Sep 22, 2021 – Islamabad: The steering committee of Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship programme, during its ninth meeting decided to reopen the Ehsaas’ scholarship application portal on September 30, 2021. To receive new applications for the academic year 2021-22, the online portal will remain open for next two months. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM and Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director, Higher Education Commission (HEC) co-chaired the meeting. Dr. Sania stressed on the need for timely payments to students so that they do not have to take loans. “This is not a reimbursement model. Students have to be paid on time, to facilitate them”, she said. She also instructed HEC to strictly reprimand universities who do not pay students on time and those who deduct money from the Ehsaas scholarship stipend amount on account of other expenses. Dr. Sania also instructed staff to make a visibility dashboard and stressed on the need for each participating university to be transparent about when they receive money from Ehsaas, vis-à-vis, the cheque numbers and dates on which students have been given stipends.
Sep 18, 2021 – New York: While taking a lead on universal social protection, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations convened the first meeting of Group of Friends on Social Protection alongwith Turkey, Nigeria and Costa Rica. The meeting was attended by a large number of UN member states. In her keynote address, Dr. Sania Nishtar highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to disburse cash payments of $1.25bn to more than 160 million of its citizens who were in dire need of financial support to meet the challenges posed by global economic slowdown caused by Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, Permanent Representative of Pakistan Ambassador Munir Akram, in his welcome remarks highlighted the need for universal social protection. The World Bank as technical partner of the Group highlighted the significance of social protection instruments all over the world. During the event, several countries supported Pakistan for taking a leadership position on universal social protection. Full footage can be watched here.
September 17, 2021 – Washington, DC: While in Washington Dr. Sania Nishtar joined the World Bank’s 7th One South Conversation on leveraging technologies to build human capital and greater resilience in South Asia. The World Bank’s Regional Integration, Cooperation and Engagement in South Asia hosted the public event that was broadcast on the World Bank Group Live Page. Dr. Sania was asked to share lessons for the region from COVID-19 Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC). The panel included senior policy makers and representatives from governments, tech entrepreneurs, academics, and civil society representatives from South Asia. The public event was moderated by Cecile Fruman, Director, Regional Integration and Engagement, South Asia. The discussions explored the ways converging technologies can overcome regional barriers, promote cross-country collaboration to support recovery from COVID and other shocks, and build human capital and adaptable resilience in South Asia. Full footage can be watched here.
Sep 6, 2021 – Islamabad: Governor Sindh Imran Ismail inaugurated the sixth Ehsaas Panagah (shelter home) in Karachi to accommodate labourers under Ehsaas. He opened the latest Panagah in the Bakra Peri area of Lyari. Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said that the network of Ehsaas Panagahs was being expanded in the country to provide free of charge lodging facilities and meals to daily wage-earners, labourers and other destitute people.
Sep 13, 2021 – Islamabad: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. She briefed the PM on the forthcoming digital monitoring of Ehsaas Panagahs. To-date, 22 Panagahs have been opened nationwide, under the Ehsaas umbrella. She also apprised the PM on the progress of other Ehsaas programmes and initiatives.
Sep 13, 2021 – Islamabad: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM together with a delegation of international development partners visited One Window Ehsaas Center in Sitara Market. The official delegation comprised of H.E. Christian Turner, British High Commissioner; Najy Benhassine, Country Director the World Bank; Chris Kaye, Country Director, WFP; Annabel Gerry, Development Director, FCDO; Knut Ostby, Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan; Tobias Becker, Country Director GIZ; Stephen Langrell, Team Leader Rural Development and Economic Cooperation, EU Delegation to Pakistan; and Luis Gorjon, Chief Social Policy, UNICEF. The delegation was briefed on the One Stop Shop operations of Ehsaas which integrate all benefits and services for 14 different target groups in one space. The delegation widely lauded the One Window Ehsaas Operations and appreciated that for the first time in the country, comprehensive single window operations had been formulated to facilitate a common man.
Sep 10, 2021 – Islamabad: The School of Public Health and Center for Contemporary South at Brown University held a day-long conference on COVID-19 and South Asia. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM was invited to speak at the “Lunch Time Plenary: COVID-19 in Pakistan”. Dr. Sania shared lessons from Pakistan. Speakers from South Asia including those from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India joined virtually. Other speakers joined from Brown University, Yale University, Harvard University, and civil society organizations. The “Lunch Time Plenary: COVID-19 in Pakistan” was followed by a moderated conversation between Dr. Sania and speakers from Brown and Harvard.
September 9, 2021 – Islamabad: Ehsaas field conference was held with all field teams of Ehsaas. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM chaired the conference. The conference took stock of frequently asked questions about programmes of Ehsaas and how beneficiaries are benefitting in the field. Secretary Ismat Tahira, DG Noor Rehman, DG Naveed Akbar, Regional DGs from provinces, AJK and GB along with Tehsil level field teams joined the conference. 300 officers also joined online nationwide. The primary objective of conducting this conference was to share the field learnings, experiences and findings in connection with the nationwide accomplishment of door-to-door Ehsaas Survey, opening of 413 Ehsaas registration desks and Ehsaas 8171 web-portal, drive to enroll children under Ehsaas Education Stipends. Opening the conference, Dr. Sania stressed the need for shared learning and cross exposure among field teams to well-facilitate Ehsaas beneficiaries. “Ehsaas is an evidence-based programme. Field teams should learn from each other’s experiences so that issues being faced by beneficiaries can be solved firsthand”, said Dr. Sania.
September 8 , 2021 – Islamabad: Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to keynote at the CARE & MasterCard Ignite Financial Inclusion Project Launch. CARE’s Ignite project in Pakistan funded by MasterCard unleashes the power of growth-oriented entrepreneurs, contributing to a resilient and inclusive economy. It also supports the Government’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy for enhanced formal financial access. The event was held to promote the growth of entrepreneurs in the country especially women among key stakeholders. In her speech, Dr. Sania remarked, “Enhancing financial inclusion is a key priority for the government, we are providing relief to under-privileged segments of society especially women through social safety nets and working on better financial empowerment opportunities.” She also added, “Ehsaas supported 15 million families (100 million people) during COVID-19 which is nearly half of the country’s population. Ehsaas Emergency Cash was the third largest program globally and rated as the fastest in the world by the World Bank.” Other speakers at the event were–Adil Sheraz (Country Director CARE International Pakistan), Atyab Tahir (Country Head, MasterCard), Kabeer (CEO IGNITE), Ambreen, (Chief of Retail Sales and Digitization IGNITE), Anusheh (Head of Research & Strategy IGNITE) and Shahnaz Kapadia (CEO Mera Maan).
Sep 8, 2021 -Islamabad: Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM convened a stocktake workshop with Ehsaas Panagah teams in Islamabad. Secretary of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, Managing Director Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal and Additional Secretary PASSD, Captain (Retd) Saeed Ahmad Nawaz were also present. “Prime Minister has given strict instructions that people visiting Panagahs should be served with dignity and there should be no compromise on quality of service, maintenance, hygiene and cleanliness and food quantity as well as quality”, emphasized Dr. Sania. “We are fully committed to improving standards and will soon introduce digital monitoring of Ehsaas Panagahs”, she further added. To ensure that people are served with utmost dignity and self-respect, Ehsaas is providing refresher training to the staff of Panagahs. The administrative, operational and monitoring staff of all five Ehsaas Panagahs including Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors and Shift Supervisors joined the workshop. During the workshop a stocktake was done of the factors which impact quality, gaps were assessed, and a strategy was developed to improve standards.
Sep 7, 2021 – Islamabad: Chief Secretary Balochistan, Mather Niaz Rana visited One Window Ehsaas Center in Sitara Market Islamabad. On the occasion, Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar SAPM was also present together with Secretary Ismat Tahira. Chief Secretary Balochistan was briefed about the first One Stop Shop of Ehsaas, ‘One Window Center’, which ensures access to all the facilities and services of Ehsaas under one roof. “One Window Ehsaas is being upscaled nationwide to serve Ehsaas beneficiaries. The miniaturised versions of One Stop Shop Ehsaas Centers will be opened in all districts of the country including Balochistan”, said Dr. Sania. CS Balochistan richly lauded the consolidation of all Ehsaas benefits and services at the Ehsaas One Window Center. Ehsaas sought a collaboration of the CS for expansion of One Window Ehsaas Operations in the province. The CS assured full support and facilitation from Balochistan to open One Window Ehsaas Centers in all districts of the province.
Sep 3, 2021 – Battagram: While in Battagram district of KP, Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM held a press conference with local print and electronic media at the DC Office. She officially announced the opening of Ehsaas 8171 web-portal: https://ehsaastracking.pass.gov.pk/. The Ehsaas survey in the country is 99.5% complete and enrolment of new Ehsaas beneficiaries based on the survey has commenced. For this reason, Ehsaas has launched the web-portal so that people can check their status and collect cash, if eligible. Dr. Sania also visited a payment campsite in Chappalgram area of Battagram to witness Ehsaas cash disbursements being made to eligible Ehsaas beneficiaries. She met with beneficiaries who were withdrawing Ehsaas cash and spoke to them about the newly launched Ehsaas 8171 web-portal. At the Ehsaas Tehsil office in Police Lines area of Battagram, she also reviewed the enrolment of children hailing from Ehsaas eligible families for Ehsaas Education Stipends. Full press conference can be watched here.