July 30, 2020 – Peshawar: Khyber Medical University organized Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship distribution ceremony in Peshawar for medical and allied health students. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was a chief guest at the event. In her keynote address via video link, Dr. Nishtar congratulated all students who were awarded Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship. “This scholarship focuses on enhancing the earning potential of the recipients. Past scholarships were aimed at postgraduate programs. The Ehsaas scholarship funds under-graduate education, because the evidence suggests that it is the surest way to enable people to rise out of poverty, and it contributes the most to income generating potential”, she said. 341 deserving bright students studying at Khyber Medical University including girls and students from tribal districts of KP were granted merit cum need based Ehsaas scholarship. Footage can be watched here.
July 30, 2020 – Islamabad: Under the leadership of Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Ehsaas and The World Bank teams came to the table to explore collaborative options. Drawing on lessons of Ehsaas Emergency Cash program, the online meeting discussed ways to expand social protection program in Pakistan under the overarching Ehsaas framework.
July 30, 2020 -Islamabad: Ehsaas hosted a webinar with donors, international development partners and UN agencies to share key findings of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Report penned by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation. Convening the virtual meeting, Dr. Nishtar shared her experience around the design and implementation of Ehsaas Emergency Cash that will support 16.9 million families affected by the COVID-19 induced economic shutdown with cash handouts of Rs. 12, 000 each. Dr. Nishtar was joined by country directors and heads of International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other agencies. Development partners richly praised the report and congratulated Dr. Nishtar and the entire Ehsaas team for taking the lead to reach out to multi-million deserving households in a transparent, cost-effective and fast manner. It was suggested to convene another round of cross-country experience sharing session around Ehsaas Emergency Cash.
July 29, 2020 – Islamabad: President Dr. Arif Alvi hosted a reception at the Presidency in Islamabad to pay tribute to the health workers and paramedical staff for their dedicated services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reception was organized in collaboration with Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal that is an executing agency of Ehsaas program. At the event, President Dr. Alvi was joined by First Lady Samina Alvi, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar, Managing Director Pakistan Bait -ul-Mal Aon Abbas Buppi, representatives of International Rescue Committee, dozens of health workers along with family members of those who have lost their lives during the anti-COVID-19 services. President Dr. Arif Alvi termed frontline workers as heroes of nation who had offered COVID-19 related duties at hospitals across the country. Earlier, the President also distributed souvenirs among the family members of martyred health workers and Eid gifts among those serving COVID-19 related duties. Acknowledging services of health workers, Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “During the pandemic, the government has played a commendable role to strengthen health sector by enhancing testing capacity from 450 per day to 80,000 per day, increasing number of laboratories from 3 to 128, training of 100,000 health workers and addition of 2,000 ICU beds.” While highlighting the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program, she added that it would benefit almost half of the country’s population.
July 29, 2020 – Islamabad: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a consultative meeting at Ehsaas offices to give structure to Panagahs (shelter homes) and expand their scope and quality countrywide. The meeting discussed the course of action for the way forward. The implementation of the same will commence next week. At the occasion, Zulfi Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, PM’s Focal Person on Panagahs, Nassem-ur-Rehman, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat and Aon Abbas Buppi, Managing Director, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal were also present.
July 29, 2020 – Islamabad: The cabinet committee on Utility Stores Corporation met to review the utilization of the subsidy amount. The meeting was convened by Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production and he was joined by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation. Managing Director, Utility Stores Corporation gave a detailed presentation to the committee on its current working capital and total utilization of funds for the subsidy. During the meeting, Dr. Nishtar outlined ideas to ensure enhanced transparency safeguards in utilization of subsidy amount.
July 29, 2020 -Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was called on by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to Pakistan, Noriko Yoshida along with her team to Ehsaas offices in Islamabad. This was just a courtesy call. The meeting discussed options to offer social protection to refugees drawing further on the Ehsaas Emergency Cash experience.
July 29, 2020 -Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation virtually connected with Gerda Verburg, Coordinator and UN Assistant Secretary-General, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss matters pertaining to SUN Movement. The meeting discussed the next phase of the Movement, ‘SUN 3.0 from 2021 to 2025’, SUN Lead Group 2020 commitments and post COVID-19 global reimagination of the nutrition landscape.
July 28, 2020 -Islamabad: In a meeting that took place at Aiwan-e-Sadar in Islamabad, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar presented the Ehsaas Emergency Cash report to President, Dr. Arif Alvi. The President of Pakistan highly lauded her for authoring this comprehensive report that features lessons from the real time evaluation of Ehsaas Emergency Cash program. Dr. Nishtar thanked the President for all the applause and encouragement.
July 28, 2020 – Islamabad: To facilitate applicants as well as volunteers of Ehsaas Emergency Cash program enabling them to check online status of their applications, Ehsaas has introduced ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash – Know Your Status Web-Portal’. The portal can be accessed here. Demonstrating the process for registered applicants to check eligibility status, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation has tweeted an explanatory video. All applicants who have registered themselves through 8171 can now easily check their eligibility status by entering Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) CNIC number on the portal. If eligible, they can collect their cash from the nearest Ehsaas payment centres. The video can be watched here.
July 27, 2020 – Islamabad: Connecting with wide-ranging stakeholders, Ehsaas has released the second volume of the newsletter. This electronic newsletter looks back at the Ehsaas’ progress from Jan 01, 2020 to Jun 30, 2020. It marks the launch of a number of new social protection and poverty alleviation initiatives under the overarching Ehsaas framework. The newsletter innovatively outlines the response of the government during the period to address COVID-19 challenges in the country. Early in the year 2020, Pakistan administered nationwide COVID-19 emergency measures which adversely impacted livelihoods of labour class. To mitigate the economic hardships being experienced by many workers, the government introduced the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program within ten days of the lockdown to extend cash handouts of Rs. 12,000 to 16.9 million families in need. The newsletter provides a link to the recently launched report on Ehsaas Emergency Cash. Noting the release of the newsletter, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar commented, “The primary purpose behind the release of this newsletter is to foster transparency and share knowledge with all stakeholders and partners about major developments related to Ehsaas initiatives and programs.” The newly released issue of Ehsaas newsletter can be read here.
July 24, 2020 -Islamabad: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar together with her team visited the Ehsaas Nashonuma Center that has recently been set up in Khyber Tribal District at District Headquarter Hospital, Dogra. She reviewed arrangements being made at the center for the upcoming Ehsaas Nashonuma programme. At the center, Dr. Nishtar was briefed on various services for pregnant and lactating Ehsaas beneficiaries and their children under two years of age to prevent stunting. The key services included registration of beneficiaries through Ehsaas Nashonuma app, growth monitoring, immunization and treatment, awareness sessions, distribution of specialized nutritious food and biometric cash grant disbursement through ATM. Dr. Nishtar interacted with the staff and beneficiary women present at the center and sat with them to watch an awareness video on addressing stunting in children that had been made in Pashto language. Ehsaas Nashonuma is a conditional cash transfer program, specifically designed to prevent stunting in children. The Prime Minister will launch Ehsaas Nashonuma programme next month.