Some 75,000 children in north-eastern Nigeria risk dying of hunger in "the few months ahead", the UN says.
UN humanitarian co-ordinator Peter Lundberg said that overall 14 million people needed humanitarian assistance in a region that was the former stronghold of Boko Haram militants.
He warned that the UN did not have enough funds to avert the crisis.
Boko Haram jihadists laid waste to the region before being pushed back by Nigerian forces in recent months.
"Currently our assessment is that 14 million people are identified as in need of humanitarian assistance" by 2017, Mr Lundberg said in Nigeria's capital Abuja on Tuesday.
He added that this figure included some 400,000 children, and that 75,000 of them "are going to die in the few months ahead of us... if we don't do something rapidly and seriously".
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than two million displaced since Boko Haram began its military operations in 2009 in the Borno state and other areas.
In July, the UN warned that almost a quarter of a million children in parts of Borno were suffering from severe malnutrition.
Have your say
More World Headlines
- At least 42 killed in Zimbabwe bus fire
- Symbolic funeral services for murdered Jamal Khashoggi
- US to cut Africom troops amid focus on Russia and China
- Trump ordered to restore CNN reporter Jim Acosta's access
- Trump attacks Mueller's Russia inquiry as 'absolutely nuts'
- Carmakers lure ride-hailer, delivery drivers in Africa
- White House aide Mira Ricardel removed after Melania Trump row
- Nigeria: Biafra secessionist leader 'must appear in court'
- Lion Air crash: Victim's fiancée takes wedding photos alone
- UK closer to delivering Brexit - May
- UN lifts nine-year Eritrea sanctions
- South Africa minister resigns weeks after sex video scandal
- Brexit: Theresa May to face cabinet showdown over deal
- Trump finally appoints new ambassador to Saudi Arabia
- Over 300,000 Congolese refugees forced to leave Angola