Over 10 million children are among those facing severe drought in the Horn of Africa.
Following this, the UN’s children’s body, Unicef, estimates that this figure is three million higher than it was in February.
In their view, unless more money comes in and rain falls, the region could face “an avalanche of child deaths”.
Unicef’s Executive Director Catherine Russell said that the drought was “the worst climate-induced emergency in 40 years”.
“There is so much attention being paid to Ukraine, we just have to show people what’s happening here to make sure they understand the difficulties. If the rains don’t come then people will definitely not survive because there is so little here,” she said.
More than 1.7 million children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia require urgent treatment for severe acute malnutrition. If rains fail in the coming weeks, this figure will rise to 2 million.
“If we don’t act now we will see an avalanche of child deaths in a matter of weeks,” says Mohamed M. Fall, UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “Famine is just around the corner.”
Unicef requires about $250m for humanitarian aid to Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Eritrea and Djibouti.