October 30, 2020 – Islamabad: To meet and greet Eid Milad-un-Nabi to the resident orphans being supported under Ehsaas, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar visited Dar-ul-Ehsaas Centre (Orphanage) at H-13 in Islamabad. A special Milad ceremony was organized by the children of Dar-ul-Ehsaas. Dr. Nishtar distributed gifts among the children and interacted with them over the lunch. On the occasion, Aon Abbas Buppi, Managing Director Pakistan Bait ul Mal was also present. “This is the first time in the history of the country that Ehsaas Orphans and Orphanges’ Committee has developed basic operating standards to ensure quality care and service at all orphanages in the country. These standards are in their last stages of finalization and will be implemented soon nationwide”, said Dr. Nishtar. Dar-ul-Ehsaas Centres by Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal provide quality care and education to orphans across Pakistan. There are more than 50 Dar-ul-Ehsaas Centres in the country and each centre supports hundred deserving children.
October 30, 2020 – Islamabad: In connection with Eid Milad-un-Nabi, special Milad events under the aegis of Ehsaas were organized by Pakistan Bait ul Mal in all Panagahs of the federal capital. Joining religious celebrations to pay homage to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar made a visit to Panagah at Mandi More in Islamabad and spent the special day with labourers and daily wage earners. Prayers, naats and speeches all took place before the special lunch was served at the culmination of the Milad event. COVID-19 safety measures and social distancing were the hallmarks of the ceremony. This was Dr. Nishtar’s first public appearance after her recent recovery from COVID-19.
October 29, 2020 – Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar has announced an extension in the last date to submit Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship applications for the year 2020-21 till November 30, 2020. Earlier, October 30, 2020 was the last date for the submission of online scholarship applications. However, given the COVID-19 fronted delays in admission process at several public sector universities in the country, the last date for Ehsaas scholarship applications has just been revised. The decision will facilitate maximum number of fresh undergraduate students to apply for this scholarship opportunity. Since the online application portal reopened on Sep 5, 2020 as many as 30,000 applications have been received in the system so far. The Ehsaas undergraduate Scholarships are targeted at students from low income families (less than Rs. 45,000 a month) and marginalized regions to assist them in their undergraduate studies. Eligible students can apply through an online portal: https://ehsaas.hec.gov.pk/.
October 29, 2020 In her capacity as one of the Commissioners, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar joined the first meeting of Commissioners of the Lancet – Chatham House Commission on improving population health post COVID-19. The meeting aimed to map the shared drivers of pandemic protection, population health, and environmental sustainability as the basis for developing a framework to identify key actions to drive equitable improvements in human and planetary health. Other distinguished Commissioners who came to the table were- Professor Tim Benton, Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House London, Dr. John Amuasi, Professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Ghana; David P. Fidler Senior Fellow for cybersecurity and global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and the James Louis Calamaras Professor of Law (emeritus) at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Amandine Garde, Professor of Law at the University of Liverpool; and James Wilsdon, Digital Science Professor of Research Policy at the University of Sheffield. The Commission is co-chaired by Professor Theresa Marteau, Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, Director of Studies in Behavioural and Psychological Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge; and Harry Rutter, Professor of global public health at the University of Bath.
October 23, 2020: The 42nd meeting of the BISP Board was convened at the BISP headquarters in Islamabad. SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar virtually chaired the meeting. The board accelerated necessary approvals for the six month Ehsaas Kafaalat tranche to be released in this quarter. Only the time sensitive agenda was discussed in the meeting. The larger 42nd Board will be convened next month.
October 21, 2020: Dr. Sania highlighted how Pakistan leveraged transparency and rule-based execution to garner public trust in Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme at the live panel webcast hosted by Delivery Associates and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University. The session was titled, ‘how to build public trust in government’. At the occasion, Dr. Nishtar was joined by a team of panellists- Sir Michael Barber, 1st Chair of Office for Students, regulator of HE in England and Founder, Delivery Associates; Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, and Mosbacher Director, CDDRL Stanford; Audrey Jiajia Li, a Chinese nonfiction writer and broadcast journalist; and Anna Grzymala-Busse, Professor of Political Science at Stanford.
October 21, 2020: At the Gairdner Global Perspectives Panel titled, “SDGs & Global Health through COVID-19 lens”, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar shared Pakistan’s lessons from the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme and the potential of end-to-end digitization to be equally and constructively disruptive for the health sector. Other eminent speakers on the panel were- Cleopatra Mugyenyi, Director, Africa Regional Office, International Center For Research On Women; Zulfiqar Bhutta, Inaugural Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health & Inaugural Ibn Sina Scholar in Global Child Health, Hospital for Sick Children; Co-Director, SickKids Centre for Global Child Health; Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director, CAPRISA; Professor, Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York; Professor, Public Health, Nelson Mandela Medical School; Pro Vice-Chancellor (African Health), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and Salim Abdool Karim, Director, CAPRISA; CAPRISA Professor in Global Health, Columbia University, New York; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. The Gairdner Global Perspectives Symposium was held in partnership with International Development Research Centre, Grand Challenges Canada Centre for Global Health – Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and SickKids Centre for Global Child Health.
October 21, 2020: During the virtual roundtable, “Unleashing the South Asian Century Through Human Capital For All” hosted by World Bank Group-IMF, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar discussed how Pakistan is expanding social protection post COVID-19. The event brought together Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, Acting Minister of Finance, Afghanistan; A H M Mustafa Kamal, FCA, MP, Minister, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh; Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, Minister of Finance, Bhutan; Ibrahim Ameer, Minister of Finance, Maldives; Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Special Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Nepal; Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Education, Sri Lanka; and Minister of Women and Children’s Development of India. The event discussed a proposed framework for action to achieve human capital acceleration in South Asia, through an engaging discussion bringing together policymakers, civil society leaders, private sector participants, and development partners.
October 21, 2020, Speaking at the Jobs Reset Summit 2020 hosted by the World Economic Forum, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar emphasized that social protection must be a right. The theme of the session was, “a new vision for social protection”. Along with Dr. Nishtar, other panellists included Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Belgium; Mike Mansfield, Program Director Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, Aegon, Netherlands; Olivier de Schutter, Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, United Nations, Switzerland; and Gene Zaino, Founder and Executive Chairman, MBO Partners, USA. The session was moderated by Faisal Islam, Economics Editor from BBC News, United Kingdom. The discussions focused on challenges and opportunities for updating existing social safety nets in both low and high income countries.
October 20, 2020 – Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sani Nishtar was invited to keynote the consultative meeting hosted by Health Services Academy Pakistan. The meeting aimed to discuss ‘Economic Aspects of COVID-19 in Pakistan’. Dr. Nishtar connected virtually to keynote the event and shared lessons from the Ehsaas Emergency Cash that was rolled out by the government amid COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Ali Hamandi Health Economist, World Bank Washington D.C; Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Professor & Co-Director, Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto; Dr. Awad Mataria Director, Universal Health Coverage, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean; and Dr. Assad Hafeez Vice Chancellor, Health Services Academy, Islamabad also spoke at the event.
October 18, 2020 – Multan: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi inaugurated the Ehsaas Langar (soup kitchen) in Multan that serves cooked food twice daily to 1,000 people. The Ehsaas Saylani Langar has been opened at the main bus station in Multan. Vehari Chowk is an ideal place for the Langar as labourers and daily wage earners congregate to earn daily wages. As part of the Ehsaas framework, the Ehsaas Langar has been established in a public private partnership with zero cost to the government. The partnering trust (SWIT) will manage the production and distribution of food.
Oct 17, 2020 – Washington: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited by the World Bank Group to speak at an online poverty event, ‘End Poverty Day 2020: Surmounting Setbacks’ during the Annual Meetings to highlight current challenges to poverty reduction and the urgency of redoubling our efforts to end poverty. The event focused on a fast, broad-based response to COVID-19 to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response and health care systems. Together with Dr. Sania Nishtar, the team of distinguished panellists included the World Bank Managing Director for Operations Axel van Trotsenburg; Strive Masiyiwa, African Union Special Envoy to mobilize the private sector response to COVID; CSO leaders from FCV countries- Lamis Al-Iryani from Yemen and Orzala Nemat from Afghanistan; Dominic Raab, UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs; Sarah Colenbrander, Director of ODI’s Climate and Sustainability program and Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development, Bangladesh; and Ngwashi Christabel Apholung from Cameroon. The session was moderated by Larry Madowo of the BBC.