The Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an emergency appeal to help the more than 16 million people who are facing hunger in east Africa.
The DEC said people in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia had been left in danger of starvation because of drought and conflict.
The East Africa Crisis Appeal will from today be supported by advertisements hosted by all the major UK broadcasters.
The DEC, which consists of 13 major humanitarian aid charities including the British Red Cross, Oxfam, Islamic Relief Worldwide and Tearfund, said the funds raised would be used by member charities to support people in the region.
The UK government has pledged to match the first £5m in donations to the appeal.
Saleh Saeed, chief executive of the DEC, said more than 800,000 children under the age of five were severely malnourished and at risk of starvation.
"We are hearing that families are so desperate for food that they are resorting to eating leaves to survive," he said. "This is something no family should have to endure."
Donations can be made online, by text or by calling the DEC on 0370 6060610.
In December, the DEC launched an ongoing appeal to help people affected by the conflict in Yemen, which has left an estimated 19 million people – about 70 per cent of the population – in need of humanitarian aid. The appeal has raised £20m so far.
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