NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar, May 29 (UPI) -- Officials in Myanmar have been issuing visas to relief workers, but are not granting workers access to areas hardest hit by Cyclone Nargis this month, groups say.
Voice of America reported Thursday that since Gen. Than Shwe told visiting United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon he would allow foreign aid workers in the country regardless of nationality, authorities have been issuing visas.
But few are permitted into the Irawaddy Delta, where relief groups say 2.4 million people are in need of water, food and medical attention.
Members of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Disaster Assistance Response Team have been waiting for permission to enter Myanmar in Bangkok for weeks.
U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Eric John said the United States is not giving up its efforts to help the people of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
"So far no word that they can, but also so far no word that they cannot," he said. "That is why we are still pushing ahead, pushing on this with the Burmese and we still think that it is valuable to get them in."