This situation particularly affects the world's poorest countries as well as the world's most vulnerable people.

Just a few months ago, the region was hit by tropical storms and deadly floods, Zambia and Malawi declared national states of disaster due to drought, and Zimbabwe may be about to do the same.

At a food distribution site deep in rural Zimbabwe, relief teams recently provided aid to about 2,000 people.

An estimated 20 million people need aid in the region as a whole, and many of them simply may not get it, according to the Associated Press.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that an estimated 9 million people, half of them children, need assistance in Malawi, and more than 6 million people in Zambia, including 3 million children, were affected by the drought.

 This represents approximately half of the population of Malawi and 30 percent of the population of Zambia, respectively.

“Unfortunately, extreme weather is expected to become the norm in eastern and southern Africa in the coming years,” said Eva Kadili, UNICEF Regional Director.

Francesca Erdelmann, World Food Program country director in Zimbabwe, said that last year's harvest was bad, but this season is worse, she said.

“This is not a normal circumstance,” she added.