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UN: Drought threatens 2 million lives in Somalia

More than 2 million people in Somalia face the threat of starvation this summer, unless an urgent humanitarian response is facilitated.

The warning comes from United Nations aid chief, Mark Lowcock, who says drought in the Horn of Africa nation is intensifying faster than previously seen over the past decade. Somalia is currently experiencing one of its driest rainy seasons in more than 35 years, prompting fears that millions could face starvation in the summer ahead.

More than 2 million face starvation

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock has confirmed 2.2 million people in Somalia are expected to face severe hunger by the September this year – an increase for 40 percent from January. A further 3.2 million people in the country are expected to experience problems meeting their basic food need over the same period.

The UN has released $45 million in emergency funds to increase emergency food, water and other humanitarian supplies to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Most of the funds will be dedicated to Somalia, though, with $30 million being used to help the predicted 2.2 million people facing starvation.

The UN has called upon the international community to increase humanitarian efforts ahead of a difficult summer for Somalia. The organisation has requested $1.09 billion this year for its humanitarian response for the Horn of Africa nation but only 22 per cent of that amount has been raised so far.