Feb 26, 2021 – Islamabad: At the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a final consultative meeting with all four executing agencies of Ehsaas to discuss the policy and roll out plan for the forthcoming One Window Ehsaas operations. Part of One Window Ehsaas Initiative, preparations are underway to open the first of its kind, ‘Physical One Window Ehsaas Center’ in Islamabad and inaugurate ‘Ehsaas Digital’ by end of March 2021. In this regard, Ehsaas is currently in process of structuring and integrating One Window Ehsaas, which is a single- service operation to avoid duplication and ensure improved access to multisectoral Ehsaas initiatives. The initiative comprises of ‘Physical One Window Ehsaas Centers’, interlinked Ehsaas services through Ehsaas e-portal, Ehsaas Android app, deployment of cognitive API architecture for data sharing, standardization of beneficiary targeting and alignment of program beneficiary populations.
Feb 25, 2021 – Islamabad: At the 13th International CSR Summit and Awards 2021 organised by the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH), Ehsaas was conferred with Special Annual CSR Award 2021 for steering transparent Ehsaas Emergency Cash disbursements in 2020. The summit was inaugurated by SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar who was the chief guest. “I’m glad that almost half of the population of our country benefited from Ehsaas programme amid COVID-19,” Dr. Sania said, recalling how offices of the Ehsaas programme had remained open to dispense emergency cash assistance when almost all the country was closed as a part of the lockdown measures.
Feb 25, 2021 – Islamabad: Islamabad – February 25, 2021: With the new injection of Rs. 5 Billion to upscale Ehsaas Interest Free Loan (IFL) programme, being ploughed by the government of Pakistan, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a review meeting with the Ehsaas’ executing agency, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF). Primarily, the meeting assessed the progress of the IFL in 110 existing districts and discussed the roadmap to upscale the programme across 28 new districts in lagging regions. Launched in July 2019, Ehsaas IFL is the country’s biggest programme for poverty graduation, which will impact 14.7 million vulnerable people in four years with half of them women including youth, persons with special needs, transgender, minorities and marginalised communities. Overall, Ehsaas interest-free loans worth Rs. 41.9 billion have been disbursed to 1.19 million borrowers so far, of which 45 percent are women across the country.
Feb 24, 2021 – Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar answered the frequently asked questions (FAQs) of Ehsaas beneficiaries in Radio Pakistan’s national broadcast, “Raabta”. The program is held every Wednesday to create awareness among public about the importance of ongoing Ehsaas survey and new enrolments under Ehsaas Kafaalat through survey. During the live program, Dr. Nishtar replied to questions of listeners who connected with her on telephone. She urged listeners to cooperate with the survey teams when they come at their doorstep for Ehsaas registration and share correct information. The program can be listened every week at 9 am. Listen here.
Feb 24, 2021 – Sargodha: Addressing a news conference in Sargodha, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar formally opened Ehsaas survey in the district. With the accelerated execution of the Ehsaas survey post-COVID-19, this was the fifth news briefing by Nishtar in a month. “The new Ehsaas survey has begun in all seven Tehsils of Sargodha while it is 70% ready nationwide and would realize by June 2021 to enrol 7 million households living in extreme poverty”, Dr. Nishtar said. Further, she urged district administration, government teachers and local media to create awareness about the survey among the public, stating that it is a free-of-cost and voluntary process and therefore, the people cooperate with the survey team by sharing correct and accurate information. Later, Dr. Nishtar visited the site of the survey in adjoining area of Sargodha to meet beneficiaries and enquired about the survey process and performance of enumerators. Full footage can be watched here.
Feb 22, 2021 – Islamabad: The steering committee for Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship met with the SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar in chair to stocktake the progress and approve the budget for the academic year 2020-21. In this regard, the committee approved a budget of Rs. 6.53 Billion for 67,000 need and merit based undergraduate scholarships nationwide. Members of the committee discussed that 111,685 undergraduate students (42,430 applications of girls) have applied for scholarships through online application portal which publicly closed for applications on Nov 30, 2020. The meeting also reviewed the field execution of the programme with 125 public sector universities. Dr. Nishtar emphasized to expedite the process for scholarship distribution and disbursements for the academic year 2020-21. The scrutiny of new applications is currently under-way and it is anticipated that final selection process will be completed by April 2021. The committee was informed that the portal will be re-opened for fifteen days in the second week of March 2021 to facilitate students from medical universities in the public sector.
Feb 18, 2021 – Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired the stocktake meeting with Ehsaas Amdan implementing partners. The meeting virtually tracked the progress of Ehsaas Amdan being implemented in 388 rural union councils of 23 poorest districts across the four provinces. Last year in February, the Prime Minister had launched Ehsaas Amdan programme to enhance the livelihoods of downtrodden segments of society. In the meeting, target oriented detailed discussions took place with partners. All Amdan partners presented holistic overview of their respective performance along with the operational challenges being confronted by them in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. “Addition of new districts should be purely on already set criteria and according to human development ranking of the districts”, said Dr. Nishtar. She further emphasized the need to be responsive to the circumstances and needs of potential beneficiaries. Both Dr. Nishtar and Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) stressed the need to fast track progress.
Feb 16, 2021 – Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar joined the panel on ‘the Banking on Equality Policy’ hosted by State Bank of Pakistan. The virtual session held practical discussions amongst the participants to help fine-tune the policy and develop the future implementation roadmap in light of stakeholders’ feedback. Alongside Dr. Nishtar, other speakers on the panel included Governor State Bank Dr. Reza Baqir, Deputy Governor State Bank, Sima Kamil and Chairman Nadra Usman Yousaf Mobin The Banking on Equity Policy is State Bank of Pakistan’s flagship policy initiative for introducing a gender lens within the financial sector through targeted measures to bring a shift towards gender friendly business practices, and improve women’s financial inclusion in the country.
Feb 15, 2021 – Islamabad: Payments to new Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries who are being enrolled through the ongoing Ehsaas survey have commenced last week. To create awareness among masses in this regard, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar has released a series of 40 beneficiary centered videos on twitter. These instructional videos will provide information and guidance to public, facilitating them to participate in Ehsaas. In the talking head videos, Dr. Nishtar has answered frequently asked questions (FAQs) in simple language. In particular, videos describe the FAQs of public, including details of new Ehsaas survey and outline process of enrolments and payments to new Kafaalat recipients. The video release is available on the official twitter handle of Dr. Nishtar; @SaniaNishtar.
Feb 12, 2021 – Islamabad: Under the chair of SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar, Technical Design Committee of Ehsaas met to discuss important agendas relating to One-Window Ehsaas, graduation bonus for girls enrolled in the primary education under the conditional cash transfer programme, Waseela -e-Taleem Digital and Indexation Policy of Ehsaas Kafaalat. The meeting took place at Ehsaas offices in Islamabad with members of the Design Committee.
Feb 12, 2021 – Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar met with the Advisor Establishment, Shahzad Arbab to apprise him of efforts being done under Ehsaas to track delivery against performance contracts with the Prime Minister, and the digital dashboards and delivery unit ecosystem that have been developed to enable it. Shahzad Arbab lauded the data and technology centered social protection initiatives launched under Ehsaas to ensure transparency and integrity.
Feb 11, 2021 – Lahore: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar opened the Ehsaas survey in Lahore that will be accomplished by June 2021. Addressing a media briefing, Nishtar said that an ongoing survey for the Ehsaas programme is currently 70% complete in the country, adding that 7 million deserving households are being brought into the fold of Kafaalat through the fully transparent survey. “Ehsaas survey is being executed in Lahore based on a hybrid approach. With the transparency and integrity at its core, the survey is being rolled out in collaboration with provincial government of Punjab, Punjab Education Department and district administration Lahore. Ehsaas partnering firm, SDPI will provide technical assistance to 1,350 teachers from provincial education department Lahore who are being trained to serve as enumerators”, said Nishtar while describing the survey approach. Full footage can be watched here.