International charity, Save the Children, has appealed to the international community to drastically scale up funding for life-saving interventions to help avert food crisis in Somalia.
Save the Children said in a statement released on Tuesday evening that funding shortfalls, conflict and instability are hindering aid reaching the most vulnerable children and families.
"We need more support, now, to scale up humanitarian interventions and allow people to survive long enough to be able to adapt for the future," Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, Save the Children's country director in Somalia said.
Mohamed added that the Drought Impact Response Plan - currently less than half-funded - must be fully funded to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe similar to the droughts of 2011 and 2017.
The charity said more than one million children in Somalia under the age of five face acute malnutrition. At least 178,400 children are facing severe malnourishment.
According to the latest figures from the UN, the current food crisis in Somalia has driven acute malnutrition to serious and critical levels in most parts of the country, exposing children to life-threatening risks of malnutrition and other diseases.
"Our worst fears are being confirmed with a million children once again set to suffer through the degrading, miserable impacts of drought. Families have simply not had enough time to recover from the prolonged drought of 2017, where their herds died en masse and thousands of people were forced to move to camps to access food and water," said Mohamed.
He said the frequency and severity of drought in Somalia is unprecedented, and now even the hardiest of families are saying they give up in the face of this climate crisis.
"What really concerns us is frequency of these droughts. Pastoralist communities - families who depend on livestock for their income - need on average two seasons of good rains to recover from one poor season," Mohamed said.