Internally displaced Somalis wait to receive food aid rations at the government-run badbaado camp, July 28, 2011.
The Unites Nations and aid agencies have warned that a severe hunger crisis is threatening the lives of millions of people across western and central Africa this year.
The UN says around 15.6 million people across Africa are already affected by a deepening food crisis, "due to a mix of drought, insect infestations and high food prices."
The hunger crisis extends across many African countries, including Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso.
The UN estimates one million children this year will require lifesaving treatment for severe malnutrition in the wider Sahel region.
Aid groups, including Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision, are also warning that they need USD 200 million to fight the growing hunger crisis.
"We have known that a hunger crisis is brewing in the Sahel for months, but without funding, there is little we can do to stop it," said Jeremy Stoner, the West Africa director of Save the Children.
The United Nations says it only raised less than half of the estimated USD 724 million required to tackle the food crisis.
"It is hard to convince people that it is best to act before a slow burning crisis like food shortages reaches its peak. People tend to react only after seeing images of emaciated bodies on TV and that is unfortunate," said an Oxfam official Eric Hazard.