Kevin Watkins: Cutting long-term aid for South Sudan is ‘bad advice’

How should the international community respond to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan? An expert from a development think tank is among the latest to weigh in, arguing that Africa’s newest country “needs more than humanitarian aid.”

Kevin Watkins of the U.S.-based Brookings Institutions is reacting to proposals that the United Kingdom should cut long-term aid for South Sudan if the African country fails to get its stalled oil production flowing. The United Kingdom should focus instead on providing emergency aid, a recent U.K. parliament report has recommended in what Watkins calls “bad advice.”

“Cutting long-term assistance will hurt vulnerable people and undermine the benefits of past aid investments,” Watkins argues. “The damage will not be easily reversible.”

Long-term aid is necessary to protect basic services and boost South Sudan’s institutional capacity, Watkins says. Both are necessary to foster the country’s development, he adds.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.