Country Director, WFP Pakistan calls on SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar to seek Ehsaas collaborations against COVID-19 context

April 29, 2020 -Islamabad: Chris Kaye, Country Director for World Food Programme Pakistan together with his team called on Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation at Ehsaas Offices in Islamabad. The meeting discussed several potential collaborations around supporting the vulnerable families with regard to COVID-19 and post COVID-19 context. From Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), Yousaf Khan, Secretary BISP was also present at the occasion.

In the interest of transparency Ehsaas launches Emergency Cash Information Portal; All applicants to get responses within 15 days: Dr. Sania

April 24, 2020 -Islamabad: To ensure transparency, Ehsaas has launched the information portal, making details of Ehsaas Emergency Cash disbursements available to the public. The approval for the launch of this portal had been accorded by the Prime Minister Imran Khan on April 22, 2020. While addressing a press conference along with Dr. Shahbaz Gill on the official release of information portal at Press Information Department, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “The portal transparently reflects the amount released to Ehsaas partner banks for payments to eligible families, and the number of families who have withdrawn money.” To explore real time data relating to disbursements, the portal can be accessed here. About responses to all applicants under categories 2 and 3, Dr. Nishtar announced that applicants of Ehsaas Emergency Cash program would receive the final SMS regarding payment of the amount or rejection based on their eligibility within the next 15 days. Full Footage of press conference can be watched here.

Global SUN Movement lauds the multisectoral approach of Ehsaas to tackle malnutrition amid COVID-19 emergency

April 23, 2020 -Islamabad: Through a virtual meeting, Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation connected with Gerda Verburg, Coordinator and UN Assistant Secretary-General, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting focused on Nutrition, COVID-19 and multisectoral platforms. Dr. Nishtar briefed the multi-sectoral & multi-stakeholder approach being followed under Ehsaas to address nutrition issues in the wake of COVID-19. Verburg lauded the nutrition specific initiatives and collaborations being undertaken by Pakistan to tackle challenges posed by COVID-19 and said, “The spread of COVID-19 has unprecedented effects on nutrition globally. Pakistan’s example of bringing over 100 different actors together on Covid-19 and nutrition is very inspiring and we encourage other countries to do the same.” The SUN Movement Secretariat is based in Geneva and is responsible for liaising with SUN Countries and ensuring the catalytic spirit of the Movement is embedded in the efforts of all actors.

Dr. Sania Nishtar addresses a press conference on Ehsaas Emergency Cash payments: Rs. 68.885 billion disbursed among 5.74 families

April 23, 2020 – Islamabad: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar said that Rs. 68.885 billion have been disbursed among 5.74 million deserving families under the first two categories of Ehsaas Emergency Cash program. Addressing a press conference together with Dr. Shahbaz Gill, the SAPM said that 80 per cent of the payment process under the first category of the program has been completed while payments are being speedily made for the second category (SMS beneficiaries).  Dr. Sania said that around 35 million applicants were rejected after scrutiny on the basis of different parameters like wealth profiling, poverty score database, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) statistics, more than one family member applicants, etc. Also, for payments to third category of beneficiaries, lists are being finalised through the help of district administrations, she added. Full Footage here.

PM approves the launch of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Information Portal

April 22, 2020- Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the launch of an information portal relating to Ehsaas Emergency Cash disbursements. With great transparency, it will outline the amounts given to partnering banks for disbursements to beneficiaries, and the number of beneficiaries who have taken out money. Dashboards in the portal will give details about the number of beneficiaries served in each of the three categories with provincial, district and tehsil wise breakdowns. The portal will be made public to enable people to access information in real time. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation briefed the PM on this innovative portal. In two weeks, Ehsaas has distributed Rs. 65.249 billion emergency cash to 5.437 million families.

The electronic link of the portal will be made available this week.

Prime Minister visits Ehsaas cash distribution point in Rawalpindi; appreciates arrangements

April 22, 2020 -Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, which is aimed at providing financial assistance to the deserving and weaker segments of society in this testing time, is being run completely on the basis of transparency and merit. The Prime Minister expressed these views during his visit to Ehsaas Emergency Cash campsite in Rawalpindi. On the occasion, Special Assistant to PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, briefed the PM about the procedure of Ehsaas Emergency Cash distribution among the deserving and the safety measures being taken in the wake of coronavirus. The Prime Minister appreciated the arrangements made for the distribution of emergency cash. The PM was also joined by Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Federal Minister for Railways during the visit.

Prime Minister opens the Ehsaas Rashan Portal

April 21, 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan opened the Ehsaas Rashan Portal to facilitate the private sector in providing food rations to the most vulnerable affected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Through the portal, the role of government will be to facilitate match-making between donors and beneficiaries (e.g., on geographic basis) and provide data of eligible beneficiaries to donors. Appreciating the initiative, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “Ehsaas Ration Portal will enable philanthropists, charity organizations and other non-government organizations to reach out to deserving families, besides ensuring establishment of a transparent and merit based distribution system for rashan.” Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar reiterated, “The role of the government is entirely match-making between credible donors, and eligible beneficiaries.” To facilitate the process, Ehsaas has developed a web-based portal, accessible here.

Rs. 59.718 billion disbursed under Ehsaas Emergency Cash program

April 21, 2020 – Islamabad: The disbursement of Rs. 12,000 cash handouts to daily wagers and labourers under Ehsaas Emergency Cash program is ongoing with special COVID-19 protective measures at campsites. Reflecting on the progress of the initiative, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “In 13 days, we have distributed Rs. 59.718 billion countrywide to 4.976 million deserving families as part of Ehsaas Emergency Cash. The unprecedented initiative is designed to provide cash assistance of Rs 12,000 to 12 million deserving families across the country. The government has allocated Rs. 144 billion for this purpose.”

Ehsaas Emergency Cash- Deadline for registration ends; Rs. 56.968 billion paid out to 4.747 million families in 12 days

April 20, 2020 – Islamabad: 8171 SMS service to identify category-2 and 3 beneficiaries for Ehsaas Emergency Cash program closed on April 19, 2020. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation said, “The total number of the applicants registered for seeking cash assistance under the program is 139.197 million of which 55.47 million are unique CNICs. The analysis is underway and payment messages will go to new recipients in phased-manner over next 15 days.” Currently, disbursements are being made to category 1 and 2 beneficiaries and in last 12 days, Rs. 56.968 billion has been spent under Ehsaas Emergency Cash to provide Rs. 12,000 each to 4.747 million deserving families.

Radio Program “Raabta”- Payment notifications to all applicants registered for Ehsaas Emergency Cash will go in two weeks: Dr. Sania

April 20, 2020-Islamabad: Speaking in a radio program “Raabta” that is a national broadcast, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar has said, “Till April 19 that was the deadline for SMS registration, Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program has received total 139.197 million valid SMS on 8171 including 55.474 million SMS that are unique CNICs.” Answering questions, she added, “Notifications to all applicants registered for emergency cash will be sent out in two weeks following due diligence. Dr. Nishtar advised applicants to stay at home and not to visit campsites until they receive customized notification from 8171 to collect payment. For registering complaints, she encouraged people to contact Ehsaas helpline 0800-26477.” Listen here:

Rs. 55.039 billion Ehsaas Emergency Cash transferred to 4.586 million families in 11 days

April 19, 2020 – Islamabad: It has been 11 days, since Ehsaas began cash distribution to low-income households in all provinces of Pakistan including Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. So far, Ehsaas has transferred Rs.55.039 billion to 4.586 million families to cater to their financial needs in the wake of ongoing Coronavirus situation. Under the program, Rs.12,000 is being distributed to each eligible family. Talking about the SMS campaign 8171, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “ Ehsaas SMS service launched by the Prime Minister on April 1, 2020 to register Ehsaas Emergency Cash beneficiaries under categories 2 & 3 is closing today. All deserving people particularly daily wagers and laborers are encouraged to send CNIC numbers to 8171 before the campaign closes at midnight.”

Dr. Nishtar holds a surprise interaction with Ehsaas Emergency Cash beneficiaries in federal capital

April 19, 2020-Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation visited Ehsaas Emergency Cash campsites at Sports Complex and G-9/2 areas in the federal capital. This was part of her visits to check the quality of emergency cash distribution in the field without prior intimation. At campsites, Dr. Nishtar interacted with labourers who were turning up with payment messages from Ehsaas to collect Ehsaas Emergency Cash. Each one of them had a heart-wrenching story of being out of work for the last several weeks. Talking about her interaction with beneficiaries, Dr. Nishtar, said, “I paid surprise visits because it is important to have an eye on issues in the field to ensure that we resolve them in real time.” She also appreciated the efforts of local administration, ICT and Police for managing security of campsites. The footage can be accessed here.