The number of acutely malnourished children in Somalia will surge this year.
The UN children’s fund (UNICEF) estimates that 1.4 million children in the drought hit Horn of Africa nation will suffer acute malnutrition, a 50 percent rise in projections made in January.
The fund’s spokesperson, Marixie Mercado, said on Tuesday that UNICEF has already treated more than 56,000 severely malnourished children in Somalia so far this year, an increase of almost 90 percent over the past year.
The agency also singled out the triple threat of drought, disease and displacement facing children in the country.
The warning comes as Somalia faces the threat of its third famine in 25 years of civil war and anarchy.
In early March, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, urged the international community to take action to avert famine in Somalia which is facing a major humanitarian crisis.
The dire drought and food situation has forced more than 615 000 people to flee their homes since last November, in a country where 1.1 million people are already internally displaced.
The UN has said warned that roughly 20 million people of which nearly 3 million in Somalia are facing famine , with the rest 17 million in Nigeria, South Sudan-which declared famine in some regions and Yemen.
Somalia’s economic potential under the spotlight
Somalia reverts to direct vote, presidential rule
Somalia's Puntland holds 'historic' local polls
Go to video
The UN warns of the risk of famine in the northeast of Nigeria
Go to video
Kenya-Somalia agreement to reopen their land border
Somalia floods cause devastation and displacement