Jan 27, 2020, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation visited a branch of Bank Alfalah located at Shuba Chowk in Peshawar to oversee final preparations for the launch of the new Kafalat cash-transfer program, which will enable cash disbursements of Ehsaas Kafalat Programme. Sitting under the umbrella of Ehsaas, the Kafalat programme will use a fully biometric payment system to provide safe, digital cash payments to millions of women across the country, giving them access to a bank account for the first time in their lives. “The Ehsaas Kafalat programme is a major component of the government’s plans to build a welfare state which supports the poorest in society”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar during the visit. During the visit, Dr. Nishtar observed how Bank Alfalah plans to provide a welcoming environment for those people who have not previously used a bank, including their methods for guiding beneficiaries through the new system of finger-print security. Footage can be accessed here.
Jan 27, 2020, Preparations for the new Kafalat cash-transfer programme are well underway at the Pakistan Post Foundation, with eligibility letters ready to be delivered to the first wave of beneficiaries across the country. The process of readying the official letters for distribution was inspected during a visit over the weekend by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services, Murad Saeed. They saw how the official envelopes were printed, stuffed with letters and sorted into geographical areas, and then handed to the Postmen for delivery to those families that need support the most. The Kifalat is a key policy of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme, which is working to lift people out of poverty and create a welfare state. Footage can be accessed here.
Jan 27, 2020, Following the inauguration ceremony of biometrically enabled ATM for the poorest women in Peshawar, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation called on CM KP and briefed him on the new digital payment system introduced under upcoming Kafalat programme. Kafalat is being launched by the Prime Minster Imran Khan on January 30, 2020. Dr. Nishtar apprised the CM that it is the first time that biometrically enabled efficient digital system has been put in place to ensure transparency in cash transfer system for the poor. ATMs are being opened by the partner banks and Points of Sales (PoS) are being increased to benefit the disadvantaged women under the Kafalat.
Jan 27, 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be launching the Ehsaas Kafalat programme on January 31, 2020. Preparations are underway to give final touches to the launch. The Ehsaas Communications Committee meeting was an important component of the preparations. The members of the Communications Committee met to deliberate on the comprehensive communications plan for Ehsaas Kafalat Programme. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation chaired the meeting. The meeting discussed print, electronic and social media engagement plans for the forthcoming mega launch event. Kafalat is a key policy of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme, which is working to lift around 7 million women out of poverty and create a welfare state.
Jan 23, 2020, Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (the Ehsaas Ministry) has released the first-ever “Ehsaas” Newsletter. Since Ehsaas’ inception last year as the country’s largest pro-poor program, it has seen incredible support from local, national and international stakeholders to deliver on the Prime Minister’s vision of creating a 21st century welfare state. The newsletter looks back at the Ehsaas program’s progress over 2019. The newsletter can be accessed here.
Jan 24, 2020, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation inaugurated the new biometric ATM at Habib Bank Limited branch (partner bank) in Melody Market Islamabad for the beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kifalat Programme. Prime Minister Imran Khan will be launching the Ehsaas Kifalat programme on January 31, 2020. Preparations are underway to give final touches to the launch. The Ehsaas digital payment system is an important competent of Kifalat and is a significant progress from the earlier BISP payment system in many respects. This is the first ever digital system that has been introduced to facilitate cash transfers to Kifalat women beneficiaries in a transparent manner. Procurement of the system was completed in a transparent manner last year. Two banks Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Bank Alfalah (BA) were selected after a 10-month procurement process. The senior HBL officials were also present at the inauguration. Footage can be accessed here.
Jan 23, 2020, To improve digital access, Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital company has launched Pakistan-ka-Smartphone, JazzDigit4G, which is an extremely affordable 4G handset which will be sold at a price of around PKR 1,800. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP was the chief guest at the launch event who lauded a private sector company for investing in improving the country’s digital and financial inclusion landscape. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Nishtar stated, “Ehsaas is the Government’s signature programme dedicated towards poverty alleviation in Pakistan through leveraging technology and promoting access of the vulnerable population to digital and financial inclusion.” She then continued, “Most of the digitally excluded segments are poor women, and initiatives like KaiOS which further digital inclusion can improve outcomes significantly. Ehsaas has multiple initiatives that can utilize digital technologies to target the neediest population effectively”.
January 23, 2020, A visiting Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Mission of 8 members from Tokyo led by Dr. Shigemochi Hirashima, Senior Advisor to JICA met with Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation in Islamabad. The mission aimed to explore the possibilities of collaboration between Ehsaas programme and JICA. During meeting, the deliberations focused on understanding the multisectoral Ehsaas policies, programmes and initiatives concerning poverty alleviation and rural development to explore areas of mutual cooperation and discuss JICA’s ongoing contributions in Pakistan. Secretary PASSD was also present in the meeting. The JICA mission highly commended Ehsaas that is largest ever poverty reduction programme of the Government of Pakistan. Dr. Nishtar appreciated the contributions of JICA in areas of education and health across Pakistan. She briefed the mission about Ehsaas that currently embodies 134 policies and programme areas.
Jan 23, 2020, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was called on by Japan Communications Inc. (JCI) delegation led by Fukuda Naohisa, Chairman, & Fukuda Shizue, Member Board of Directors to explore tech-based collaborative opportunities under the Ehsaas framework. The discussions revolved around promoting access of marginalized population of Pakistan to digitization & Fintech platforms.
Jan 22, 2020, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar said that the federal government is going to launch an institutional arrangement in next three months allowing the corporate and private sectors to connect with Ehsaas Programme being the government’s flagship welfare initiative with utmost transparency and efficiency. She stated this while addressing as the chief guest at the inauguration of 12th Annual CSR Summit-2020 organized by National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) in Islamabad. Dr. Nishtar said that she had been advising the philanthropists associated with the country’s corporate sector and willing to donate for the Ehsaas programme to wait for another three months to let this special purpose vehicle be launched allowing the government to receive these donations from the private sector and spend them with utmost integrity and honesty. Further, she added that a web portal would be launched under the proposed arrangement to let the private sector know well as in what manner each of the penny of the philanthropic donations would be spent for the welfare of the individuals and for the benefit of several initiatives of the Ehsaas programme.
Jan 22, 2020, President Dr. Arif Alvi during his visit to Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal’s (PBM) was briefed on programmess which are part of Ehsaas framework. The President appreciated the tremendous philanthropic work being done and emphasized that the efforts must be coordinated in the same direction by taking all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the loop for uplifting the marginalized strata of the society to increase the philanthropic footprint across the country. Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Adviser on Establishment, Mohammad Shehzad Arbab, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan and Managing Director, Aun Abbas Bappi were also present at the occasion.
Jan 22, 2020, BISP inked an MoU with Health Department, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan for the launch of Ehsaas Health & Nutrition Conditional Cash Transfer Programme across Gilgit-Baltistan. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation witnessed the signing ceremony. The project is part of Ehsaas strategy which envisages launch of a new community and health and nutrition initiative to address stunting in children. Under the programme, BISP will provide conditional cash grant to pregnant and lactating BISP beneficiaries and their children under two years of age for consumption of Specialized Nutrition Food (SNF) in 3 districts of GB namely Ghizer, Hunza and Kharmang. In rest of the districts of GB, BISP beneficiaries will be provided with a conditional cash transfer on compliance of immunization against Vaccine Preventable Diseases.