- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A week after President Obama hosted the president of South Sudan at a White House feast, the administration criticized its leaders and said the U.S. is sending $180 million worth of food to the strife-ridden country.

White House national security adviser Susan E. Rice said South Sudan faces “the worst food security situation in the world.”

“The people of South Sudan are suffering because of the inability of South Sudan’s leaders to put their people’s interests above their own,” Ms. Rice said. “President Salva Kiir and [rebel leader] Riek Machar must immediately assume their responsibilities to the South Sudanese to prevent further needless suffering.”

The U.S. has provided more than $456 million in humanitarian aid to South Sudan since the start of the crisis, caused by floods and political instability.

“But the scale of the suffering and humanitarian need there is shocking, and the threat of famine is real—so much so that we are using this emergency funding authority for the first time since 2008,” Ms. Rice said. “It is more critical than ever that both sides end the violence and ensure the safety of humanitarian aid workers so that they can reach those most in need across South Sudan.”

This food aid will come from the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Mr. Obama hosted Mr. Kiir and other African leaders at a White House dinner last week during a summit.