The United States is directing new humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa, two days after a prediction of below-average rainfall in the region.
The U.S. government said Thursday it will provide almost $50 million in additional aid to refugees and drought-affected communities in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
The three countries are still recovering from a severe drought in 2011 that turned to famine in several parts of southern Somalia.
Thousands died, while tens of thousands of Somalis left their homes to seek food and water at camps around Mogadishu or in Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps.
On Tuesday, the Famine Early Warning System Network projected that March-to-May rains in the region will be 15 to 40 percent below average. The network, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the lack of rain could significantly hurt crop production.
The State Department says the U.S. has provided nearly $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to the Horn since early last year.