Several areas in Ethiopia’s northern region in Tigray are “on the brink of famine”, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutterres has said.
In a stark warning, he said the situation would only “keep getting worse”, unless funding was increased and humanitarian access to the region was to improve.
“The actions we take now may mean the difference between life and death for many people,” he added.
The UN last week warned of a repeat of Ethiopia’s devastating 1984 famine.
Mark Lowcock, its humanitarian chief, told the BBC that hundreds of thousands of people were already experiencing famine conditions in Tigray after months of conflict.
The conflict in Tigray erupted in November when Ethiopia’s government launched an offensive to oust the region’s former ruling party, the TPLF, from power after its fighters captured federal military bases.
The seven-month conflict has had a devastating impact on the region’s food security.