Middle East

Famine declared in part of South Sudan's Unity state

  • In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 and released by UNICEF, a boy has his arm measured to see if he is suffering from malnutrition during a nutritional assessment at an emergency medical facility supported by UNICEF in Kuach, on the road to Leer, in South Sudan. Famine has been declared Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three U.N. agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation. (Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP)

    In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 and released by UNICEF, a boy has his arm measured to see if he is suffering from malnutrition during a nutritional assessment at an emergency medical facility supported by UNICEF in Kuach, on the road to Leer, in South Sudan. Famine has been declared Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three U.N. agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation. (Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 and released by UNICEF, a woman holds her young son who is suffering from dehydration and unable to walk, at an emergency medical facility supported by UNICEF in Kuach, on the road to Leer, in South Sudan. Famine has been declared Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three U.N. agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation. (Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP)

    In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 and released by UNICEF, a woman holds her young son who is suffering from dehydration and unable to walk, at an emergency medical facility supported by UNICEF in Kuach, on the road to Leer, in South Sudan. Famine has been declared Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three U.N. agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation. (Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 and released by UNICEF, women who fled fighting in nearby Leer in recent months, queue for food aid at a food distribution made by the World Food Programme in Bentiu, South Sudan. Famine has been declared Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three U.N. agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation. (Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP)

    In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 and released by UNICEF, women who fled fighting in nearby Leer in recent months, queue for food aid at a food distribution made by the World Food Programme in Bentiu, South Sudan. Famine has been declared Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in two counties of South Sudan, according to an announcement by the South Sudan government and three U.N. agencies, which says the calamity is the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation. (Kate Holt/UNICEF via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, the result of prolonged civil war and an entrenched economic crisis that has devastated the war-torn East African nation.

South Sudan's government and three U.N. agencies say that more than 100,000 people in two counties of Unity state are experiencing famine and there are fears that the famine will spread as an additional 1 million South Sudanese are on the brink of starvation.

The official classification of famine highlights the human suffering caused by South Sudan's three-year civil war. Even as it is declared U.N. officials say that President Salva Kiir's government is blocking food aid to some areas.