Apr 7, 2021 – Rawalpindi: To commemorate the World Health Day 2021, Dr. Sania Nishtar visited the Ehsaas Facilitation Center in Holy Family Hospital (HFH), Rawalpindi to appraise operations of the Ehsaas Tahafuz that is currently in its pilot phase. During the course of the quick appraisal visit, Dr. Sania held a meeting with Ehsaas Tahafuz’s technical team of medical experts, hospital administrators and programme verifiers, took stock of the progress and gained firsthand insights for programme expansion later this year. At the venue, Dr. Sania was welcomed by Dr. Shazia Zeb Medical Superintendent of HFH and her team. Alongside, Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) and other senior officials from Ehsaas Tahafuz team were also in attendance. Currently, the programme is patient centric and caters to one-time high health costs for those who lack ability to bear the heavy expenditures.
April 5, 2021: At the World Bank-International Monetary Fund annual spring meetings 2021, a webinar was held titled, ‘the IMF’s Engagement on Social Protection’, wherein SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to present Pakistan’s perspective on bolstering social safety nets. The event aimed to showcase the IMF, development partners, the WBG and member countries’ efforts to implement more effective social protection programs, strengthen social safety nets, and protect the most vulnerable from economic shocks and the potential adverse effects of reforms. Addressing the meeting, Dr. Nishtar highlighted Pakistan’s social protection policy initiatives- the aspiration and challenges and how the government of Pakistan demonstrated commitment to addressing them. Along with Dr. Nishtar, Roger Nord, Deputy Director Institute for Capacity Development, IMF; Antoinette Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director, IMF; Fernanda Brollo, Senior Economist, IMF; Brooks Evans, Economist, IMF; and Tanja Goodwin, Senior Country Economist, World Bank Group came to the table to launch a Capacity Development Talk on the IMF’s engagement on social protection, with a particular focus on Pakistan and Ecuador.
April 4, 2021 – Rawalpindi: Dr. Sania Nishtar visited ‘Ehsaas Koi Bhooka Na Soye'(EKBNS) food distribution point in Murree Road, Rawalpindi to review truck kitchen operations. At the venue, she inspected the quality of food and service and interacted with beneficiary men and women being served. Under the umbrella of Ehsaas, the concept of truck kitchens, EKBNS was launched by the Prime Minister on March 10, 2021 to serve free meal boxes twice a day to daily wage earners in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. On special instructions of PM, the programme is now being expanded to three other cities before the holy month of Ramadan. Across Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar, EKBNS mobile trucks carrying cooked food will visit the localities of labourers and hospitals to distribute free meals.
April 3, 2021 – Islamabad: With SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar in chair, the board approved the first of its kind Ehsaas’ secondary education conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme for deserving households to send their children to secondary schools. The programme will be rolled out nationwide across all districts in July 2021. The new programme has been structured along the lines of Ehsaas Stipends policy that allocates higher stipend amount for girls as compared to boys. This policy decision by the BISP board is an extension of Ehsaas’ primary education CCT, Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, expanding it to the secondary level.
April 3, 2021 – Islamabad: SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar keynoted a panel discussion titled ‘Sustainable Development: Inequality and Inclusive Growth’ that took place amongst UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Knut Ostby, IBA Executive Director Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi, and SAPM on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood. Speaking at the panel, Dr. Sania briefed about Pakistan’s social protection landscape, the role of the Ehsaas Programme, and some of the challenges that were addressed along the way. Further, she remarked that the programme was linked with the theory of change. She mentioned that digital capabilities established in 2019 as part of Ehsaas’ poverty alleviation framework were adopted to deliver Ehsaas emergency cash during the pandemic, in particular, a new biometric payment system.
April 2, 2021 – Islamabad: Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar and Dr. Ishrat Hussain Advisor to PM for Institutional Reforms and Austerity came to the table to discuss the modalities of Ehsaas’ targeted commodity subsidy programme. Aiming to benefit the disadvantaged populations, the federal government is introducing targeted subsidies for Ehsaas beneficiaries through IT integration between Ehsaas and Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan.
Apr 2, 2021- Islamabad: Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr. Reza Baqir called on Dr. Sania Nishtar at Ehsaas offices in Islamabad. The meeting discussed progress with respect to the planning of the upcoming Ehsaas’ targeted commodity subsidy initiative.
Apr 1, 2021: Dr. Sania Nishtar joined the high-level ministerial roundtable with Ministers from around the world as part of expert panel on “Financing SDG2: Addressing Hunger and Malnutrition in the wake of COVID-19”. The roundtable took place virtually at the World Bank Headquarters, during the World Bank Annual Meeting. Speaking in the panel, Dr. Sania outlined Pakistan’s current approach to malnutrition using the Ehsaas’ social protection lens. The expert panel brought together SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar and Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Indonesia; Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance, Rwanda; Karina Gould, Minister for International Development, Canada; Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister for International Development, Norway; Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany; and Atsushi Mimura, Deputy Director-General of the International Bureau, Ministry of Finance, Japan.
April 1, 2021 – Islamabad: The meeting of the Risk Management and Assurance Committee of the BISP board took place at BISP headquarters in Islamabad. The meeting was presided by SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar. This was the fifth meeting of the committee under the umbrella of Ehsaas. The members of the board committee joined both physically and virtually.