People are starving to death in the African countries of Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen and, according to UNICEF, nearly 1.4 million children at an imminent risk of death.
UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said children are already dying from famine and that malnourished children are up to nine times more likely to die from diseases such as measles, malaria or cholera than a healthy child.
The organization is calling for funding as well as immediate and sustained access and for political solutions in the four countries concerned which are all affected by conflicts.
According to Save the Children, the situation in the Horn of Africa is even worse than earlier reports indicated. It also fears crises elsewhere mean the developing catastrophe could be neglected until it is too late.
“What we’re seeing on the ground suggests we’re at a tipping point – a significant worsening of malnutrition cases tells us a famine isn't far off,” said Hassan Saadi Noor, Save the Children’s country director in Somalia.
The main reason of malnutrition is a massive influx of people into the region who are looking for greener pastures.
“There is a real shortage of food, medication and of water supplies, and if we don’t get it now then it could be a human tragedy with high mortality rates,” said Iftin Yusuf Mohamed, a nurse at a child health clinic.
UNICEF is calling for funding as well as immediate and sustained access for political solutions in the four countries concerned.