Somalia’s National Drought Relief Committee, on Thursday, said 6.9 million people in the Horn of African country are facing severe water shortages and food insecurity as the worst drought in decades have escalated in the region, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The drought has affected 90 per cent of the country’s landmass, and 66 districts across the county.

Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, the newly appointed Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said in a statement that it is feared that the number of people affected may reach 8 million – half of the Somali population.

“The number of people facing water shortages and food insecurity is estimated to have reached 6.9 million, and the number could reach 8 million in the coming months,” he added.

The UN and international humanitarian agencies estimated the number of people in humanitarian need in Somalia to reach 7.7 million, with 5.5 million among vulnerable families, according to the country’s national drought committee.