Sep 30, 2021 – Kathmandu: Dr. Sania Nishtar keynoted the thematic session on “youth and informal sector” at the “South Asia Experts’ Summit: Dialogues on the Post-COVID-19 World of Work”. The summit was hosted by UNICEF. As part of the summit, the thematic session featured discussions on re-evaluating strategies and approaches to transitioning adolescents and young people to the formal sector; how actors and decision makers address exploitative labour practices such as child and forced labour in South Asia; and issues and solutions related to access of social protection and social dialogue for young workers; and the creation and promotion of decent work in the informal sector during COVID-19 and beyond. At the session, Dr. Sania was joined by Christoph Ernst, Senior Informal Employment Specialist, International Labour Organization; Tasmiah T. Rahman, Incharge, Skills Development Programme, BRAC, Bangladesh; Silvia Mera, Apparel Program Director, GoodWeave International, Amsterdam and several others.
Sep 30, 2021 – Islamabad: To receive fresh applications for the academic year 2021-22, the Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship portal has been reopened. The scholarship portal will be opened online till Nov 30, 2021. Newly admitted students of Fall 2021 session under 4-5 year undergraduate degree programmes in any of the HEC recognized 135 public sector universities are eligible to apply, if their family income is less than Rs. 45,000 a month. This academic year, 50,000 merit cum need based scholarships will be provided to deserving students. Fifty percent Ehsaas scholarships are reserved for girls. “This 4-year programme is on track. In the last two years, over 142,000 scholarships have been awarded nationwide to students from low-income backgrounds”, said Dr. Sania. The eligible students can apply through the online portal: https://ehsaas.hec.gov.pk/.
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Sep 29, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar joined UNICEF’s National Strategic Reflection meeting on the 2023-2027 UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation between Pakistan and UNICEF. The UN System in Pakistan, including UNCEF, is engaged in designing and developing a new development assistance framework, namely the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDC) 2023-2027. The meeting was designed to identify UNICEF’s strategic contribution to government’s priorities. Strategic reflections were shared on the progress, challenges and opportunities in the situational and programme environment along with those on the long and successful partnership of One UN in Pakistan. At the meeting, Dr. Sania was joined by Aida Girma, Country Representative UNICEF Pakistan; Dr. George Laryea Adjei, Regional Director, UNICEF South Asia; and Julien Harneis, UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan.
Sep 29, 2021 – New York: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM represented Pakistan at the UNGA’s high-level meeting with Heads of State and Government on, “Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication”. Heads of State and Government expressed commitments through a Call to Action with the aim of promoting policy coherence ahead of the fall meeting of IMF and the World Bank, and meetings of G7 and G20. Also, speaking at the event were Alexander de Croo, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Belgium, co-chair, Group of Friends of Decent Work; Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of the Republic of Costa Rica; Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, Constitutional President of the Republic of Ecuador; Alberto Fernandez, President of the Republic of Argentina; Yemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Béata Habyarimana, Minister for Trade and Industry of the Republic of Rwanda; Alexandra Hill Tinoco, Minister for Foreign Affairs of El Salvador; and Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships.
Sep 28, 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar was the chief guest at the award ceremony organized by Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI). The ceremony aimed to honour the contributions and services incurred by various partners and individuals under Ehsaas Rehribaan program. “For the first time in Pakistan, our government has adopted a holistic approach for the sustainable regularization of street vendors”, said Dr. Sania. She also mentioned that Prime Minister remains highly concerned about vendors’ condition and is a driving force behind Ehsaas Rehribaan. Under the Ehsaas umbrella, a broader coalition of agencies- MCI, CDA, ICT Administration and PIDE, has resulted in smooth implementation across two sectors of Islamabad, which is gradually being scaled up. Dr. Nadeem-ul-Haque, Vice Chancellor, PIDE also spoke on the occasion. Presidents of U and Apna Banks also joined the event. Later, Dr. Sania distributed performance shields among high performers including Focal Person of Ehsaas Rehribaan, Administrator MCI, different officials, microfinance banks and representatives of the civil society.
Sep 22, 2021 – Islamabad: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM was invited to speak at Women Speaker session hosted by McKinsey Middle East Office. This was a quarterly session that McKinsey conducts with inspirational female professionals. In the session, Dr. Sania shared her experiences and learnings from Ehsaas. She spoke about the current work on social protection and poverty alleviation in Pakistan and her leadership experiences in the workplace as a woman. The conversation was followed by a question and answer session with participants.
September 27, 2021 – New York: On the side-lines of 76th UNGA, Government of Pakistan hosted the high-level event on “Uplifting women and girls through access to education, financial inclusion and economic empowerment” in collaboration with United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to UN in New York formally opened the event. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM was the keynote speaker. The event aimed to emphasize that in order for countries everywhere to thrive and build back better, women and girls must be given the same opportunities to grow, learn and contribute to the workforce as their male counterparts. At the event, Dr. Sania was joined by Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary General, DESA; Mirjana Spolijaric Egger, ASG and UNDP Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia; Anita, Deputy Executive Director, UN-Women. Other eminent speakers on the panel were- Pascale A. Allotey, Director, United Nations University, International Institute for Global Health; Maki Hayashikawa, Director of the Division of Education 2030 Support and Coordination at UNESCO; Anita Zaidi, President of the Gate’s Foundation Gender Equality Division; and Sharmeela Rasool, Country Representative UN-Women Pakistan.
Sep 27, 2021 – New York: Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to speak at the 76th UNGA side-event hosted by Governments of Norway and Jamaica, World Health Organization and NCD Alliance. The virtual event titled, “Commemorating 10-years since the first Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs (2011): reflections and hope”. Dr. Sania highlighted the link between NCDs and poverty and stressed that global response to NCDs has been stalled due to the resistance of unhealthy commodity industries and disregard of NCDs within MDG framework. The session was chaired by Katie Dain, Chief Executive Officer, NCD Alliance. Other speakers on the panel included Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus, PAHO (1995-2003) and Ren Minghui, Assistant Director-General, Assistant Director-General. Division for Universal Health Coverage/Communicable and NCDs, WHO. Experts from Member States, WHO staff, persons living with NCDs and civil society leaders reflected on the last 10 years of progress, championing successes and opportunities for the NCD agenda over the coming decade, and how WHO is developing a forthcoming implementation roadmap for 2023-2030 in support of achieving SDG target 3.4.
Sep 24, 2021 – New York: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM was invited to speak at the high-level side event to the 2021 UN General Assembly, organized by OPHI and the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN). The theme of this year’s event was “Envisioning a More Equitable Future: Using Multidimensional Poverty Indices as a Policy Tool”. The event convened global leaders with a demonstrated commitment to tackling the multidimensional effects of the pandemic on the lives of people living in poverty. At the session, the leadership panel comprised of Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica. Alongside Dr. Sania, Ministers from Nepal, Namibia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Cambodia, Thailand and China also joined the ministerial panel. Talking about the Ehsaas Implementation Tracking Index (EITI), Dr. Sania stated, “Working with OPHI, Ehsaas has developed a new adaptation and application of their measurement methodology – the EITI. It offers an axiomatically articulate performance management tool, which tracks progress across hundreds of initiatives and gives an overview of how different regions, institutions, and target areas are advancing.”
Sep 23, 2021 – Islamabad: The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division and Serena Hotels Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster a strategic collaboration on improving living standards, infrastructure and service quality across all the five Panagahs in Islamabad. Dr. Sania Nishtar and Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia witnessed the signing of MoU. The MoU followed briefing with the Prime Minister on the new strategic plan for Panagahs. The highlight of the MoU was to mark the partnership between Ehsaas and Serena, extending to all the five Ehsaas Panagahs situated at G-9/4, Tarlai, Bhara Kahu, Mandi More and Tarnol areas of Islamabad. Speaking about the collaboration, Dr. Sania said, “Prime Minister has instructed to offer best lodging and quality food to our Panagah guests in a clean and dignified environment. To achieve this in an objective and sustainable manner, PASSD and Serena have agreed to collaborate under the MoU.”
Sep 23, 2021 – Islamabad: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM chaired the 52nd meeting of the BISP Board. The Board deliberated upon various important agenda items related to the Ehsaas cash transfer programmes being executed by BISP. Many important decisions were taken by members of the Board. The meeting was attended by Ismat Tahira Secretary BISP, Muhammad Ali Shahzada Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, and senior officials of Finance Division, Economic Affairs Division and NADRA. Amongst private sector members, Zaffar A Khan, Syed Salim Raza, and Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan attended the meeting. Members participated in the meeting both physically as well as virtually.