April 29, 2014

CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Chair, I just returned from the African Union summit, where I met with the current foreign minister of South Sudan and talked to him directly. I have attended many of these conferences. I told the foreign minister how strongly Canada wants a return to the peace talks.

Let me be very clear. When I was at the African Union summit, the Africans told me many times that there must be an African-led solution to these problems. Right now that African-led solution is under IGAD and is led by Kenya and Ethiopia.

Canada is giving its full support. The IGAD people will be required to provide the country with the support it needs. At the current time, the African Union is demanding that it must be an African-led solution, and Canada supports that.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his speech and his personal experience. I would also like to recognize the Minister of International Development, who agreed to this take note debate.

The UN Security Council has stated that the recent attacks against civilians and UN peacekeepers in Bentiu may constitute war crimes. Does the minister think there is evidence that UNMISS is capable of fulfilling its mandate to protect civilians from ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or even genocide? What more could the international community do to enhance the capability of UNMISS? Does the minister think the Security Council should invoke the responsibility to protect? Will Canada join in enacting sanctions against key individuals fuelling the violence?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Chair, as I said in my speech, I was in Rwanda for the commemoration of the genocide. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, made a speech where he admitted that the UN had failed during the Rwanda genocide. He took responsibility for that factor and said that the UN would not do that again.

To answer the member's question, the United Nation's Secretary-General recognized that the failure in Rwanda would not be repeated in South Sudan. To that aspect, Canada is the ninth largest contributor to the peacekeeping force of the United Nations. As the Security Council has said, which we fully support, if this constitutes a crime against humanity, Canada will stand behind the Security Council to bring those who are responsible for killing innocent people back to face justice. Canada has already deported one of the individuals who was responsible for the genocide. Canada stands very much committed that those who commit crimes against humanity and kill citizens should face the full force of the international law, in this case, through the United Nations.

I was confident with what the UN Secretary-General said at the Rwanda memorial at Kigali just two weeks ago, that the UN would not accept what happened in Rwanda over there, and we stand fully supportive of that.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Anne-Marie Day

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, NDP)

Mr. Chair, we are talking about targeted ethnic violence combined with a looming famine in South Sudan. Children are being massacred and recruited to fight. They are wounded and mutilated when they are caught in the gunfire. We saw the same horrible images coming out of Rwanda.

There is talk of doing something, but what, exactly? Will we send food? What is the proposed response to this urgent situation?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Chair, as I said, this is an African-led effort to bring peace over there. We are working with our allies. I do agree with the hon. member that the atrocities that have been committed are not acceptable to the international community. Therefore, what Canada has done is that we are meeting with our allies, with the African Union, with everyone, to determine where we can best make a difference, where we can best provide two fronts.

Tonight, my other colleagues will speak about what development assistance Canada is giving to South Sudan, but right now I am just talking on a political level about how to bring these individuals back to the table so that there is peace in that country. Hopefully, these talks that were in Addis Ababa will continue back and IGAD will take the lead again, and the African Union.

The African Union can tell us, as it has told us, that it would like an African-led solution to this problem. We are counting on the African Union to do that.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan

Mr. Chair, through you to the parliamentary secretary, will the government support a more robust role for UNMISS as the mission's mandate is being reviewed? Will the government consider providing additional funding to humanitarian partners, if the needs on the ground continue to increase? What actions will the government undertake to ensure that humanitarian partners are able to operate independently of the military and political mandates of UNMISS?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Chair, we have supported and will continue to support UNMISS and the United Nations in whatever capacity the United Nations and the Security Council decide. Canada will do the part it has been doing and will continue to do so in supporting the United Nations mandate. Most important, we have said to ensure that violence comes to an end and the peace process starts.

At the same time, the member asked whether we would be assisting civil societies independent of the government. I can assure the hon. member that this government does not provide assistance to the governments. We provide assistance through other means and, most important, through NGOs.

However, ultimately, the goal is to ensure that it reaches the people who are suffering under this war. For that reason, Canada will be there and will stand with the people of South Sudan.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

Ms. Hélène Laverdière

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his remarks.

My colleague said that this process must be led by Africans themselves, and we all agree. Obviously, there is no doubt about that. However, to say that it must be an African-led process does not mean that they have to do it completely on their own or without any support.

Would my colleague agree that resources should be allocated to the African Union to help it carry out its mandate?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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CPC

Deepak Obhrai

Conservative

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Indeed, Mr. Chair, Canada is and has been a supporter of the African Union. I attend all African Union summits that take place. I have been attending the last five years to have Canada's engagement over there and to assist the African Union in meeting many of the challenges that are arising in Africa.

Today the challenge is South Sudan, the Central African Republic and others, but Canada remains heavily engaged with the African Union to continue to work faster toward achieving what we all want: a peaceful Africa where the conflict does not exist. Africa is a continent of the future, and everybody agrees, because of the tremendous opportunity and all those things. All that has been lost to all the wars that are taking place for no reason.

Therefore, Canada will support the African Union as it moves forward in trying to address many of the challenges that Africa faces.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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CPC

Bruce Stanton

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair

Before we resume debate, I will just remind hon. members that the Standing Orders for take note debates permit, in the spirit of a less formal debate, members to take seats in the chamber that might be closer to one another and this often means an exchange that is complement to the subject that is at hand in the House.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)

Mr. Chair, over the past few months, we have talked a lot about many very important crises in Ukraine, Syria—of course, we cannot forget Syria—and the Central African Republic. All of these crises are very serious and very important. However, there is one that, unfortunately, we talk about a little less, although we should show more concern. I am talking about the political and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

Here is a brief history of the situation. As we know, South Sudan was created in 2011 following a referendum in which nearly 99% of participants voted for independence. In fact, South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. The international community invested significantly in that country, hoping that a well-functioning and stable government would be established following years of civil war.

However, we know that democracy and good governance cannot necessarily be built in just a few months or even a few years. It takes time. Years of civil war had already left South Sudan with one of the worst development rankings in the world and extremely low humanitarian indicators, as well as a lack of infrastructure.

In December, political differences among South Sudanese leadership led to an outbreak in violence, leaving thousands dead and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. With the coming rainy season, there are major challenges in terms of aid delivery, and the number of refugees and internally displaced people are rising.

In the past few weeks alone, violence has escalated. The United Nations reported that 200 people were killed in Bentiu on April 15 and during violent attacks at the Bor base on April 17.

The United Nations report stated that civilians were targeted on the basis of their ethnicity. Much like the messages broadcast on Radio mille collines in Rwanda 20 years ago, radio stations are broadcasting hate messages encouraging people to rape women of certain ethnicities and drive members of certain groups out of their cities and towns.

Mr. Lanzer, the top United Nations humanitarian official in South Sudan, said that this past week has been the darkest in the nation's history. There are fears that this could turn into genocide and ethnic cleansing. Those are the words that people, the media and experts are starting to use. The situation is being compared to that in Rwanda, and I cannot help but acknowledge what my colleague opposite pointed out about how the Secretary-General of the United Nations took responsibility for what happened in Rwanda.

The United Nations is an association of nations. When the Secretary-General of the United Nations takes responsibility for an event or a tragedy, he does so on behalf of all countries. Like all other countries, Canada must therefore take responsibility for this tragedy and fulfill its commitment to ensuring that such a tragedy never comes to pass again, not in South Sudan and not in the Central African Republic, despite what that same member said yesterday about how preventing genocide is not a good way to spend taxpayers' money. Forgive me for going off on a tangent, but I felt I had to emphasize that.

Back to South Sudan.

I have been rather involved in this issue. I have met with a lot of specialists and people directly affected by this crisis, incuding representatives from the diaspora. They all talked to me about the absolutely alarming situation.

It is clear that this conflict has evolved into a terrible, monstrous humanitarian crisis.

More than 4.9 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 1 million people have been displaced in 100 days, including 916,000 people inside Sudan. Let us try to imagine that. I come from Montreal, so one million people is a good part of the population of Montreal, or not far from it. Nearly 290,000 people have crossed borders to take refuge in neighbouring countries, which often simply do not have the means to receive them adequately.

One of the really worrying statistics is that half the population of South Sudan is made up of children. Clearly, most of the refugees are children as well. Even before the crisis, those children were in an absolutely terrible situation.

I have here a document from UNICEF Canada that explains it very well:

“Time is running out for the children of the world’s newest nation—we need better resources, better access, peace and security. Children cannot wait”.

As I was saying, most of the refugees are children who were living in extremely difficult situations beforehand and who now have to flee from their homes and their part of the country. Indeed, 95% of the refugees are women and children.

They are in a terrible situation but there are a lot of other problems. Farmers have not had the time to stockpile or to plant their crops. There are fears of a severe famine. I will come back to that later.

Moreover, the rainy season increases the cost of involvement by humanitarian aid organizations and makes it difficult, if not almost impossible, to reach the most vulnerable. I have seen how the roads are in Africa and what a rainy season is, because I have lived there. Essentially, the roads become impassable.

I now come back to the issue of food because we have to put a human face on it. It is estimated that about 7 million people will be experiencing food insecurity and facing the risk of famine. I come from Montreal and I know that this number corresponds to the population of Quebec.

There is also an increase in the cases of cholera, polio and ethnic violence. Regional terrorist groups are known to be present, including some associated with al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab. There are cases of sexual violence, rape and sexual exploitation. Children are being recruited by militias and schools are being used as military camps. The situation is appalling.

Requests are coming from all sides. Canada needs to be there, doing its part. Despite the terrible situation, there is hope. Many observers say that there is hope for South Sudan.

I have repeatedly asked for increased funding for humanitarian and long-term aid for South Sudan. I sent a letter to the minister, and I raised the issue during question period, in the media. On April 1, the government finally increased aid for South Sudan. I was happy to hear the news.

However, I believe that more needs to be done. We need to provide financial support for the peace talks in Ethiopia; continue to closely monitor the situation on the ground; develop a short-term humanitarian aid strategy and a long-term development strategy that includes flexibility and a rapid response, since this is an important issue; and support the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

I have a number of pages in front of me. I could speak to this topic for half an hour, but I would likely bore my colleagues. Nevertheless, this is a very important subject.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her passion, commitment, experience and history.

As she points out, of the five million people who need humanitarian assistance, only 38% have been reached so far. There is a major food crisis currently hitting South Sudan, endangering thousands of people, threatening to further destroy the gains made over the past five years and testing commitments by the international community and lessons learned from past crises. Planting requires people, seeds and equipment to be in the right place at the right time during the planting season. This has not happened this year due to the conflict displacing people, agricultural equipment being destroyed or stolen and low availability of seeds due to crisis-related consumption.

The rains are coming, famine is probable, and I am wondering what recommendations my hon. colleague would make.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

Ms. Hélène Laverdière

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. I know that she is as concerned as I am about these issues and she works hard in these files.

I think that we are facing two problems. We need to look at it from a short-term perspective, for the year ahead. People were unable to plant their crops because their grain stock was vandalized and because of the ongoing war. They were too afraid to go work peacefully in their fields. There is therefore a risk that there will be no harvest and, in the short term, that would create an even more serious crisis. While taking action in the short term, we must also think about the long term.

I am sure we can chew gum and walk at the same time.

That is what we must now do here. We have to think about the short term, the urgency of the situation and the human beings caught in this situation.

We also have to think about long-term peace, an essential condition. In that regard, Canada could provide more support for the peace process, which has to be led by the countries concerned, including the African Union. This process must be supported in order to achieve peace. Long-term development starts with good governance and the establishment of institutions. It is in our interest. South Sudan is a country of focus for Canada. If that really is the case, we must be there.

A few years ago, Task Force South Sudan, a dedicated working group at Foreign Affairs, was working on South Sudan. Unfortunately, this team disappeared, even though we need it more than ever before.

We have to think about the short term and respond to the emergency. However, we must not forget the long term so that we do not find ourselves in a similar situation and especially so that the South Sudanese do not find themselves in a similar situation in a few years.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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CPC

Gary Schellenberger

Conservative

Mr. Gary Schellenberger (Perth—Wellington, CPC)

Mr. Chair, I congratulate the member on her presentation tonight.

We all know that the situation in South Sudan is terrible. With a war raging and atrocities taking place, it is hard to imagine. The safety of those delivering humanitarian assistance is in peril. What would the member suggest we do, right now, while these hostilities are taking place?

We know what has happened in Syria. We cannot get into Syria with humanitarian assistance.

Are those offering humanitarian assistance in peril? How would the member suggest we get that assistance there right now?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

Ms. Hélène Laverdière

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that we must choose between putting humanitarian workers at risk and abandoning the South Sudanese to their fate.

My hon. colleague, who serves with me on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, mentioned Syria, which we have heard about. In the case of Syria, the United Nations adopted a very strong resolution calling for access for humanitarian workers to the area.

That did not resolve all the issues. However, witnesses who appeared before the committee told us that the UN resolution had made it easier for humanitarian workers to gain access to the area. We have to work on several fronts at the UN, including with organizations that could lay charges of crimes against humanity, in order to facilitate access for humanitarian workers. That seems to be the only solution.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Anne-Marie Day

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Anne-Marie Day (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, NDP)

Mr. Chair, General Dallaire has said over and over again that there must never be another Rwanda, but that is what is happening.

Earlier, a Conservative member said that we need to let the African Union take action and manage its own problems.

If we let the African Union take action and we do not intervene at the international level, would that not mean that we are choosing one side over the other?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

Ms. Hélène Laverdière

Mr. Chair, I think that would mean choosing the side of abandonment. I would like to add that, in my personal opinion, it would meaning choosing the side of shame.

It has been said time and time again—I am feeling emotional—that we would never allow another situation like Rwanda to occur. We cannot let this happen in South Sudan. I apologize for bringing up another country that is being talked about a lot right now, but we cannot let this happen in the Central African Republic either.

We must be courageous and support UNMISS, the UN Mission in South Sudan. Even if the African Union has to make the effort and initiate the peace talks, that does not mean that we cannot provide resources. Material and technical resources are often needed. Money is needed to organize meetings and seek out the expertise required.

Traditionally, Canada has provided great expertise on how to bring people to the negotiation table, conduct negotiations and ensure that women are involved in the peace process. Women are key players in any peace process. A peace process cannot truly succeed without the participation of women. Canada can contribute its expertise, its voice and its resources. We can really get involved. I think that it is our duty and moral obligation to do so.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Chair, South Sudan faces three concurrent crises, with an ongoing conflict, an acute humanitarian crisis, and a chronic food and security problem.

There are differing stories as to what started the conflict. President Salva Kiir claimed that former vice-president Riek Machar had attempted a coup. Machar claimed that the president was attempting to get rid of the opposition. After five weeks of fighting, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities, or COH, was signed on January 23, 2014 between the government and opposition forces, but both sides have repeatedly violated the COH. Talks between the government and opposition forces in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa have been on and off for weeks. Heavy fighting resumed on February 18, when ethnic clashes occurred inside a UN compound, causing 2,000 of 20,000 civilians to flee.

The political divisions within South Sudan have resulted in heavy fighting and mass atrocities committed by rival pro and anti-government forces, and ethnic mobilization threatens wider inter-communal violence. In fact, there has been a serious escalation in violence over the past two weeks. The UN reported that over 400 people were killed in Bentiu on April 15. Civilians were targeted on the basis of their ethnicity and nationality. This incident has been described as “a game-changer”. Radio stations were used to broadcast hate speech, urging men to rape women of specific ethnicities and demanding that rival groups to be expelled from the town.

Because of the ongoing security concerns and the lack of personnel, the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan, or UNMISS, is facing challenges to effectively protecting civilians outside their bases. Another violent attack on civilians occurred in the UNMISS camp in Bor on April 17. Over 40 people were killed, and many others were wounded.

The increase in violence is causing significant protection risks for civilians and further displacement. A rapid influx of 21,000 civilians have sought refuge in the base in just 48 hours. Many children have been lost or separated from family members, so they are particularly vulnerable, and women and girls are vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence. Overcrowding means an increased risk of disease and competition for lifesaving assistance.

South Sudan is a level 3 humanitarian emergency. Violence has displaced over one million people, 923,000 within the country, more than half of them children, and 300,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. The current crisis response plan calls for $1.27 billion U.S. for relief programs in the coming months. To date, the plan is only 39% funded.

Livelihoods as well as regular development assistance have been disrupted, households looted, and markets destroyed. As a result, more than 3.7 million people are at risk of food insecurity as well as acute malnutrition and disease. According to UNICEF's representative in the country, “Children and families in South Sudan are now facing unprecedented suffering—with worrying signs of malnutrition and disease outbreaks”.

Before the outbreak of fighting, basic humanitarian indicators showed South Sudanese children to be some of the most vulnerable children in the world. Today, the youngest citizens of South Sudan are suffering the most from rising levels of malnutrition and increasing violence. Children's schools are often occupied by warring sides, with enrolment rates dropping significantly. World Vision's national director has said:

Children in particular have been deeply affected by the sights of death, destruction, and rape.... South Sudan is quickly becoming a place where children cannot find safety anywhere.

With the rainy season imminent, the situation will only get worse. Lifesaving supplies must be deployed to the hardest to reach in order to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Air drops are taking place, and famine is probable.

The United Nations fears that South Sudan is, quote, “imploding”, but with so many crises around the world, the world's newest country is getting scant media attention. With the recent increases in violence, the international community has sharpened the tone of its condemnation.

Despite Canada's commitment to focus on “helping to set the conditions for long-term peace, stability and prosperity” in South Sudan, the government let the months of February and March pass before making public statements.

On March 25, 2014, the United States announced $83 million in additional humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan, for a total of $411 million for fiscal years 2013-14. On April 1, 2014, Canada's Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie announced $25.8 million of humanitarian assistance to South Sudan through its annual DFATD's consolidated appeals process.

I have two questions. How much additional money was allocated in the chronic round because of increased needs? How much of this money would have been allocated even without the current crisis?

In addition, the government has a long-term commitment of $51.5 million for food security and livelihood support, and we thank the minister.

Canadian members of Parliament should be aware of the worsening situation. To this end, I invited my Conservative and NDP colleagues to co-host a briefing with me for all parliamentarians on South Sudan. We heard from Médecins Sans Frontières, UNICEF, and World Vision.

The House of Commons foreign affairs and international development committees should undertake a study to follow up on this last report, and I thank all parties for agreeing to my request for tonight's take note debate.

Both sides of the conflict need to fully abide by the commitments made under the COH agreement and to continue to engage to resolve the crisis. Major international supporters should assist in mediation by facilitating the monitoring and verification mechanism of the COH and providing support to UNMISS. All perpetrators of mass atrocities must be held accountable, and a comprehensive strategy for ethnic and political reconciliation must be put in place.

How is the Government of Canada engaging at the political level? Will the Government of Canada support the peace talks in Addis Ababa by offering mediators to the warring parties and other stakeholders? Will it support civil society coalitions that are working for reconciliation inside South Sudan? How will the Government of Canada continue to monitor humanitarian needs and respond in a timely fashion to the changing needs on the ground?

Will the government consider support to UNMISS to protect civilians, especially women and children, from violence? Will the government encourage the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to travel to South Sudan and request a report to the UN Security Council on the situation of children in South Sudan, highlighting grave violations? Will the government request that the African Union have child protection specialists on the commission of inquiry into human rights violations?

While the government has given significantly in the past, its approach needs to be rethought and needs to take into consideration the long-term problems caused by the civil conflict begun in December 2013.

Each of us in this House has a role to play. Let us engage with South Sudanese parliamentarians through the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association and share in our constituencies what is going on.

If the violence does not stop, South Sudan could slip further into ethnic conflict, with a risk of disintegration and the potential for regional disaster. The Central African Republic and Somalia remain embroiled in civil war. Eritrea is under dictatorship, and Sudan is on the verge of economic collapse.

The international community is struggling to find a coherent way to respond to a rapidly deteriorating and changing context. It is essential to remember lessons learned from earlier crises, to act immediately and at the scale necessary to prevent a much larger disaster. Canada must remain engaged in keeping South Sudan at the forefront of international attention.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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NDP

Hélène Laverdière

New Democratic Party

Ms. Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, NDP)

Mr. Chair, first, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her speech and for the collegial work that we have been able to do together on such an important issue.

The root causes of this situation include poverty, marginalization, a lack of opportunity—and, often, a lack of future—and ethnic tensions. How can Canada structure its international development policy in order to try to deal with these problems before they occur?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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LIB

Kirsty Duncan

Liberal

Ms. Kirsty Duncan

Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my colleague. I enjoy working with her very much. I think we have done good work together, and there is much more to be done.

I would like to highlight what the member pointed out.

Before the conflict, people should know that 2.4 million people in South Sudan were food insecure and required assistance; 230,000 children were impacted annually by malnutrition, even during strong harvest seasons; and only 4% of arable land was cultivated. Only 10% of the children completed primary school, despite high enrolment rates of 1.4 million, and 84% of the women could not read or write. One in seven children died before their fifth birthday, only 10% of deliveries were attended by skilled birth attendants, and only 40% of the people were estimated to have access to health services.

We need to respond to what is happening now. As my colleague pointed out, we need a strategy for the medium term and we need to work at the long term. We need to look at these different scales.

I want to point out that now, adding conflict and possible war crimes, 21,000 people were displaced in 48 hours. There is overcrowding, competition for shelter and life-saving humanitarian aid, and an increased risk of disease and infection.

We have to stand by the people of South Sudan. We have to do more.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Situation in the Republic of South Sudan
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April 29, 2014