April 14, 2021-Geneva: Dr. Sania Nishtar held a virtual meeting with Gerda Verburg, Coordinator and UN Assistant Secretary-General, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. The meeting discussed forthcoming renewal of the SUN movement and opportunities in nutrition. Dr. Sania is a member of SUN Lead Group. The sun movement lead group has the overall responsibility for the movement’s progress towards achieving its objectives. 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.
April 14, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar answered the frequently asked questions of Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries in Radio Pakistan’s national broadcast, “Raabta”. The program was held to create awareness among masses about the newly opened Ehsaas 8171 service. Dr. Sania replied to questions of listeners who connected with her on telephone. During the live program, Dr. Sania guided listeners about how the marginalized households can check their eligibility status under Kafaalat by sending their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers on the SMS code 8171. Listen here.
April 16, 2021 – Islamabad: Prime Minister during his visit to Sukkur district of Sindh visited a payment site-camp to review the Ehsaas Kafaalat disbursal operations that have just begun this week. At the site, PM joined the Kafaalat beneficiary women to witness details of biometrically enabled payments. Dr. Sania Nishtar briefed the PM about Ehsaas Kafaalat operations in Sindh and Ehsaas 8171 service. PM also interacted with the women present at the campsite to gain firsthand insights on the multitude of Ehsaas programmes and initiatives in Sindh. Safeguarding safe and easy digital payments amid the third wave of COVID-19, Ehsaas has set up 516 specialized payment camps throughout Sindh to roll out recently opened Kafaalat payments for the period Jan 2021 – Jun 2021. Combined payment for 6 months is being made. Alongside, payments can also be withdrawn from biometrically enabled ATMs of Habib Bank across all districts of Sindh.
April 13, 2021 – Islamabad: Ehsaas has opened 8171 SMS campaign enabling the new deserving households to check their eligibility under Ehsaas Kafaalat. Dr. Sania Nishtar said that the deserving families desiring to find out their eligibility status in the Kafaalat programme should send their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers on the SMS code 8171, which is activated from today. The 8171 SMS service has been made free of charge for the public and the entire cost will be borne by Ehsaas. Ehsaas has begun the process of enrolling new beneficiaries which have been identified on the basis of the 2021 Ehsaas survey which is now 81% complete. Beneficiaries identified through the survey undergo “wealth profiling” through a data analytics mechanism to further clean the list of beneficiaries. When beneficiaries send their 13-digital CNIC number on 8171, they will either get a message that they are eligible and will be asked to collect money; or they will be informed that they are ineligible, or they will get a “wait” instruction.
April 12, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to keynote the official launch of the first edited book of the Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI). The book was titled, ‘The Covid Challenge: Impact on Middle East & Africa’. On the occasion, Dr. Sania was also joined by Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Education. Other distinguished discussants included: Dr. Khalid Hussain Memon, Special Secretary Middle East, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan; Mr. Ali Javed, Additional Secretary Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan and Ambassador Rizwan- ul-Haq Mahmood, Former Pakistani Diplomat to Muscat, Abu Dhabi & Jeddah
April 12, 2021 – Islamabad: At the virtual mission on Human Capital Review (HCR) held by the World Bank, Dr. Sania Nishtar was joined by Lire Ersado, Practice Leader; Syud Amer Ahmed, Senior Economist; Ali Nadeem Qureshi, Social Protection Specialist; Gul Najam Jamy, Senior Social Protection Specialist; Thelma Seoeun Choi, Economist; Mina Zamand, Research Analyst; and the World Bank Consultant, Sakib Sherani (Senior Advisor). The HCR aims to support Pakistan in accelerating human capital accumulation and addressing the existing vulnerabilities and those brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic. The study analyses human capital challenges facing Pakistan and identify priority interventions and investments.
April 12, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar convened an online consultative meeting to discuss the final modalities of the ‘Ehsaas Koi Booka Na Soye (EKBNS) Bank Account and Fund” before information about it is released publicly. The meeting was joined by senior officials from State Bank of Pakistan, National Bank of Pakistan and Ministry of Finance and Revenue. EKBNS is a new policy initiative of the federal government to eliminate hunger in the country. The recently rolled out programme provides cooked meals at designated delivery points in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore and Faisalabad to labour class.
April 12, 2021 – Islamabad: Ehsaas Kafaalat payments to beneficiaries have commenced throughout the country. Ehsaas has set up over 1600 payment camps nationwide, starting this week. Each beneficiary is being paid Rs. 12,000 covering the period January 2021 -June 2021. Combined payment for 6 months is being made. Women are collecting cash from especially set up payment camps. Payments are being made in camps so that COVID-19 SOPS can be followed there. In addition, payments can also be collected from biometrically enabled ATMs of Habib Bank in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Islamabad, and from those of Bank Alfalah in KP, AJK and GB.
April 11, 2021 – Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the expansion of the Ehsaas Koi Bhooka Na Soye (EKBNS) programme to three major cities of Punjab and KP before the month of Ramadan. The upscaled EKBNS programme will serve free meals to labourers, daily wage earners and piece rate workers who cannot access Ehsaas Panagahs and Ehsaas Langars. Through a virtual groundbreaking ceremony, PM was joined by the Chief Ministers of KP, and Punjab together with Parliamentarians to inaugurate the EKBNS free food service via multiple truck kitchens in Peshawar, Lahore and Faisalabad. Each truck will feed 1500-2000 people daily on specified service points. The meals are cooked, stored and served from a truck kitchen.
April 9, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar was called on by Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr. Reza Baqir in Islamabad. The meeting discussed progress with regard to the planning and execution of the targeted commodity subsidy programme under the umbrella of Ehsaas. This was the second meeting in the month of April to flesh out modalities of the forthcoming programme.
April 9, 2021- Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a meeting with Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) to explore options for the potential street hawkers’ initiative under the Ehsaas framework. The meeting took place physically as well as virtually at the Ehsaas offices in Islamabad. At the meeting, Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division; Syeda Shafaq Hashmi, Administrator MCI and Zia Banday, Focal Person on the Street Hawkers’ Initiative were also present.
Apr 8, 2021 – Islamabad: In a special launching event, Dr. Sania Nishtar unveiled the new Ehsaas’ standards for private sector orphanages. This is the first time not just in Pakistan but also across the Muslim World that such a historic initiative has been taken by the government for the welfare of orphans and deserving children. The aim is to minimize variation in the orphan care and to support private sector orphanages in raising their service standards nationwide. Predicated under the policy no. 37 of Ehsaas strategy, the 25-point living standards have been tailored to needs of orphan care centers. A stakeholder committee had been put in place under the umbrella of Ehsaas by Dr. Nishtar in 2019 to stipulate “Living Standards for Orphanages and Child Care Centers” in the country. The committee formally met 17 times last year, and after taking stock of the on-ground situation, finalized these standards which will now be notified and shared with provinces for endorsement. Full document can be accessed here.