A state of disaster has been declared in Zimbabwe following severe drought in rural parts of the country.

President Robert Mugabe made the declaration, though he has urged Zimbabweans not to panic.

Currently, an estimated 2.4 million people are affected by the drought that was brought on by El Nino, with low abnormally low rainfalls destroying crops and killing livestock.

Mugabe says the government is soon to receive an import of maize from the neighboring country of Zambia.

Though Zimbabwe is the most devastated country, there are an estimated 14 million people in southern Africa who have been affected by the drought, including South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.

In addition the millions of hungry citizens, the economy of these countries are suffering as well. With agriculture being a major industry in many of the southern African countries, the drought has affected the tobacco and cotton farmers.

Combining famine and economic despair, the European Union is calling for a global relief effort to provide aid to the region.