Weak and erratic rains, military conflict and little funding from the international community could lead to mass hunger in Somalia, aid groups warned on Wednesday.

The United Nations' food and security unit says 51,000 children are severely malnourished and face a high risk of death. The group warned that the food situation is likely to worsen in coming months.

"We're very concerned that at the minute there are so many indicators out there that Somalia is in trouble," said Ed Pomfret of the aid group Oxfam.

Somalia has long been in trouble, and that's part of the problem, more than 20 groups said in a coordinated statement.

- AP