RELATING TO EFFORTS TO RESPOND TO THE FAMINE IN SOUTH SUDAN
(House of Representatives - April 25, 2017)

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[Pages H2832-H2837]
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                              {time}  1745
      RELATING TO EFFORTS TO RESPOND TO THE FAMINE IN SOUTH SUDAN

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
agree to the resolution (H. Res. 187) relating to efforts to respond to 
the famine in South Sudan, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The text of the resolution is as follows:

                              H. Res. 187

       Whereas on February 20, 2017, famine was formally declared 
     in parts of South Sudan;
       Whereas South Sudan is the world's newest nation and for 
     the past three years has experienced an ongoing armed 
     conflict and the deliberate hindrance by the Government of 
     South Sudan of humanitarian access to opposition communities 
     in need;
       Whereas due to this deliberate action on the part of the 
     Government of South Sudan and the armed opposition to prolong 
     the conflict South Sudan is experiencing a ``man-made'' 
     famine currently affecting 100,000 people;
       Whereas according to the United States Agency for 
     International Development (USAID) food insecurity is already 
     prevalent in South Sudan and the ongoing conflict is 
     exacerbating the situation;
       Whereas the United Nations has reported that 4,900,000 
     people, over 40 percent of the population, are in urgent need 
     of food, agriculture, and nutritional assistance;
       Whereas there are 1,900,000 Internally Displaced Persons 
     (IDPs) residing in South Sudan and according to the United 
     Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) an average of 
     approximately 2,400 South Sudanese refugees arrive in Uganda 
     every day;
       Whereas 1,000,000 children in South Sudan are suffering 
     from malnutrition in part due to the deliberate actions of 
     the Government of South Sudan, at the same time according to 
     United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund 
     (UNICEF) there are more than 17,000 child soldiers forced 
     into combat;
       Whereas an anticipated 5,500,000 people are at risk for 
     starvation by mid-year and without urgent humanitarian 
     intervention civilians will continue to die from acute 
     malnutrition and millions more will remain at risk;
       Whereas failure to act prior to the upcoming rainy season 
     May to August, will further impede humanitarian efforts;
       Whereas the areas where famine has been declared have seen 
     some of the most intense fighting;
       Whereas USAID has been a leading provider of humanitarian 
     support to South Sudan, including more than 620,000 tons of 
     life-saving food assistance since the conflict broke out in 
     2013; and
       Whereas support provided by the Food and Agriculture 
     Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNICEF, and the 
     World Food Program have been critical in reducing the number 
     of civilians at risk of severe malnutrition: Now, therefore, 
     be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
       (1) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
       (A) the Administrator of the United States Agency for 
     International Development should continue to provide 
     immediate and robust assistance to respond to the famine in 
     South Sudan by providing food and other essential resources 
     and to collaborate with international relief organizations, 
     such as World Food Program and others in an effort to reach 
     vulnerable populations; and
       (B) the Administrator of the United States Agency for 
     International Development should be encouraged to continue to 
     provide desperately needed and locally appropriate food aid 
     through the Food for Peace and Emergency Food Security 
     Programs; and
       (2) the House of Representatives--
       (A) 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;
       (B) urges specifically that the Government of South Sudan 
     allow immediate and unrestricted humanitarian access to 
     southern Unity, where the famine is currently underway;
       (C) condemns all threats and violence against civilian 
     populations and aid workers, including the over 70 
     humanitarian aid workers killed since the conflict began and 
     the brutal attack by the South Sudanese military on 
     humanitarian aid workers, including Americans, at the Terrain 
     Camp in July 2016;
       (D) condemns the multiple instances in which security 
     forces have looted humanitarian assistance destined for 
     civilians in need; and
       (E) supports effort 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.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Bass) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their 
remarks and include any extraneous material in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, in July of 2011, all of us here celebrated the 
establishment of the world's newest nation. Finally, South Sudan had 
emerged after more than 20 years of brutal suppression by the 
government in Khartoum and a war that saw some of the worst human 
rights atrocities of our time. They emerged out of that.
  Tragically, though, the celebration was short-lived. By December of 
2013, a long-simmering rivalry between two leaders--South Sudan's 
ethnic Dinka President and ethnic Nuer Vice President--exploded in 
violence, and South Sudan became embroiled in yet another deadly civil 
conflict.
  Today, over 100,000 people are starving to death; 5.5 million 
people--half of the population--are at risk of starving by July; and 
3.6 million people have been displaced by conflict and famine with 
7,000 newly displaced South Sudanese crossing the Ugandan border each 
and every week.
  In February, famine was declared in two of the areas that have 
experienced the heaviest fighting.
  Let's be clear: the famine unfolding across South Sudan is completely 
manmade. The leaders who have unleashed this horror upon the citizens 
that they are meant to represent--Salva Kiir and Riek Machar--have 
plundered billions of dollars in oil revenues and donor investment, 
manipulated ethnic tensions, and armed proxy militias. They have, as we 
can share with you, recruited child soldiers, killed U.N. peacekeeping 
forces, and forcibly displaced millions of their citizens--civilians 
who have been run from their homes.
  Lifesaving humanitarian supplies have been looted by the government 
and by the opposition. The government has blocked humanitarian access 
through bureaucratic manipulation and through sheer brute force. 
Humanitarian workers have been deliberately targeted. They have been 
abused, raped, and murdered with impunity. Yes, humanitarian workers. 
South Sudan is now the most dangerous place in the world for 
humanitarians.
  It is also the most dangerous place for their own citizens because 
they are treated the same way by these two so-called leaders. And those 
South Sudan leaders have, in effect, become exactly

[[Page H2833]]

like the government in Khartoum that their people fought against for 
decades.
  This is appalling. This is unconscionable. It cannot stand. Congress, 
working with our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and 
many other concerned countries, must make sure those who bear 
responsibility for this calamity are held to account through sanctions 
and other tools.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Bass), the 
ranking member of the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and 
International Organizations Subcommittee, for introducing this timely 
and important resolution, which seeks to bring attention to the 
humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in South Sudan, because in South 
Sudan it gets worse by the day. It has not mattered what arguments we 
have brought to bear against the President and the Vice President. Many 
world leaders and many of us have had these arguments face-to-face.
  This resolution makes clear that the U.S. Agency for International 
Development should have the flexibility to tailor their response by 
using market-based food aid where appropriate, and U.S. commodities 
where needed. We need to ensure that food is not being used as a weapon 
in this civil war, and flexible food aid can help.
  I urge all Members to join me in supporting this resolution and, more 
importantly, in continuing to demonstrate the compassion of the 
American people through lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Deep, 
arbitrary cuts to U.S. humanitarian assistance programs at a time when 
we are facing famine in four countries beset by violence--including 
countries where we are fighting designated terrorist groups--would be 
reckless and irresponsible. Millions of lives are hanging in the 
balance. It is in the U.S. interest to respond in South Sudan, just as 
it is in these other countries.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my strong support for H. Res. 187, 
Relating to Efforts to Respond to the Famine in South Sudan, as 
amended, which passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and has 
received bipartisan support.
  As always, Mr. Speaker, I thank and appreciate the leadership of 
Chairman Royce, Chairman Smith, and Ranking Member Engel.
  The United Nations has declared what is going on now in four 
countries as potentially the worse humanitarian crisis since the U.N. 
was formed in 1945. Famine has been declared in one country, and three 
others are at risk of famine. Famine might be averted in Somalia if the 
rains come. In Nigeria and Yemen, famine might be averted if the world 
acts in time.
  But South Sudan, which is the world's newest nation, is currently 
experiencing famine. The United Nations defines famine as meaning over 
20 percent of the population has access to only 2,100 calories per day. 
Thirty percent of children are malnourished. And 2 to 4 people die per 
day because of lack of food. Tragically, South Sudan meets all three 
conditions.
  Over the years, the U.S. has played a leadership role in the region. 
The U.S. has helped South Sudan throughout their struggle for 
independence, and has tried to help the world's newest nation over the 
last several years before and during the conflict.

  The tragedy is the people of South Sudan are in the midst of a 
famine, not because of a drought or other natural disaster, but because 
of ongoing conflict. There is heavy responsibility on all sides of the 
fighting. There is no innocent party here.
  In South Sudan, the U.N. has reported roughly 5 million people who 
are in urgent need of food and nutritional assistance. There are almost 
2 million internally displaced persons in camps in South Sudan, and 
2,400 South Sudanese refugees arrive in Uganda every single day.
  If the world does not act, 5 million people will be at risk for 
starvation by mid-2017. Without urging humanitarian intervention, more 
civilians will continue to die from acute malnutrition, and millions 
more will remain at risk.
  If we fail to act prior to the upcoming rainy season, which is May to 
August, this will create additional problems that will further impede 
humanitarian efforts. Unfortunately, the areas where famine has been 
declared have also seen some of the most intense fighting.
  The amendment to H. Res. 187 calls for USAID to continue providing 
desperately needed and locally appropriate food aid through the Food 
for Peace and Emergency Food Security Programs, and calls on the 
Government of South Sudan to declare and observe a cessation of 
hostilities to allow food and essential supplies to reach affected 
civilians.
  The resolution urges the Government of South Sudan to allow immediate 
and unrestricted humanitarian access to the southern unity region, 
where the famine is currently underway.
  The amendment also condemns all threats and violence against civilian 
populations and aid workers, including over 70 humanitarian aid workers 
that have been killed since the conflict began.
  The resolution condemns the brutal attack by the South Sudanese 
military on humanitarian aid workers, including Americans at the 
Terrain Camp in July of last year.
  The resolution condemns the multiple instances in which security 
forces have looted humanitarian assistance destined for civilians in 
need, and supports the effort of the U.S. Government working with 
partners in the international community, including the U.N., 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.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith), the chairman of the Foreign 
Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and 
International Organizations.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished 
chairman for yielding and for his leadership. I especially thank my 
good friend and colleague, Ms. Bass, for this resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, last August, my staff director Greg Simpkins and I 
visited Juba, South Sudan, to press President Salva Kiir, his Vice 
President, the minister of defense, and five of his top generals to end 
the civil war, protect innocent lives, and reverse the conditions 
causing rampant disease and severe malnutrition that could soon lead to 
a famine.
  Mr. Speaker, just 2 months ago, famine was formally declared in South 
Sudan. I especially asked President Kiir to personally intervene and 
issue and enforce an executive order of zero tolerance on rape and 
sexual abuse by his soldiers and security personnel against mostly 
humanitarian aid workers and civilians. I told the President that it 
was unconscionable in the extreme that South Sudanese soldiers had 
raped, beaten, and murdered humanitarian aid workers in July at the 
Terrain compound. One of those workers that was sexually assaulted, as 
it turned out, was from my own district. I didn't know until 3 days 
before leaving on that trip that she was in the compound and came close 
to being raped and it was the intervention of other forces that 
precluded her from suffering that horrible trauma, but she was, indeed, 
severely traumatized.
  I asked him for a review to hold people to account and put them in 
prison--yes, there have been arrests, but there have been no 
prosecutions yet--and, again, to issue a zero tolerance policy.
  On March 28, I chaired a hearing on the famine and the growing crisis 
in South Sudan, which is also being chaired by some of the other 
neighboring countries in the region.
  Matt Nims, the acting director of the Office of Food for Peace 
testified that for 3 years the international community has employed 
massive efforts to stave off famine in South Sudan. Yet, as conflict 
intensified, the food security situation continued to deteriorate. And 
he said:

       This is a man-made crisis and the direct consequence of 
     prolonged conflict.

  Ken Isaacs, the vice president of Samaritan's Purse--and Samaritan's 
Purse has an extensive footprint in South Sudan doing unbelievably 
great humanitarian work--testified:


[[Page H2834]]


  

       The most significant driver of the current crisis in the 
     worst hit areas of South Sudan, however, is the political 
     insecurity and brutal conflict that continues to engulf 
     the region. In South Sudan alone, 1.85 million people have 
     been internally displaced because. Because of this, many 
     people are calling this a man-made famine, and it is hard 
     to argue with that assessment.

  Today, the United Nations reports that two-thirds of South Sudan's 
population requires humanitarian assistance, and almost 5 million 
people--more than 40 percent of the population--are in urgent need of 
food, agriculture, and nutritional assistance.
  Clearly, the Government of South Sudan and the rebels they face are 
more interested in winning and holding territory than in finding ways 
to feed and nurture their people and allow humanitarian access. Two 
months ago, there were 70 humanitarian-access incidents reported, 
causing suspension of operations in multiple locations. Aid workers are 
being targeted in South Sudan, where eight Samaritan's Purse workers 
were kidnapped and later released in February, and six African aid 
workers in South Sudan were killed in March.
  Stephen O'Brien, the head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of 
Humanitarian Affairs, accused South Sudan's Government of blocking 
foods and medicines and restricting U.N. peacekeepers from protecting 
civilians. He described active hostility, access denials, and 
bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian organizations serving that 
beleaguered nation. This is a manmade crisis. This resolution puts us 
on record and, again, encourages our administration and the world to do 
more to end it.
  Ms. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Crowley), my good friend and Democratic Caucus chairman.
  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me. 
I want to recognize the bipartisan support for this resolution. It 
heartens me. I know of the great work of the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Bass) for quite some time, as well as others on the 
other side of the aisle, on this issue.
  She, along with the Sudan Caucus, the Africa Subcommittee, and the 
CBC Africa Task Force have been working every day in a very tenacious 
way to draw attention to this issue and demand a strong international 
response.

                              {time}  1800

  Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that this is a crisis. I agree with my 
colleague and friend from New Jersey (Mr. Smith): it is a manmade 
crisis.
  The United Nations is reporting that the current situation in a 
number of countries in Africa and the Middle East constitutes the most 
serious humanitarian crisis since its founding over 70 years ago. In 
South Sudan alone, 100,000 people are in a state of famine as we speak, 
and up to 5 million more are in serious danger of being in famine. 
These are men, women, and children who are in danger of not having 
enough food and water.
  The simple fact is, without international aid and assistance, people 
will die--many people will die. But it doesn't have to be this way. The 
world is smart enough and resourceful enough to ensure that the worst 
of this tragedy can be prevented before the situation gets further out 
of hand, but it is going to take a full-court press by this 
administration, by the State Department, and by the international 
community.
  I grew up in Queens, New York, in an Irish-American family. At an 
early age, I learned of the Great Hunger in Ireland that killed more 
than 1 million people and forced more than 2 million more to flee. 
Those Irish didn't have to die just because a potato crop went bad.
  In Ireland at the time, food was actually being exported out of 
Ireland while people starved. So it was starvation not only because of 
food loss, but also because of politics and repression--very much the 
same situation that exists in parts of Africa and in Yemen--and only 
politics could ultimately change the underlying conditions in Ireland.
  Now, we need both aid and political pressure to help stop this famine 
and all of the ongoing famines now. So I urge my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle to support this legislation. I urge that the State 
Department: Seize the bull by the horns and take action. Don't let 
history look back on America and say: Why did you not do enough while 
millions starved? Let history reflect the goodness of the heart of the 
American people, which I know exists.
  To this day, the people of Ireland remember the sultans from the 
then-Ottoman Empire that helped. They remember the Choctaw Nation, who 
gave $700 during the 1840s to help the starving Irish.
  Let America be that shining country in the future when Africa looks 
back and says: Who was there to help? Let it be America. That is the 
American way. Working with our allies, America will succeed in 
preventing this famine if we move expeditiously.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Payne).
  Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, 100,000 people in South Sudan are at risk of 
starvation. Turmoil in the country could push another 5.5 million 
people into life-threatening hunger by summer. This hunger crisis in 
Sudan is manmade, the result of a civil war that has decimated the 
agriculture and destroyed the economy, and it will take humanitarian 
action to fix it.
  I am proud to be a cosponsor of H. Res. 187, introduced by 
Congresswoman Karen Bass. This resolution aids the people of South 
Sudan by increasing emergency assistance to address the famine, and it 
calls on the Government of South Sudan to allow unrestricted 
humanitarian access to displaced and starving populations.
  I urge my colleagues to pass this resolution. It is essential that 
the South Sudanese Government and opposition forces cease their 
inhumane blocking of humanitarian workers and permit the delivery of 
assistance to the South Sudanese. Millions of lives are at stake.
  As my late father, Donald Payne, the Member in this seat prior to me, 
fought for this Nation to exist over a decade of work here in the 
Congress, to now see what is going on, he was able to get the situation 
in Darfur labeled a genocide. I hope the next generation of Paynes does 
not have to do the same thing in South Sudan.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee), my good friend and colleague and the chair of 
the Nigeria Caucus.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished lady for her 
commitment and this very important resolution, and the opportunities to 
meet with her and advocate as she convenes the South Sudan and Sudan 
Caucus and works as the ranking member on the Foreign Affairs 
Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, with our chairman, Mr. Smith; and, 
of course, I thank Mr. Royce and Mr. Engel, leading the full committee; 
and those who came to the floor, Mr. Crowley, and certainly Mr. Payne, 
who has a legacy that he is holding in such high esteem by his own 
leadership.
  I was in South Sudan with the late Congressman Donald Payne as the 
right to return was implemented, and the individuals who were fleeing 
Sudan came with joy and tears. As they exited the buses that were 
bringing them in, they clearly were joyful. This was a homecoming.
  We look forward to a great recognition of the assets and minerals and 
various wealth that Sudan, South Sudan could have to help all of its 
people and even to try and help those still in Darfur even though in 
Sudan.
  We met with the then-President and Vice President, who have now 
turned it into an enormous conflict and rising up against each other 
and killing and causing people to flee.
  And so I want to congratulate Congresswoman Bass for this resolution, 
for us to be on record relating to efforts to respond to the famine in 
South Sudan. And I take this moment just to read this story about a 
woman who is an example of what the fear and fright is:
  ``By day, Mary Nyarac scours swamps for fish and edible water lilies. 
When darkness falls and South Sudan's militias retreat to their bases, 
she and hundreds of others fleeing a 3-year civil war slip onto dry 
land and tend crops to stave off famine.

[[Page H2835]]

  ``Prowling hyenas pose a threat during Nyarac's nighttime harvests, 
but they worry her less than the armed men who can appear in daytime, 
the 20-year-old said as she sat beneath neem trees in the northern 
county of Leer, one of two areas in South Sudan where the United 
Nations in February made the world's first declaration of famine since 
2011. She and other residents are facing a catastrophe that's being 
echoed by looming mass food shortages in Somalia, Yemen, and northern 
Nigeria.''

  This is devastating--an article in Bloomberg News--100,000 in those 
counties, 5 million all throughout Sudan and South Sudan, but it is in 
all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  So I believe that this resolution brings all of us together--
Republicans and Democrats--and makes the statement of the United States 
House of Representatives, then on to the Senate, and then for the 
President to make the statement, as Congresswoman Bass so aptly states 
in this resolution, to let humanitarian aid come in. Let there be food 
that will reach those starving, and particularly the children, that are 
apt to die in this region.
  It is well-known, as well, that women are not treated in the way that 
they should be, and I look forward to working with Congresswoman Bass 
on H.R. 48 that deals specifically with the rights of women and 
providing them with human rights and women's participation in 
leadership. That is certainly missing.
  But now people are starving, and so I would ask my colleagues to join 
me in supporting H. Res. 187, relating to efforts to respond to the 
famine in South Sudan and be reminded of Mary, who scours swamps for 
fish and edible water lilies, if at all possible, and fears the 
onslaught of violence during the day. They cannot live this way. They 
can only die this way.
  Mr. Speaker, support H. Res. 187 so that we can save lives.
  Mr. Speaker, as a member of the South Sudan Caucus, and the sponsor 
of H.R. 48, the ``Equal Rights and Access for the Women of South Sudan 
Act,'' I rise in strong support of H. Res. 187, a resolution directing 
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to 
increase emergency assistance to respond to the famine in South Sudan.
  On February 20, 2017 famine was declared formally in two counties of 
Unity State, which is located in the northern region of South Sudan.
  The United Nations currently estimates that more than 100,000 people 
in two Unity State counties are directly affected by the famine.
  In addition, food security experts are concerned that famine will 
spread.
  According to expert analyses, in the absence of urgent humanitarian 
action, as many as 4.9 million South Sudanese, about 40 percent of the 
country's population, face the grim and certain prospect of starvation.
  In 1998 the region suffered from a famine spurred by civil war and 
approximately 70,000 to several hundred thousand people died during 
that famine.
  Although South Sudan has previously experienced wide-spread food 
insecurity, the present famine crisis is different because it is almost 
entirely man-made.
  South Sudan is the world's newest nation, located in the center of 
Africa and bordered by six countries.
  It is rich in oil, but following decades of civil war it is also one 
of the least developed regions on earth--only 15% of its citizens own a 
mobile phone and there are very few tarmac roads in an area larger in 
land mass than Spain and Portugal combined.
  This makes the Nile River, which flows through regional centers, an 
important transport and trade route.
  Since South Sudan overwhelmingly voted to break away from Sudan in 
2011, the government's main concern has been to get oil flowing 
following disagreements with the regime in Khartoum.
  There have been a few small armed rebellions, border clashes and 
deadly cattle feuds but these have all taken place far from the capital 
city of Juba.
  Signs of friction within the governing party, Sudan People's 
Liberation Movement (SPLM), came when President Salva Kiir, an ethnic 
Dinka, the country's largest group, fired his deputy Riek Machar, who 
is from the second largest tribe, the Nuer.
  President Kiir believes Mr. Machar was behind a coup plot to oust him 
and seize power.
  Mr. Machar denies the accusations, but has publicly criticized Mr. 
Kiir for failing to tackle corruption and vowed to challenge President 
Kiir for leadership of the SPLM.
  It is not clear what led to the breach in their relationship but what 
started out as a political squabble has escalated into ethnic violence.
  The loyalties of the South Sudan army are divided with each of the 
principals commanding significant military support and forces loyal to 
each man have clashed around the country.
  And some of the most intense fighting has taken place in areas where 
famine is most severe.
  Compounding matters, Mr. Speaker, South Sudan is awash with guns 
after decades of conflict and there is a history of ethnic tension for 
politicians to exploit if they believe that could help them gain, or 
remain in, power.
  It is against this backdrop that USAID is coordinating proactively 
and closely with the United Nations, the African Union, the European 
Union, and others to address South Sudan's food insecurity.
  Complicating this situation is the fact that while the Government of 
South Sudan has reportedly promised access to the most at-risk areas, 
humanitarian organizations remain unable to provide vital food, water 
and shelter in many locations.
  Mr. Speaker, the actions of South Sudan Government in prohibiting 
humanitarian assistance from getting to starving communities has 
undermined the most proactive attempts by the United States and others 
to address what has now become a famine.
  H. Res. 187 calls on South Sudan's leaders to put their petty 
disputes aside and to put the well-being of their people first.
  The resolution condemns all threats and violence against civilian 
populations and aid workers, including the over 70 humanitarian aid 
workers killed since the conflict began and the brutal attack by the 
South Sudanese military on humanitarian aid workers, including 
Americans, at the Terrain Camp in July 2016.
  In addition, H. Res. 187 expresses support for the 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 to displaced and starving populations, and to cease 
violations of humanitarian principles.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, let me conclude by observing that while 
bringing an end to the civil war and humanitarian relief the famine-
stricken in South Sudan must be our first order of business, it is also 
very important to note that all of us who worked to secure its 
independence want the country to succeed and become a productive and 
constructive member of the community of nations.
  That is why I have reintroduced the ``Equal Rights and Access for the 
Women of South Sudan Act'' (H.R. 48), which promotes the human rights 
of women in South Sudan as the country transitions to a long-term 
government and to ensure women enjoy the right to participate fully in 
the political and economic life of the country.
  Despite its newly won independence women in South Sudan continue to 
face brutal violations of their human rights.
  A lack of infrastructure as well as gender inequality has the 
potential to regress much of the progress that has been made in South 
Sudan.
  Such a lack of human development factors only furthers the 
marginalization of women in South Sudan:
  1. Inadequate health care has resulted in high maternal and infant 
mortality rates in South Sudan; the maternal mortality rate is one of 
the highest in the world with 1,054 deaths per 100,000 live births.
  2. Additionally, literacy rates for women are staggeringly low; over 
80% of women and girls in South Sudan are illiterate.
  3. The violence stemming from the conflict has led some traders to 
suspend their market presence resulting in food commodity price 
increases as much as 30 percent in high-conflict regions.
  The ``Equal Rights and Access for the Women of South Sudan Act'' puts 
equal rights and access for the women of South Sudan at the forefront 
by:
  1. Encouraging the appointment of women to high level positions 
within Republic of South Sudan Government;
  2. Ensuring that a significant portion of United States development, 
humanitarian, and relief assistance is channeled to local and United 
States-based South Sudanese organizations, particularly South Sudanese 
women's organizations;
  3. Providing long-term financial assistance for primary, secondary, 
higher, nontraditional, and vocational education for South Sudanese 
girls, women, boys, and men;
  4. Providing financial assistance to build health infrastructure and 
deliver high-quality comprehensive health care programs, including 
primary, maternal, child, reproductive, and mental health care;
  5. Requiring military training regarding the protection, rights, and 
particular needs of

[[Page H2836]]

women and emphasizing that violations of women's rights are intolerable 
and should be prosecuted; and
  6. Taking all necessary steps to ensure that internally displaced 
South Sudanese women are directly receiving food aid, shelter, relief 
supplies, and other services from United States-sponsored programs.
  Mr. Speaker, as a nation, we should support the Republic of South 
Sudan in its efforts to become a freer, more equitable society that 
respects, supports, and endorses the rights of women.
  I look forward to working with Congresswoman Bass, the Ranking Member 
of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, members of the South 
Sudan Caucus, and all Members of the House to pass the ``Equal Rights 
and Access for the Women of South Sudan Act'' and send it to the 
President's desk for signature.
  But before we can do that, we must end the man-made famine and 
alleviate the humanitarian suffering now ongoing in South Sudan.
  That is why I strongly support H. Res. 187 and urge all Members to 
join me in voting for this important resolution.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Suozzi), my fellow colleague on the Foreign Affairs 
Committee.
  Mr. SUOZZI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 187, sponsored 
by my colleagues, Ranking Member Bass and Chairman Smith, and I applaud 
their and Chairman Royce's and Ranking Member Engel's continued 
bipartisan attention to this oft-neglected part of the world.
  South Sudan faces a famine of Biblical proportions which compels us 
to act. As the world's newest country, South Sudan's entry on the world 
stage has been fraught with disaster. A drought caused by climate 
change, which has become all too familiar in this part of the world, 
has, since December 2013, been coupled with politically and ethnically 
fueled violence which has destroyed the infrastructure as well as the 
economy. This has escalated drought into famine.
  Across the African Continent and the globe, climate change and 
extreme weather result in drought and the loss of farmland. Families 
are forced to leave their homes in the countryside to seek work in the 
cities. The work is not there. Incompetent and/or corrupt governments 
fail to address the needs, and civil unrest devolves into violence. 
Countries are destabilized.
  Here in South Sudan, the newness of the nation, the government's 
efforts to stamp out civil unrest--especially from nonruling tribes--
and military forces let loose upon their fellow countrymen has resulted 
in death, destruction, and destabilization.
  With nearly 3.5 million people displaced and at least 50,000 dead, 
the international community, including the United States, has responded 
with humanitarian aid to try and address the potential for 5.5 million 
humans at risk for starvation by midyear.
  However, last month the U.N. reported 79 incidents of aid being 
either stolen or otherwise blocked. Eighty-two aid workers have been 
killed since the start of the conflict, and around half of those deaths 
have occurred in the last 2 years alone. Additionally, the upcoming 
rainy season will further impede delivery of humanitarian aid.
  For too many reasons, the hunger exists.
  USAID is a leading provider of humanitarian aid, including more than 
620,000 tons of food assistance since 2013.

                              {time}  1815

  This resolution calls on the government of South Sudan to cease 
hostilities and allow aid to flow unrestricted.
  In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches: ``I was hungry, and you fed 
me. Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? Truly I tell you, 
whatever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me.''
  In an effort to both stabilize the region and to feed those dying of 
hunger, I strongly urge my colleagues to support H. Res. 187.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Ms. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I have no more speakers. I propose to close.
  Mr. Speaker, this crisis can be stopped in its tracks. There is no 
need for millions to die. The world needs to step up as it did in the 
Ebola crisis.
  The U.S. needs to continue to lead. Our contribution is vital and is 
based on the size of our economy and the fact that other countries who 
are not as fortunate contribute in different ways. But the entire world 
should and does participate.
  In 2011, 200,000 people had to die in Somalia before the world took 
notice and acted. This should never happen again.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask for an ``aye'' vote, and I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, many of us knew President John Garang who tragically 
died after many years of trying to secure freedom for the people of 
South Sudan, tragically died in a helicopter crash.
  He was the father of his country. He was also one who always 
championed peaceful coexistence among the tribes in South Sudan. He was 
very different than obviously the current competing warlords for that 
position.
  I had worked with Don Payne's father. Don Payne, Jr., spoke of this 
issue of the genocide resolution. We passed that resolution through 
this House together. As a matter of fact, we brought it before the 
Human Rights Council. Don Payne and I traveled up to New York to raise 
this issue.
  What is shocking to us about the current circumstances in South Sudan 
is the effort being undertaken by the world community in order to try 
to step in and provide some measure of peace. Of course, we have talked 
today about what has happened to the people of South Sudan, what has 
happened to our own aid workers there.
  But if we reflect for a minute that Rwandans have lost their lives 
there, when we were dealing with this genocide issue in Sudan, we took 
Don Cheadle, the actor who portrayed Paul Rusesabagina, who was also 
with us on that trip.
  We went into Sudan in order to document the genocide that was going 
on, to speak to some of the survivors. We brought in a Nightline camera 
crew.
  Yes, we have, in this case, brought the world community along to a 
certain extent. But here is part of the tragedy: those Rwandan 
peacekeepers were slaughtered in South Sudan. So were Chinese 
peacekeepers. So were Indian and Kenyan and Fiji and Danish 
peacekeepers. So were Egyptian and Ethiopian and Bangladeshi 
peacekeepers. So were Benin and Burkina Faso, and Chad and Mongolia. So 
were peacekeepers from Nepal and Nigeria and Norway, and the 
Philippines and Pakistan.
  And this is the kind of attitude that we see from these warlords 
against their own people and against others who try to come in to keep 
the peace.
  And this is why, frankly, in addition to this resolution, it is 
time--and I know the support is there in the Security Council, I know 
now there is the support--to cut off the arms and the ammunition going 
in to South Sudan that helps fuel these warlords.
  We have heard the passion and dedication of Congresswoman Bass of 
California. Of course, she has worked with Mr. Smith of New Jersey, the 
chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, to shine a light on this 
crisis. As always, I appreciate the assistance of Mr. Engel, the 
ranking member.
  I share the anguish of my colleagues in seeing the aspirations of 
South Sudan citizens dashed by kleptocrats and warlords, certainly not 
in the tradition of John Garang, warlords bent on maintaining power at 
any cost. The blood of countless civilians is on their hands, and the 
people of South Sudan deserve better.
  Mr. Speaker, in closing, I would like to recognize the bravery and 
selflessness of the humanitarians who are working to save lives and 
bring an end to the suffering that has been imposed upon the people of 
South Sudan.
  I have personally met with humanitarian workers who have been held at 
gunpoint, who have been threatened, who have been abused in the worst 
ways. I have met with people who have carried food and medicine on 
their backs through swamps because there were no roads.
  Without their commitment, without their sacrifice, countless lives 
would have now been lost. And while they don't do this work for the 
accolades,

[[Page H2837]]

they deserve our recognition and thanks here tonight.
  I urge Members to join me in honoring them today by supporting this 
timely resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Res. 187 and 
to express my growing alarm that we have millions around the globe on 
the verge of starvation despite the fact that we live in a world that 
produces more than enough food to feed all its inhabitants.
  H. Res. 187 rightfully calls for the U.S. Agency for International 
Development (USAID) to continue to provide emergency relief (food and 
other essential resources) to those affected in South Sudan. It also 
calls on USAID to collaborate with international relief organizations 
and others to ensure that aid gets where it is most needed. The 
resolution also condemns violence and threats against aid workers 
assisting those in need and calls on the leaders of South Sudan to 
cease the fighting so that these resources may reach those who need 
them.
  This resolution focuses on the situation in South Sudan where 7.5 
million are at imminent risk. But unfortunately, at least 20 million 
people around the world are facing severe food shortages as a result of 
below-average rainfall and conflict. That is equivalent to the 
populations of the States of Connecticut, Iowa, Utah, Mississippi, 
Arkansas, Nevada, Kansas, and New Mexico combined. And conflicts in 
South Sudan, Yemen Nigeria, and Somalia are making bad situations even 
worse.
  People are starving and we cannot stand by and watch. I implore my 
colleagues to support U.S. leadership and funding to address this dire 
situation. That's what this resolution is about. The United States has 
the ability to save the lives of tens of millions of people and this 
resolution is crystal clear that we should do so.
  The U.S. cannot end these crises by itself. However, my conscious--
and I hope that all of my colleagues would not be clear knowing that I 
could have done more as a Member of Congress to respond to the 
suffering and deaths of millions of innocent adults and children across 
the world facing starvation. This resolution and the recognition of the 
problem is a good start. I urge my colleagues to also support the 
inclusion of additional funding in the FY 2017 funding bill that we may 
consider this week to prevent widespread famine and cut off suffering 
from hunger as an obvious next step. It is also vital that we provide 
adequate resources in FY 2018 as well to save the lives of men, women 
and children.
  I want to thank my colleague, Congresswoman Karen Bass, for her 
leadership and focus on this issue as well as Congressman Donald Payne, 
Jr. and Rep. Chris Smith. I also want to thank the Chairman and Ranking 
Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Royce and Mr. Engel for 
their leadership and efforts as well.
  Now is the time for the U.S. to illustrate its global leadership and 
act to save lives.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules 
and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 187, as amended.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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