UNITED NATIONS - Millions of Pakistanis affected by the last years devastating floods still need assistance to rebuild livelihoods, improve food production and generate income, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. The Rome-based agency, whose efforts have helped about 900,000 farming households get back on their feet, said in a news release issued Wednesday that its Early Recovery Programme needs $96 million to support an additional 430,000 farming households in 14 severely flood-affected districts of Pakistan over the next two years. About 20 million people were affected by the floods that struck the South Asian nation starting in July last, submerging almost one-fifth of the country under water. The disaster claimed 2,000 lives and destroyed 1.6 million homes. According to the organisation, the agriculture sector - the basic livelihood for 80 per cent of the affected population - suffered more than $5.1 billion in damage, including the loss of over two million hectares of crops. The floods struck the provinces of Punjab as well as Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh just before the harvest of spring-planted crops and within weeks of the critical winter wheat planting season. In the aftermath of the crisis, the UN agency, along with over 200 partner organisations, provided almost half a million households with wheat and vegetable crop packages. They also provided assistance to women to grow fresh, nutritious food in their own kitchen vegetable gardens, and individual families with vegetable kits, each of which yielded average 500-kg vegetables. This bridged the gap before the wheat harvest in late spring and surplus production sold on the local market providing valuable income which families used to meet other basic needs, said the agency. It also provided livestock support to over 290,000 families, and assisted with cash-for-work schemes that both benefited farming families and contributed to rebuilding critical infrastructure such as irrigation channels.