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With Somalia in the Throes of Famine, UN Warns of Worsening Crisis

With famine already ravaging Somalia, the U.N. warns South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen are also in danger.

Internally displaced men and children shelter from the sweltering afternoon sun under a tree beside a hut on March 14 at a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Baidoa, in the southwestern Bay region of Somalia, where thousands of people arrive daily after they fled the parched countryside.

The United Nations warned of an unprecedented global crisis with famine already gripping parts of South Sudan and looming over Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia, threatening the lives of 20 million people. For Somalis, the memory of the 2011 famine, which left a quarter of a million people dead, is still fresh.

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

An elderly woman weakened by hunger lies on the ground as her daughter watches over her at the Baidoa camp on March 15.

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

Women carry firewood on March 15 as they walk back to a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Baidoa.

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

A dust storm sweeps through the makeshift camp in Baidoa on March 26.

Feisal Omar / Reuters

A woman leads her donkeys loaded with jerrycans in the drought-stricken Baligubadle village near Hargeisa, the capital city of Somaliland, on March 15. 

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but is not recognized by any other country.

Reuters

A man walks in a dry underground water pan in Baligubadle village, Somaliland, on March 15.

Reuters

A young boy fills a water drum loaded on a donkey cart before selling it on March 15 in Baidoa.

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

A malnourished child is fed a special formula by her mother on March 15 at a hospital in Baidoa, part of a  UNICEF- funded health program for children and adults displaced by drought.

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

A malnourished child is examined by an aid worker in Baidoa on March 15.

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

Women carrying jerrycans of water from a collection point set up by a U.N. aid agency walk on March 14 toward the camp on the outskirts of Baidoa.

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

The carcass of an animal that died from severe drought lies on the ground in Bandarbeyla in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland on March 24.

According to locals, the area has seen only two days of rain in more than a year.

Somalia's drought is threatening 3 million lives, according to the U.N. In recent months, aid agencies have been scaling up their efforts but they say said more support is urgently needed to prevent the crisis from worsening.

Dai Kurokava / EPA

Ali Asair, who left his family behind and traveled hundreds of kilometers in search of a pasture for his animals, tends to his camel in the Bandarbeyla district of Somalia on March 24.

Dai Kurokawa / EPA

A displaced Somali woman who fled a drought-stricken region prepares a meal outside her shelter in Baidoa on March 26.

Feisal Omar / Reuters

A malnourished young boy with a mental disability lays inside his family's shelter in a camp on the outskirts of Qardho, in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland on March 26.

East Africa has been suffering from a severe drought since 2015 due to the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Dai Kurokawa / EPA

Children drink water delivered by a truck in the drought-stricken Baligubadle village in Somaliland on March 15. 

Reuters