New York, NY (BBN) – The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said on Friday it is continuing to scale up the delivery of vital assistance to the worst-affected areas of Pakistan’s Sindh province as part of its efforts to assist the country’s 2.5 million flood victims.

Pakistan has been severely affected by floods for the second consecutive year, leaving more than five million people in need of safe drinking water, sanitation services, food, shelter materials and other essential support.

WFP has already provided life-saving food rations to 1.2 million people in eight districts of Sindh since the distributions started on 12 September, it said in a news release. This includes the distribution of the locally-produced chick pea paste, Wawa Mum, to almost 136,000 children to help prevent and treating malnutrition.

The agency is now working double shifts, along with nearly 20 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to ensure food is moving swiftly out of warehouses and to distribution points as it scales up deliveries.

As part of its efforts to reach areas still inaccessible by roads, WFP has deployed 14 boats to several districts that are also being used for mobile medical services and to assist in the rescue and evacuation of people who are cut off by the flood waters.

Last month, UN agencies and their partners launched the Pakistan Floods Rapid Response Plan to support the Government’s efforts to address the immediate needs of up to 5.4 million flood-affected people for six months. So far the funding request has only received 18 per cent of the $357 million required.

WFP said it has received $27 million in support of emergency food assistance activities for the current floods.

“The current funding will allow WFP to continue its activities til end of November, but more funds are urgently required to ensure continued life-saving relief distributions for the most vulnerable victims,” stated the Rome-based agency in a press statement.

BBN/SSR/AD-15Oct11-11:36 am (BST)