Pakistan floods
Stranded Pakistani flood affected people rush to board a U.S. forces Chinook helicopter, in Kalam in Pakistan's Swat Valley, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. -AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is short of $600 million needed to help millions of families rebuild their lives nine months after the country suffered nationwide floods in its worst ever natural disaster, the UN said Wednesday.

The international community was slow to come to Pakistan's aid in the immediate aftermath of last year's monsoon-triggered floods, which affected up to 21 million people, amid allegations of official mismanagement of funds.

As the aid operation now moves from its emergency phase to “early recovery” to rebuild homes and restore livelihoods, the United Nations said a huge shortfall in funds remained.

More than $600 million is still to come from donors, with more than $176.5 million needed for agriculture and food security, more than $174.5 million for housing, and more than $106.6 million for water and sanitation projects.

The rest of the funds are required to improve education, health, livelihoods, governance, and infrastructure, the United Nations and Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority told reporters in Islamabad.

“It is critical that the international community supports this effort both technically and financially,” UN humanitarian coordinator Timo Pakkala said.