Nov 26, 2019, Millions of people in Pakistan will finally have access to financial services, thanks to the Ehsaas Financial Inclusion Initiatives launched today by the Prime Minister Imran Khan. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands attended the launch in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). Her Majesty Queen Maxima spoke passionately about the need to promote financial inclusion as a tool to empower women and achieve social goals. At the launch, Prime Minister praised the new Ehsaas financial inclusion initiatives and noted the significant impact these will have on the ability of the poorest to escape poverty. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation presented an overview of Ehsaas Financial Inclusion Initiatives. The Ehsaas Financial Inclusion is a multi-component initiative. It includes the Prime Minister’s “one woman one bank account policy”; bank accounts for informal workers under Mazdoor ka Ehsaas; promotion of access to credit for the bottom of the pyramid. Details of Ehsaas Financial Inclusion Initiatives can be accessed here.
Nov 26, 2019, Earlier today, Ehsaas held a bilateral meeting with a delegation led by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. The conversation aimed to reinforce collaboration on Financial inclusion in Pakistan under Ehsaas programme. The meeting was hosted by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation who leads Ehsaas programme. During the meeting Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division and Secretary BISP were also present. Queen Máxima is visiting Pakistan in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).
Nov 25, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan will tomorrow launch the Ehsaas, ‘Financial Inclusion Initiatives’ in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. Queen Máxima is visiting Pakistan in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). “We look forward to welcoming Queen Maxima to Pakistan who has worked for ten years as the UNSGSA to give people safe and affordable access to the financial services they need to protect themselves against hardship and invest in their futures. With access to a broad range of financial tools – savings, credit, insurance, payments and more, families can move out of poverty, small businesses can expand, farmers can thrive, and societies and economies can grow stronger and more inclusive. The Ehsaas’ financial inclusion initiatives drive access to financial services for the poorest and most marginalized,” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation.
November 21, 2019, KP Cabinet in its 25th meeting was briefed on the Ehsaas programme. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was in the provincial capital for the briefing. Chief Minister KP, Mahmood Khan chaired the meeting. The aim of the meeting was to inform the KP Cabinet about the Ehsaas framework and begin to identify areas for coordination and collaboration. Dr. Nishtar outlined details of Ehsaas programme and particularly stressed on areas which are relevant to federal – provincial partnerships. Members of the Cabinet took keen interest in the ‘Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy’. This was the fourth provincial briefing that Dr. Nishtar has led on Ehsaas, following briefings in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab.
November 20, 2019, The Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division (PASSD) has announced it will partner with Facebook and Invest2Innovate to host a first-of-its-kind ‘Design Hackathon’ on malnutrition at the National Incubation Centre, Islamabad on 14th – 15th December. “Ehsaas is bringing together the brightest talent in digital marketing and technology to tackle malnutrition across the country and improve millions of lives”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation. “Social media is an important channel through which educate and inform the public, and we are excited to see the results of this pioneering Design Hackathon.” Interested digital agencies, health startups, NGOs and individuals with applicable skills who are committed to social justice and poverty alleviation in Pakistan are encouraged to apply. To apply, please click here.
Nov 18, 2019, The Board of Directors of Trust for Voluntary Organizations (TVO) has been constituted after six years and held its first meeting today. The TVO was created as an indigenous grantmaking organization in 1990 following an agreement between the Governments of Pakistan and the USA to establish a Special Development Fund, TVO was set up to tap the potential of NGOs. However, for the last six years, its Board had not been constituted, as a result of which, its operations were stalled. Earlier this year, the process of recruiting the Board was initialized in a transparent manner. TVO has been revitalized under Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division because it is envisaged to be one of the executing agencies which will execute the programmes under Ehsaas policy action number thirty-six that aims to serve the marginalized. Today, Dr. Sania Nishtar addressed the TVO Board to communicate to them, the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy of the Government.
Nov 15, 2019, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) today began the implementation of the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy, which was formally approved by the Cabinet and launched earlier this week. The purpose of the policy is to build systems that strongly discourage corruption, and to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability for results and compliance with the rules. Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a meeting attended by the Principal Accounting Officers and ancillary organizations of the PASSD namely BISP, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and Trust for Voluntary Organizations. The meeting discussed a roadmap for implementation of the new policy and addressed questions around making it as robust as possible.
Nov 15, 2019, Eminent intergovernmental agencies and international organizations have joined forces to support the roll-out of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme. The Ehsaas Development Partnership Group brought together 45 country heads and representatives from 25 development partners, UN agencies and international organizations working across Pakistan. Meeting today for the first time in Islamabad, the group discussed the terms of reference of their newly established group, the main objective of which is to provide integrated, coherent and aligned technical support and strategic advice to Government of Pakistan for the implementation of Ehsaas strategy. “Ehsaas aims to lift millions of people in Pakistan out of poverty, creating a welfare state in our country for the first time”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, who chaired the first meeting of the group.
Nov 14, 2019, Texas, USA – Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in the economy. That was the message behind a keynote speech delivered by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation at the U.S.-Pakistan Women in the Economy Symposium today. Hosted by the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in coordination with the US-Pakistan Women’s Council, the roundtable was focused on ambitious ideas to propel women in the economy forward. Dr. Nishtar joined the meeting, which took place in College Station, Texas, via video-link. During her speech she highlighted the multiple policies under the Ehsaas programme which are driving women’s fuller participation in both the economy and society.
Nov 12, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP was the keynote speaker at the roundtable on innovative financing for social impact. The roundtable was jointly organized by Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit in Islamabad. The event was attended by members of the Ehsaas programme committee who are developing innovative financing mechanisms through bilateral and multilateral collaboration with the corporate sector, philanthropists, INGOs, and UN agencies. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Nishtar stated: “It is imperative that Pakistan begin to adopt innovative financing models for the Ehsaas programme, so that it can maximize social impact and fulfill its mission to lift millions of people out of poverty. With a more strategic, collaborative and outcome focused approach to philanthropy and social investing, we can ensure that resources are deployed as effectively as possible to address key social challenges.”
Nov 12, 2019, The Cabinet today approved the proposal of “Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Observatory” and “Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy”. Speaking to the press, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation said, “The policy is binding on the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) and its ancillary organizations, namely, the Benazir Income Support Programme, Bait-ul-Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and Trust for Voluntary Organizations and the observatory is meant to ensure tracking of compliance, and, since the key issue with policies is their implementation, that is why, the observatory and the policy have been launched together”. The purpose of the policy is to build systems that strongly discourage corruption, and to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability for results and compliance with rules. These measures are meant to make organizations involved in delivery of welfare, effective and responsive to the needs of those who they are meant to serve, and to ensure rule-based control on the use of public resources.
Nov 8, 2019, The Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council (PNNCC) held its maiden meeting in Islamabad today. The creation of the council has been hailed internationally, since the Prime Minister chairs the council with six ministers as its members reflecting both a multisectoral construct as well as high political commitment to address malnutrition. The first meeting was convened by the Vice Chair of the council, Dr. Sania Nishtar and was attended by Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Systems, Regulations and Coordination and other members of the council. The discussion during the first meeting brought the light to myriad nutrition stakeholders working in a fragmented manner with no coordination and significant overlap and duplication. The council has been created to overcome that in coherence. The members of the council decided that mapping of nutrition stakeholders in digital observatory style documentation should be developed as a starting point.