June 28, 2021 – Islamabad: The 50th Board meeting of BISP was held under the Ehsaas framework; many important decisions were made. Board approved inclusion of all transgenders in Ehsaas Kafaalat programme. The Board also approved establishment of 154 district level Ehsaas Centers modelled on the One window Ehsaas Center in Sitara Market in Islamabad. This will enable all services to be accessed under one roof, greatly facilitating beneficiaries. Board also ratified enhancement of Ehsaas’ education stipends to secondary and higher secondary levels. The new conditional cash transfer programme is aimed at helping underprivileged families to educate their primary school going children till higher secondary level. The Board also gave approval for the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Utility Stores Corporation for Ehsaas Targeted Subsidy programme. The Board granted approval for the budget 2021/22 as well, on the recommendation of the Finance committee.
June 26, 2021 – Lahore: Dr. Sania Nishtar addressed a news briefing at Commissioner’s office in Lahore. Talking to media, she said that the Ehsaas survey is currently 95% complete in the country and will be ready by July 31, 2021. “To ensure the timely completion, Ehsaas has expedited the survey activities in four out of five Tehsils of Lahore. Soon after survey completion, 30 Ehsaas registration desks will open across all five Tehsils of Lahore including the fifth Tehsil, Lahore Cantonment”, said Dr. Sania. Ehsaas registration desks, she informed, will facilitate self-registration of missed out households in the survey. Further, Dr. Sania thanked district administration, government teachers and local media for their cooperation in execution of the survey under Ehsaas. She also urged them to create awareness among masses, asserting that it is a free-of-cost survey and voluntary registration. Ehsaas survey teams are not authorized to charge any fee for surveying households. Secretary Ismat Tahira was also present. Full footage can be watched here.
June 26, 2021 – Lahore: Immediately followed by the news briefing, Dr. Sania made a visit to a local household on Dev Samaj Road, Sant Nagar area of Lahore to witness the digital process for survey registration. She met members of the household that was being surveyed under Ehsaas. She also guided them about the purpose of the national socio-economic registry survey. Further, Dr. Sania asked people to help the survey teams by sharing correct and true information when they arrive at their doorstep. “This is critical to ensure survey quality”, she emphasized.
June 25, 2021 – Islamabad: At the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired a meeting to review the progress of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) under Ehsaas. PBM is one of the four main executing agencies of Ehsaas with a responsibility for demand side social protection. The meeting took stock of several Ehsaas programmes being run by PBM including Bait-ul-Mal Madad, Dar-ul-Ehsaas, Model Panagahs and Ehsaas Koi Bhooka Na Soye. Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary of the Division, Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, Managing Director PBM and Naseem-ur-Rehman, PM’s Focal Person on Panagahs also joined the meeting.
June 25, 2021 – Chakwal: Dr. Sania Nishtar joined children and their mothers at Government Boys High School, Akwal in Talagang to witness new enrolments of children from poorest households under the Ehsaas education CCT. She sat with children and mothers who were waiting in the queue to get enrolled in the programme for quarterly stipends. Dr. Sania also oversaw details of a child being entered in the end-to-end digital enrolment system. Regional team of Ehsaas briefed Dr. Sania on the recently launched nationwide campaign to enrol deserving children for Ehsaas educational stipends. The campaign is being rolled out at Tehsil levels in close coordination with provinces, district administrations and key development stakeholders. “Ehsaas is also introducing a one-time graduation bonus of Rs. 3,000 to encourage girls completing primary education. The central reason for this incentive is to tackle gender disparity in education. This will also ensure that every girl child after receiving the graduation bonus gets enrolled in secondary education programme”, announced Dr. Sania while talking to local press and media.
June 25, 2021 – Chakwal: Dr. Sania Nishtar, made an unannounced visit to Talagang Tehsil of Chakwal together with Ehsaas team. This was the first visit of Dr. Sania since the payments began on June 16, 2021 under the phase II of Ehsaas Emergency Cash. At the cash distribution site in Municipal Administration offices, she interacted with Ehsaas beneficiaries who had come to collect their payments. Each one of them had 8171 message on their phones to collect either emergency cash or Kafaalat handout of Rs. 12,000. All of them had been identified and declared eligible through the new Ehsaas survey. The Ehsaas Emergency Cash disbursements to the beneficiaries have been commenced last week. However, payments to newly enrolled Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries are underway since January 2021. Also, the payments to new enrolees being identified through Ehsaas survey are underway. Dr. Sania also witnessed the quarterly payment of Ehsaas education stipends being made to mothers of children.
June 24, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a meeting to review national scale cash transfer operations under Ehsaas Emergency Cash-II. The disbursements began on June 16, 2021 across the country. Beneficiaries are being identified and declared eligible through the new Ehsaas survey. The review meeting took stock of second phase of Ehsaas Emergency Cash operations in light of social media insights from the field. The meeting was joined by regional teams of Ehsaas and Heads of partnering banks- HBL and Bank Alfalah. Secretary Ismat Tahira was also present.
June 24, 2021 – Islamabad: A meeting was held at the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division to assess the plan for upscaling Ehsaas Tahafuz pilot operations. Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired the meeting. Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary of the Division together with Ehsaas Tahafuz team briefed Dr. Sania on the progress and expansion of Ehsaas Tahafuz pilot. Currently, Ehsaas Tahafuz is being piloted in one hospital of Rawalpindi. Ehsaas Tahafuz has been developed on digital lines using information technology to provide immediate health care to deserving patients admitted in the hospital. Preparations are underway to expand the programme to other parts of the country.
June 23, 2021 – Geneva: Dr. Sania Nishtar keynoted the high-level parliamentary meeting hosted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). She presented Pakistan’s perspective on nutrition centred social protection operations. The meeting themed, “Transforming food systems for health, equity, and sustainability”. Keynoting the meeting, Dr. Sania emphasized that transforming food systems should be central to our efforts for achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. She further added that Nutrition is embedded in the Ehsaas strategy post- COVID. The pandemic has shown that it is possible to place nutrition at the heart of poverty alleviation objectives. Other eminent speakers were- Gerda Verburg, UN Assistant Secretary-General and SUN Movement Coordinator; Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit; and QU Dongyu, Director General, FAO. The IPU is the global organization of national Parliaments, with 179 Member Parliaments out of the 193 countries in the world.
June 23, 2021- Rome: World Food Programme (WFP) invited Dr. Sania Nishtar to keynote the special session of Executive Board. The session talked about WFP’s support to national social protection, as a way of reaching Zero Hunger. Embassy of Pakistan in Italy co-hosted this session. A number of partners were invited to speak about their perspectives on WFP’s work including Germany’s BMZ, Sweden’s Sida, and the World Bank. From Pakistan, Dr. Sania Nishtar highlighted WFP’s contribution to national social protection programmes. Outlining Ehsaas’ social protection role in post-COVID context, Dr. Sania shared that Ehsaas Nashonuma is a conditional cash transfer programme aimed at tackling stunting among children under two years of age, along with pregnant and lactating mothers.
June 23, 2021 – Islamabad: On International Widows Day 2021, Dr. Sania Nishtar took to the twitter to announce about the special appeal system being built under the Ehsaas umbrella for widows. She said that Ehsaas commits to making special arrangements this year to open a window of appeals for widows in Ehsaas Kafaalat. The system will ensure the inclusion of deserving widows under the Ehsaas Kafaalat programme. Details of the appeal system would be shared soon. Under Ehsaas Kafaalat, women from poorest households get a monthly stipend of Rs. 2000 along with savings bank account.
June 23, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar made a surprise visit to the One Window Ehsaas Center in Islamabad. She took round of all desks, offices and outlets established at the center and interacted with staff and beneficiaries. Dr. Sania also sat with families at the center, listened to their concerns and assured them of full support from Ehsaas. This first One Window Ehsaas Centre was opened by the Prime Minister in Sitara Market of the federal capital on June 9, 2021. It aims to deliver all Ehsaas services through a single window. In this center, all Ehsaas services can be accessed at one place.