Jan 8, 2022 – Multan: Early morning, Dr. Sania held a policy consultation with Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship awardees from Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) Multan. Students from the remote districts of South Punjab and Sindh participated in the consultation. Ehsaas Scholarship recipients widely lauded that the programme had financially empowered them to gain access to university education. Appreciating the transparent execution of Ehsaas scholarships, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Mansoor Akber Kundi termed it a life changing programme for poor students. Senior faculty members of (BZU) and officials of Ehsaas also joined the consultation.
Jan 16, 2022 – Dubai: Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division in collaboration with Pakistan’s Permanent Mission in New York organized three-themed daylong activities at Expo Dubai 2020 in Pakistan Pavilion. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation chaired these events. Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York convened an information session with Member States to garner support for the Universal Declaration on Social Protection, which Pakistan is leading. Dr. Sania keynoted the event. Participants included Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to UN; Feridun Sinirlioğlu, Permanent Representative of Turkey to UN; Tijjani Muhammad-Bande – Permanent Representative of Nigeria to UN; and Rodrigo Alberto Carazo Zeledón, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to UN. The Permanent Representatives of Argentina, Peru and China also spoke at the event and supported the idea of platform. This process started with the mission hosting an event on Social Protection during the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July 2021. The event was co-hosted by Turkey, Nigeria and Costa Rica. 15 countries have already indicated interest in joining the platform and signing the Declaration.
Jan 16, 2022 – Dubai: At Expo Dubai 2020 in Pakistan Pavilion, Ehsaas featured a high-level panel discussion on, “Global experiences in cash transfer programmes”. Dr. Sania along with Pakistan’s Ambassador to United Arab Emirates, Afzal Mehmood co-chaired the event. Panel comprised of global experts, relevant ministers and academics including Ugo Gentilini, Global Lead for Social Assistance, the World Bank; Michal Rutowski, Global Director for Social Protection and Jobs, the World Bank Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation Togo; Francesca Bastagali, Director Equity and Social Policy, Overseas Development Institute; Noor Rehman Khan, DG Ehsaas Unconditional Cash Transfers Ehsaas; and Naveed Akbar, DG Ehsaas Conditional Cash Transfers Ehsaas. Panelists shared their global learnings and experiences in administering and studying cash transfer programmes. Ehsaas’ programmes were richly commended for casting wider cash transfers.
Jan 16, 2022 – Dubai: Ehsaas team hosted a “meet and greet event” at Expo Dubai 2020 to inform visitors of Pakistan Pavilion about Ehsaas and its over 288 programmes, initiatives and policy actions. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM and senior officials of Ehsaas—Director General Naveed Akbar and Director General Noor Rehman were personally present at the Pavilion to educate visitors about Ehsaas. Visitors took keen interest in Ehsaas and richly appreciated its myriad pro-poor programmes.
Jan 15, 2022 – Dubai: At Expo Dubai 2020’s Nexus, Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to speak at a high-level global event, “A Decade of Action: Driving Progress for the 2030 Agenda”. Co-curated by Expo 2020 and the United Nations, the event marked the beginning of Global Goals Week. Top leadership from countries and organizations working on the SDGs came together for solutions-focused discussions around four ‘anchor’ areas – Climate Change and Energy, Food Systems, Gender Equality and Human Capital. This event was co-hosted by Deputy Secretary General. Amina J. Mohammed and the Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates and Director General of the Expo 2020, H.E. Reem Al Hashmy. This high-level invitation only event brought together 30 global leaders to discuss how in the spirit of the Decade of Action, the international community could drive action towards the successful fulfilment of the SDGs. There were 4 speakers in this exclusive event. Dr. Sania was invited to speak about human capital and the SDGs.
Jan 14, 2022 – Islamabad: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM chaired a review meeting with Ehsaas Tahafuz team at the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division. The meeting tracked preparations for the nationwide expansion of Ehsaas Tahafuz. The programme is being to 14 public sector hospitals across all four provinces and federating units. Director General, Ehsaas Tahafuz briefed on the scale-up plan and progress on the development of dashboards and website. Secretary of the Division, Muhammad Ali Shahzada was also present. Ehsaas Tahafuz is Pakistan’s first shock-oriented precision safety net being introduced under the umbrella of Ehsaas. Currently, it is fully functional in one hospital of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Jan 12, 2022: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM was invited to keynote the International Chambers Summit 2022. The two-day summit was attended by more than 60 chamber presidents from across Pakistan, including nine women’s chambers and nine small chamber presidents. Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry had organized the event. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sania urged Presidents of Chambers to create awareness among Kiryana shopkeepers in their respective areas on the ongoing Ehsaas Rashan Registration Drive. She highlighted that Kiryana retailers will get 8% tax free commission on each Ehsaas Rashan sale amount. Kiryana retailers will be able to win cars, motorcycles, mobile phones etc through quarterly lucky draws. Kiryana owners signaled their full interest and cooperation towards the registration drive of Ehsaas Rashan Riayat. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan and Razzaq Dawood, Advisor to the PM on Commerce and Investment also attended the chamber’s summit.
Jan 11, 2022 – Islamabad: A delegation of Cabinet Ministers visited One Window Center of Ehsaas in Sitara Market, Islamabad. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM briefed them on the One Stop Shop services of Ehsaas which consolidate all benefits for 14 different target groups. The delegation comprised of Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar; Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mehmood; Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi; Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Khusro Bakhtiar; Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Qasim Khan Suri; and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Farrukh Habib. The delegation took round of the Center to witness wide ranging Ehsaas facilities and services and met with beneficiaries. It was followed by a joint media briefing. They greatly appreciated that the first One Window Center of Ehsaas was taking care of its beneficiaries like a mother and felicitated Ehsaas on the successful consolidation of all Ehsaas benefits in a single space. Media briefing can be watched here.
Jan 10, 2022 – Islamabad: A progress review meeting was held with National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to track the cadence of Ehsaas Rashan Riayat Registration. Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired the meeting. It was appreciated that with the collaborative efforts of Chief Secretaries of KP and Punjab, NBP team and district administrations, the Kiryana retailer registrations have risen substantively from 300 to 3,000 per week. President NBP, Arif Usmani; Chief Digital Officer NBP, Hamayoun Sajjad, executive leadership and over 500 regional officers from all over the country joined the meeting. Secretary of the Social Safety Division, Muhammad Ali Shahzada and Additional Secretary Captain (Retd) Saeed Ahmed Nawaz were also in attendance. The Rashan Riayat programme of Ehsaas is being executed in partnership with NBP.
Jan 10, 2022 – Islamabad: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan’s Mission to United Nations in New York convened a briefing today with the Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Islamabad to promote “Declaration on Establishing a Global Social Protection Knowledge Platform”. The Declaration is being led by Pakistan’s Mission to UN in New York in cooperation with a “Group of Friends on Social Protection” including Costa Rica, Nigeria and Turkey, supported by the World Bank. Diplomatic Corps from over 40 countries joined the briefing. Chairing the briefing, Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM introduced the Declaration and interacted with participants on its conceptualization and the operationalization of the Global Social Protection Knowledge Platform. Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood highlighted the objectives of the briefing and called on the Heads of Missions to apprise their respective governments to support this global knowledge-sharing initiative. The participants were also informed that Ehsaas, Pakistan’s social protection programme, has organized a day-long event at the Dubai Expo Pakistan Pavilion on 16 January 2022 to promote the Declaration.
Jan 8, 2022 – Khanewal: On the second day of visit to South Punjab, Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM spent a very busy day in Khanewal. At the District Headquarter Hospital Khanewal, she opened the Ehsaas Nashonuma Center. Senior officials of Ehsaas were also preseFour Ehsaas Nashonuma Centers are functional in Jahanian, Khanewal, Kabirwala and Mian Channu Tehsils of Khanewal. Currently, Ehsaas Nashonuma Centers are operational in two districts of South Punjab: Khanewal and Rajanpur. “In line with PM’s vision to address stunting in children, Ehsaas Nashonuma Centers will be opened in all tehsils of the country this year”, said Dr. Sania. Under Ehsaas Nashonuma, nutrition centered cash transfers are granted to the pregnant and lactating mothers and those with children under 2 years of age. Disbursements are linked to the consumption of nutritious food, immunization, checkups, and participation in health awareness training.
Jan 8, 2022 – Khanewal: Dr. Sania went to Khanewal to witness the digital process of children being registered for Ehsaas School Stipends. She met with children and mothers at Government Girls Primary School, Kot Ala Singh in Khanewal. She also spoke to teachers, beneficiary children and their mothers. At Kot Ala Singh school, 60 out of 160 total children are currently being enrolled for Ehsaas School Stipends. “Under the programme, girls’ stipends are high as compared to boys. This is the first of its kind girl favoring programme worldwide to inspire poorest families to send their children especially girls to schools”, commented Dr. Sania.