UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths is calling for urgent support for Somalia, saying "famine is at the door" amid the country's worst drought in decades.
Griffiths is the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He spoke to reporters in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Monday after visiting affected areas.
He said analysis shows two parts of south-central Somalia are heading for famine between October and December, and he called on the global community to provide swift aid.
Stalled wheat shipments are worsening the situation. Somalia gets about 90 percent of its wheat from Ukraine and Russia.
Griffiths warned that the current situation is worse than that in 2010 to 2011. About 250,000 people lost their lives in that famine.
Ensuring adequate security is another challenge. Twenty people were killed when the Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabab attacked a vehicle carrying relief supplies earlier this month. Relief efforts also face the difficult task of delivering supplies quickly and safely.