More than 2 million people could face starvation by the end of the summer, unless there are urgent efforts to respond to the drought in Somalia.
Mark Lowcock, the UN’s humanitarian chief, said the country is facing one of the driest rainy seasons in more than three decades, and a “rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation”.
By September, 2.2 million people will face hunger so severe that it threatens their lives or livelihoods. A further 3.2 million people – around one-fifth of Somalia’s population – will be uncertain of their next meal.
“If there isn’t a rapid response, there’s going to be a big problem,” said Lowcock.
Last week, the UN warned that, rather than ramping up work, agencies had been forced to cut back in some areas because the humanitarian appeal for Somalia was so poorly funded.
The crisis comes as communities struggle to recover from a two-year drought that ended in 2017.