Somalia has appealed for international help to feed about 6.9 million people facing severe food and water shortages.
In a statement, the Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said the dire situation had already forced half a million Somalis to flee their homes in search of food and water. Many could die unless they got urgent assistance, he warned.
“The drought situation in Somalia needs quick action and urgent humanitarian aid,” he added, saying the country is experiencing its worst drought since 2011.
His appeal came hours after state TV reported that three people had died from extreme hunger in south-western Somalia, where a militant blockade has worsened the condition for thousands.
Al-Shabab militants has taken advantage of the humanitarian situation to distribute food and water in regions under its control in the south-west.
Thousands of children reportedly dropped out of school amid the severe drought in Somalia.
The UN warned last year that millions of people across Somalia were facing extreme hunger as a result of worsening drought conditions.
An estimated 13 million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are facing food insecurity and water scarcity, according to the UN.