A senior UN official on Wednesday warned that the famine in Somalia has not seen "the peak of the crisis as further deterioration is considered likely.", Xinhua reported.
Catherine Bragg, the UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and deputy emergency relief coordinator, made the remarks when she briefed the Security Council on the "most severe humanitarian crisis in the world today."
Just three weeks ago, the UN declared famine when malnutrition rates among children exceeded 30 percent, more than two people per 10,000 die per day; and people were unable to access food and other basic necessities.
"We have not yet seen the peak of the crisis as further deterioration is considered likely given the very high levels of both severe acute malnutrition and under 5 mortality in combination with an expectation of a continued increase in low cereal prices, and a below-average rainy season harvest," Bragg said.
She said that nationwide, 3.7 million people are in crisis with 3.2 million people in need of immediate, lifesaving assistance, 2. 8 million of whom are in the south central Somalia.
With the drought, Bragg said it has generated displacement on a large scale within Somalia as refugee outflows into Kenya and Ethiopia.
A massive multi-sectoral response is critical to prevent additional deaths and total livelihood and social collapse, she said.
With Islamic insurgent group Al Shabaab vacating capital, Mogadishu, Bragg said it "remains unclear if this move is a complete pull out, or a change of tactics," noting that this new scenario will impact the overall security situation.
The UN Consolidated Appeal for Somalia is funded at 46 percent, she said, noting that humanitarian partners require more than 560 million U.S. dollars for life saving assistance.
"In the region, we still urgently need 1.3 billion U.S. dollars to save lives."
A plane carrying humanitarian aid supplies landed in Mogadishu on Monday, said the Geneva-based United Nations Refugee Agency ( UNHCR).
The emergency airlift, which delivered 31 metric tons of emergency supplies is the first UNHCR airlift to Somalia in more than five years.
According to UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic, the second plane was scheduled for Thursday and the third one would bring in high-energy biscuits early next week.
UNHCR planned to assist some 180,000 people in Mogadishu and south central Somalia by the end of the month.