MORE than 2,2 million Somalis face severe hunger in the coming months as a result of a disastrous drought.
The crisis is expected to peak between July and September.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said the number of hungry people in the horn of Africa is expected to be 40 percent higher than estimates made at the beginning of 2019.
A deteriorating nutritional status is also of major concern in Somalia.
Acute malnutrition rates and the number of acutely malnourished children being admitted to therapeutic feeding centres have sharply increased in 2019.
The latest projection is based on data gathered by FAO experts which points to the worst drought in years this time around.
Poor rains since last October have also taken a heavy toll on herders and their livestock as vegetation has been drying up and water has been increasingly scarce.
FAO warned of a worrying number of animals in very poor health conditions - due to low body weight and drought-induced diseases - in the country's central and northern regions.
The organisation stated that drought, conflict and a reduction of humanitarian assistance worsened the situation.
Currently, FAO has a funding gap of about $115 million in Somalia.