"Unless we scale up our response… many people, including at least 370,000 children, will perish before the end of the month of June," says Adam Abdelmoula, UN humanitarian coordinator for the East African country.

About 771,400 people have been displaced, searching for water, food and pasture, with the majority being women and children.
About 771,400 people have been displaced, searching for water, food and pasture, with the majority being women and children. (Reuters)

The situation in Somalia is extremely dire as 7.1 million people, including at least 370,000 children, are going to be affected by drought before the end of the year unless there is a massive humanitarian effort, a UN official has said.

"Unless we scale up and step up our response, unfortunately, many, many people, including at least 370,000 children, will perish before the end of the month of June. That tells you how dire the situation is," UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said in Baidoa – one of the worst affected areas.

Some 6.1 million Somalis have been affected by the drought emergency as of May, according to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

About 771,400 people have been displaced, searching for water, food and pasture, with the majority being women and children.

"The outlook has worsened due to the prospects of a fifth consecutive failed rainy season," said the UN.

Since the beginning of the year, 30,000 people have been displaced in South West State.

"Since March, cases of acute watery diarrhea have been rising, with a cumulative total of 2,279 cases, including 11 deaths, reported since January this year," the UN said on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Somalia desperate for April rainfall to end a deadly drought season

Somalia seeks support

Newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, accompanied by his special envoy to drought response and other high-level officials, visited Baidoa on Tuesday.

His envoy, Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, said the visit is to initiate a national campaign to raise awareness about the acute humanitarian crisis across the country.

"His first trip to Baidoa highlighted the pain and suffering," said a statement by the office of the presidential envoy.

He urged partners and Somalis to support efforts to prevent famine.

Meanwhile, Warsame met Türkiye's envoy to Mogadishu Mehmet Yilmaz, the TIKA coordinator and the head of the Turkish Red Crescent delegation in Somalia to discuss how Türkiye and Somalia could strengthen cooperation to mitigate the effects of the drought, according to a statement by Türkiye's embassy in Mogadishu.

READ MORE: UN: Millions face severe hunger as Horn of Africa drought worsens

Source: AA