The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation is holding an emergency meeting in Rome to discuss the famine crisis affecting east Africa.
Several countries have been hit by years of severe drought. With millions facing starvation, many delegates say action is needed now.
“There’s going to be lots of talk today about agriculture in the long term and building resilience for communities,” said Nick Martiew of Save the Children. “That does need to happen, but we also need a really urgent response. Children are dying right now in East Africa and they need assistance,” he added.
With two regions of Somalia suffering the worst famine for 20 years, more than half a million people have fled since January, mainly to neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia.
The UN says tens of thousands of people have already died in the famine in Somalia and with seasonal rains, if they happen, still months away, officials fear the situation is going to get much worse in the coming weeks.