
In South Sudan, Assistant Secretary Richard visited United Nations sites in Juba to evaluate humanitarian conditions and meet with internally displaced South Sudanese. She will also meet with government officials and representatives of both international and non-government organizations. Assistant Secretary Richard planed to travel to Maban County with U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Susan D. Page and representatives from UNHCR to assess the needs of refugees from Sudan who are caught between the war in their homeland and the conflict in South Sudan.
In fiscal year 2014, the U.S. government is providing more than $433 million in humanitarian assistance to the South Sudan crisis. This support provides food, water, medical care, agricultural support, and protection for people in need inside South Sudan and for those who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. This aid can only be effective if the Government of South Sudan, opposition forces, and all other conflict parties stop fighting and remove obstacles to the delivery of life-saving assistance.
Cover Photo: Anne C. Richard
Photo: US Department of State