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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