More than 20 million children are facing the threat of hunger, thirst and disease, up from 10 million in July, as climate change, conflict, global inflation and grain shortages devastate the region according to UNICEF.
Lieke van de Wiel, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa said, "while collective and accelerated efforts have mitigated some of the worst of what was feared, children in the Horn of Africa still face the most severe drought in more than two generations."
UNICEF estimates that nearly two million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are currently in need of emergency treatment for severe acute malnutrition, the deadliest form of hunger.
In addition, more than two million people are internally displaced due to drought.
Water insecurity has more than doubled and nearly 24 million people now face severe water shortages. Approximately 2.7 million children are out of school due to the drought, and an estimated 4 million more children are at risk of dropping out.
As families are stretched to cope with increased stress, children face a range of protection risks, including child labor, child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).