(ANSA) - Nairobi, July 17 - More than 2.5 million Somalis risk dying of starvation, thirst and other preventable causes despite global humanitarian efforts, the United Nations coordinator for Somalia told journalists in Nairobi Tuesday. "The mortality and malnutrition rates in Somalia have increased considerably, becoming among the worst in the world," UN coordinator Mark Bowden said at a press conference. Bowden declared that more than 323,000 children under the age of five are severely malnourished in Somalia, and that tens of thousands of people died last year due to drought and war. Though the end of famine was declared in February, scarce rain, delayed harvest and continuing conflict may worsen the situation in the coming months, especially in southern Somalia. "The number of people who need help will probably increase during the second half of the year," Bowden said.