Middle East

UN official urges South Sudan to allow food aid distribution

  • In this photo taken Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Lulu Yurdio, 12, collects food aid for himself and his two siblings and parents who remain hiding in the bush, in Padeah, South Sudan. South Sudanese who fled famine and fighting in Leer county emerged from South Sudan's swamps after months in hiding to receive food aid being distributed by the World Food Program. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)

    In this photo taken Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Lulu Yurdio, 12, collects food aid for himself and his two siblings and parents who remain hiding in the bush, in Padeah, South Sudan. South Sudanese who fled famine and fighting in Leer county emerged from South Sudan's swamps after months in hiding to receive food aid being distributed by the World Food Program. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Juang Gai Vol, 87, who hadn't eaten for three days, lies down at a food distribution site in Padeah, South Sudan. South Sudanese who fled famine and fighting in Leer county emerged from South Sudan's swamps after months in hiding to receive food aid being distributed by the World Food Program. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)

    In this photo taken Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Juang Gai Vol, 87, who hadn't eaten for three days, lies down at a food distribution site in Padeah, South Sudan. South Sudanese who fled famine and fighting in Leer county emerged from South Sudan's swamps after months in hiding to receive food aid being distributed by the World Food Program. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. humanitarian chief is demanding immediate access for aid distribution in famine-hit South Sudan amid continued fighting and the recent looting of a humanitarian organization.

Stephen O'Brien said after a two-day visit to South Sudan that obstacles to humanitarian assistance continue, including active hostility, access denials, and bureaucratic impediments.

South Sudan's civil war began in December 2013 and roughly 100,000 people are experiencing famine in Leer and Mayendit counties, with another 1 million people on the brink of starvation across the country.

Aid workers were recently forced to relocate from famine hit Mayendit after a government official informed them there would be fighting in the area, which followed shortly after. Aid officials now fear that they will not be allowed to return to the town.