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house Bill H. Res. 187

Should More Humanitarian Aid Go to Famine-Stricken South Sudan?

Argument in favor

Congress should encourage federal agencies to provide emergency aid to South Sudan to deal with its famine and apply pressure on the warring parties to end the region’s conflict.

Arielle's Opinion
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04/25/2017
The U.S. needs to be involved with alleviating the famine in South Sudan. 72 billion pounds of good food go to waste every year in the U.S. Additionally, according to World Health Organization, about 45% of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition. We have the means of making a difference for the people of South Sudan. We cannot look the other way and say we never knew. We need to ACT. The time is now.
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Mary's Opinion
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04/25/2017
Why is this even up for debate?! They are starving!
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Sarah's Opinion
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04/24/2017
This bill proposes the following (from https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/187/text): the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development should increase emergency funding by $100,000,000 (or such funds as may be necessary) in March 2017 to respond to the famine in South Sudan by providing food and other essential resources and to collaborate with international relief organizations, such as the World Food Program and others in an effort to reach vulnerable populations; and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development should provide emergency food assistance under the Food for Peace Act, including wheat, rice, corn, and sorghum; and calls upon the Government of South Sudan to declare and observe a cessation of hostilities to allow food and essential supplies to reach affected civilians; urges specifically that the Government of South Sudan allow immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to southern Unity, where the famine is currently underway; condemns all threats and violence against civilian populations and aid workers; and supports efforts of the United States Government, working with partners in the international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, and the European Union to facilitate humanitarian access to affected areas, and encourages greater diplomatic pressure on the parties to return to the negotiation table to stop the violence, and to allow full humanitarian access.
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Argument opposed

This is an empty gesture because the resolution wouldn’t have the force of law. If Congress is serious, it should pass a bill requiring USAID to give emergency funds to South Sudan.

Shaun's Opinion
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04/25/2017
No. Send MRE's, not cash. That money is better spent here at home. If MRE's are good for our soldiers then they are good for anyone.
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John's Opinion
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04/25/2017
No amount of money actually gets to the stricken in a corrupt government like the Sudan..
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TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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04/25/2017
Anyone else see the irony in Congress wanting the US to call for a ceasefire in war-torn Sudan in order to address mass famine, all while supporting Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen which is bringing war and famine to that country, and the media says nothing about it? Am I the only one who thinks they're all a bunch of unprincipled hypocrites? How about instead of appropriating a new $100 million for this we just cancel all our wars in the middle east and then we can fund this relief effort from those savings?
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simple resolution Progress


  • The house Passed April 25th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 410 Yea / 2 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedMarch 9th, 2017

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What is House Bill H. Res. 187?

This resolution would express the sense of the House of Representatives that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should increase emergency funding by $100 million to respond to the famine in South Sudan and provide emergency food assistance. It also calls on the government of South Sudan to declare a ceasefire to allow food and supplies to reach civilians affected by the famine in addition to allowing immediate and unrestricted access to the famine-stricken region.

The House would condemn all threats of violence against civilians and aid workers in South Sudan. It would also express support for U.S. government efforts to work with partners in the international community to provide humanitarian access to famine-stricken areas and encourage greater diplomatic pressure on the parties to Sudan’s conflict in order to stop the violence and allow humanitarian access.

As a simple resolution, this legislation would only receive a vote in the House and wouldn’t have the force of law.

Impact

People in South Sudan; humanitarian groups; South Sudan’s government and parties to the conflict; USAID; and the federal government.

Cost of House Bill H. Res. 187

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced this resolution to call for an increase in emergency funding to address the famine in South Sudan and allow for increased humanitarian aid to the wartorn region:

“This manmade crisis can be averted with support from USAID and the international community. Internal conflicts have created these dire conditions and must cease to ensure that necessary resources can reach those dying from acute malnutrition. The resolution represents our continued commitment to support efforts by USAID, the international community—including the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union—to facilitate humanitarian access to affected areas. It is vital that we provide life-saving food and other nutritional assistance to the people of South Sudan.”

This legislation has the bipartisan support of 41 cosponsors in the House, including 37 Democrats and four Republicans.

Of Note: South Sudan has been experiencing a famine since February 2017 that was caused, in part, by years of instability brought on by the region's civil war. It's estimated to have affected nearly five million people, or about half of the country's population.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Official Title

Relating to efforts to respond to the famine in South Sudan.

    The U.S. needs to be involved with alleviating the famine in South Sudan. 72 billion pounds of good food go to waste every year in the U.S. Additionally, according to World Health Organization, about 45% of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition. We have the means of making a difference for the people of South Sudan. We cannot look the other way and say we never knew. We need to ACT. The time is now.
    Like (144)
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    No. Send MRE's, not cash. That money is better spent here at home. If MRE's are good for our soldiers then they are good for anyone.
    Like (81)
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    Instead of giving them money, give them food. US wastes tons of food.
    Like (105)
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    Why is this even up for debate?! They are starving!
    Like (98)
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    This bill proposes the following (from https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/187/text): the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development should increase emergency funding by $100,000,000 (or such funds as may be necessary) in March 2017 to respond to the famine in South Sudan by providing food and other essential resources and to collaborate with international relief organizations, such as the World Food Program and others in an effort to reach vulnerable populations; and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development should provide emergency food assistance under the Food for Peace Act, including wheat, rice, corn, and sorghum; and calls upon the Government of South Sudan to declare and observe a cessation of hostilities to allow food and essential supplies to reach affected civilians; urges specifically that the Government of South Sudan allow immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to southern Unity, where the famine is currently underway; condemns all threats and violence against civilian populations and aid workers; and supports efforts of the United States Government, working with partners in the international community, including the United Nations, the African Union, and the European Union to facilitate humanitarian access to affected areas, and encourages greater diplomatic pressure on the parties to return to the negotiation table to stop the violence, and to allow full humanitarian access.
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    Responding to urgent humanitarian crisis in Sudan? Yes, it's who we are and what we do.
    Like (66)
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    Even if you do not concern yourselves with humanitarian issues then consider what George W. Bush said about the necessity of foreign aid to our national security. If we abandon nations in need then the chaos will leave a country open to oppressive regimes that pose a threat to our nation and our world.
    Like (51)
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    No amount of money actually gets to the stricken in a corrupt government like the Sudan..
    Like (50)
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    This is a humanitarian crisis! We must help! We do not need to pay for golf trips every weekend! That alone would be a huge help!
    Like (38)
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    Maybe instead of trying to build a wall he should focus on helping the citizens of this country so that we may be able to help others.
    Like (32)
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    Anyone else see the irony in Congress wanting the US to call for a ceasefire in war-torn Sudan in order to address mass famine, all while supporting Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen which is bringing war and famine to that country, and the media says nothing about it? Am I the only one who thinks they're all a bunch of unprincipled hypocrites? How about instead of appropriating a new $100 million for this we just cancel all our wars in the middle east and then we can fund this relief effort from those savings?
    Like (27)
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    It is the duty of other African nations to step up and help the people of Sudan. We cannot be funding each and every crisis. We have our own people to think of and we must get our national debt under control before spending anything anywhere else.
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    As much as I support sending aid to needy people, there is no guarantee what we send will ever reach tbose who need it. Leave this to the UN. We pay them enough money anyway.
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    Help people in need.
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    As much as my heart goes out to the suffering people in these countries, I don't believe that this aid money does any good in the long term. Too often, the money and resources are taken by corrupt governments.
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    So, the Democrats want increased funding to help the people of South Sudan 🇸🇸. In September 2011, a spokesman for the government said the country's political leaders had accepted a proposal to build a new capital at Ramciel, a place in Lakes state near the borders with Central Equatoria and Jonglei. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sudan Sounds to me like their government ought to spend money to feed their starving people, and put building a new capital on hold! As much as I would like to help the South Sudanese, where are WE going to get the money?! Need I remind anyone that WE ARE ALMOST $20 TRILLION IN DEBT! AND WE STILL HAVE HUNGRY AND HOMELESS PEOPLE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES 🇺🇸! I'm against the federal government adding to our national debt to help ANY FOREIGN COUNTRIES! And BTW, what is the U.N. doing to help those people??? We've certainly shelled out more than enough $$$$ to the U.N., and some of THAT money could go towards alleviating South Sudan's famine!
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    Aid in whatever form is a much better weapon against terrorism than military actions.
    Like (12)
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    In addition to a matter of conscience, this is also a matter of national security. Hunger leads people to do desperate things. By providing food and other aid to this area we make it harder for anti- American extremists to recruit
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    Our money is better spent on humanitarian aid than our various military endeavors
    Like (8)
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    Yes, there are hungry people in America. Yes, Sudan is an independent nation - however, that nation has been at war for over a decade. The only concern here is whether or not the food being provided will help those hurting or whether it will end up in the hands of people who will only use it to profit while not helping the starving masses. We should always help so long as we can ensure that we are, in fact, helping.
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