World Politics Review quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the need for widespread humanitarian aid in South Sudan

In conflict-ridden South Sudan, meanwhile, the United Nations has over 10,000 peacekeepers on the ground, but these troops have largely been transmuted into humanitarian service providers, guarding roughly 130,000 civilians on their bases. This is often a genuinely heroic effort, but it addresses only a small part of the country’s war-driven humanitarian disaster. As J. Peter Pham told World Politics Review last week, about 20 percent of South Sudan’s population are either refugees or displaced inside the country, and 40 percent do not have access to sufficient food. UN peacekeepers may marginally ease this situation, but only a large-scale humanitarian effort can alleviate the hunger.

It’s easier to criticize such half-measures than to suggest alternatives. To save the humanitarian system, it is indeed necessary to fund aid agencies “amply.” But the current pressure on the humanitarian system is already creating a new demand for greater international political and military efforts to stop fragile states from imploding.

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