World Vision is scaling up its work in north Somalia as thousands flee from drought in the surrounding areas.
A state of famine has been declared in a sixth of the country and the UN warns that 750,000 people could die as the crisis deepens.
Staff from World Vision are aiming to help 2.5 million people across the drought-affected region including Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Work in Somalia includes mobile health facilities to treat severely malnourished children, vaccinations, tent distribution, water conservation projects and household kits with mosquito nets, cooking pots and toiletries.
Speaking from Puntland in northern Somalia, World Vision UK’s Chief Executive Justin Byworth said: “As states of famine and emergency are declared in surrounding areas, families are pouring here into the north-east corner of the country to escape violence and hunger.
“There are harrowing scenes. I’ve just met a six-year-old boy who survived being shot in the head and scores of severely malnourished children.
“We’re working flat out with the resources we have but there’s not a drop of water around here and the situation’s desperate.
"We cannot afford to let this become a forgotten corner of the crisis.”
Figures from the UN show four million people are in crisis in Somalia, with 750,000 at risk of death in the next four months in the absence of adequate response. Half of those who have already died are children.
Bay in Southern Somalia is the latest region to be officially declared a famine zone.
World Vision’s work also continues in Kenya and Ethiopia including emergency water supplies, food distribution, nutrition work and medical supplies.
6 September 2011