New York, NY (BBN)– The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has announced that it is scaling up its food aid to reach more than 7.0 million people in Pakistan, which is entering the third month of the worst flooding in its history.

The agency began distributing life-saving rations soon after the floods hit the Asian nation in late July, providing aid to an average of 6 million people per month while transitioning towards early recovery activities.

But with severe flooding continuing in the south and needs on the upswing, WFP said it will ramp up its operations to reach 7.1 million people this month.

Early recovery activities have begun in the northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KPK), where the agency is helping nearly 18,000 families through food-for-work activities, including rehabilitating farmland, roads and irrigation systems destroyed by flooding.

Seed kits have also been distributed to 6,500 families in KPK to counter food insecurity so that they can grow their own vegetables and sell the surplus at markets.

The WFP is also prepositioning essential food items in KPK, Kashmir and other areas that will be inaccessible during the winter, the agency said in press statement on Friday.

It has helped to deliver over 3,500 metric tons of food, medicine and other items to isolated areas of KPK, Sindh and Punjab provinces.

At the same time, it notes that its food assistance program for flood-affected communities faces a $414 million shortfall.

While addressing food needs, WFP has continued supplying food for an additional 1.1 million people uprooted by conflict in KPK and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) as part of a separate, ongoing operation, according to the statement.

BBN/ANS/AD-02Oct10-1:47 am (BST)