ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan has disbursed Rs149.879 billion to at least 12,384,243 lockdown affectees under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme. The federal government had initiated the programme to distribute Rs12,000 among those affected by the coronavirus lockdown. The payment process under different categories of the programme continued across the country.
According to the latest update received on July 6, a total of Rs67.156 billion had been disbursed to 5,547,709 deserving families in Punjab so far, while Rs44.902 billion have been disbursed among 3,723,230 families in Sindh. Rs25.874 billion have been distributed among 2,131,284 beneficiaries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while more than Rs7.604 billion have been disbursed among 625,934 people in Balochistan. In AJK, Rs2.473 billion have been distributed among 202,464 persons while Rs1.081 billion have been distributed to 88,429 people in Gilgit Baltistan. An amount of Rs 0.787 billion had been disbursed among more than 65,193 beneficiaries in Islamabad. It is important to mention here that an amount of Rs1.26 billion, among the total disbursement, was paid to the existing Kafalat beneficiaries.
Earlier, Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a virtual briefing on the country’s social protection response to COVID-19, Ehsaas Emergency Cash program that brought together heads of diplomatic missions, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Country Representatives and Charge de Affairs from around 60 countries. Dean of Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Atadjan Movlamov was also present. Briefing foreign diplomats, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar who heads Ehsaas program reflected on various dimensions of the USD 1.16 billion program particularly the scale and design, speed of deployment, transparency safeguards and real-time evaluations that are hardwired in the success of Ehsaas Emergency Cash.
She apprised all participants that the program has provided one time cash assistance (USD 75 each) to 12.30 million families in just 11 weeks, following rule based approach. Diplomats richly praised the Ehsaas Emergency Cash that it took lead in radically expanding social safety nets to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 in Pakistan. They offered broader collaboration to the government of Pakistan to further expand this apolitical program. Closing the briefing, Foreign Secretary, Sohail Mehmood acknowledged the success of Pakistan’s social protection program and said that another interaction will be planned very soon to share the final report of Ehsaas Emergency Cash. Ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is at the heart of the government’s vision for Pakistan. This was the key message delivered by Dr. Sania Nishtar to the United Nations yesterday in a speech to the General Assembly on behalf of the Government of Pakistan.
Dr. Nishtar, who is Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and head of the Ehsaas program, delivered the speech via video link as part of the virtual inauguration of the Alliance for Poverty Eradication, a new global body designed to address poverty from all possible angles, and serve as a forum for networking, information-sharing, and bridge-building. The Alliance for Poverty Eradication is a flagship initiative of the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, who also spoke at the event alongside UN Secretary-General and representatives including Heads of State from over 30 countries. Dr. Nishtar was one of the opening speakers along with Secretary General Gutteres, President Buhari of Nigeria, and President of ECOSOC. Dr. Nishtar’s full speech can be watched here.