(ANSA) - GENEVA, MAY 19 - The United Nations has launched an appeal to ask for immediate funds in support of the Horn of Africa, warning that the suffering in the region hit by drought could worsen.
"We are out of time. We urgently need money to save lives," Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said in a press conference in Geneva after a two-day visit to Kenya.
The Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the hardest human-induced droughts with more than 15 million people facing high levels of severe food insecurity and severe water shortages in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the UN said.
The number could reach 20 million if current below-average rainfall continues to be scarce.
"It is likely to get much worse for more people in the coming weeks," Griffiths said, adding that the crisis threatens not only people's lives, but also people's ways of living.
In Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, some 5.7 million children are severely malnourished, while more than three million head of cattle - on which shepherd families rely for sustenance - have died.
At the moment, the requested funds are 46 billion dollars to help 303 million people.