Some 1.7 million people in Somalia are expected to face crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity until June, following a second consecutive failed rainy season that has led to livestock losses and widespread crop failure, said the United Nations on Wednesday.
Malnutrition rates are rapidly escalating due to the drought conditions and 954,000 children are anticipated to be acutely malnourished, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The UN humanitarian country team is preparing a drought response plan to address food gaps in the most severely affected areas and to prepare for substantial increases in needs between May and October, the spokesman told a regular press briefing.
So far, Somalia's 2019 humanitarian response plan, which is seeking 1.08 billion U.S. dollars, is only 19 percent funded. Insufficient funding has led to the scaling back of water, sanitation and hygiene activities despite serious water shortages across the country, he said.