Category Archives: News



PM launches nationwide Ehsaas Education Stipends

Sep 1, 2021 – Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan formally opened the Ehsaas Education Stipends program. Dr. Sania Nishtar briefed him on the countrywide launch of Ehsaas Education Stipends for primary, secondary, and higher secondary education. The program gives stipends from age 4-22 years—i.e., from primary to the higher secondary levels. As per Ehsaas’ weighted-in-favour-of-girls stipends policy for all conditional cash transfer programs, girls get a higher stipend across all age groups, which signals the government’s intent to facilitate girls’ education. Primary school children are provided Ehsaas Education Stipends of Rs. 1,500 for boy child and Rs. 2,000 per quarter for girl child. Secondary school children are granted Ehsaas Education Stipends of Rs. 2,500 for boys and Rs. 3,000 per quarter for girls. Students of higher secondary level are given Rs. 3,500 for boys and Rs. 4,000 per quarter for girls. The Ehsaas Education Stipends program with higher incentive for girls, will encourage parents to send their children particularly girls to schools. A one-time Ehsaas graduation bonus of Rs. 3,000 is part of Ehsaas Education Stipends program to encourage girls to complete primary education. The program is operational nationwide in 160 districts.

Dr. Sania inspires young entrepreneurs at the Pakistan’s Biggest Startup Cup Finale

June 29, 2021: The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad, in partnership with U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, concluded the seventh edition of the Startup Cup Finale 2021. Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited as a chief guest on the occasion. Over 500 startups competed in the various stages of the competition, which included coaching and business readiness workshops. From the final 15 startups, the first prize of 1 million rupees went to Scary Ammi, Pakistan’s first mothering community application. “Initiatives like the Pakistan Startup Cup are so important for Pakistan. With such a high percentage of youth in the country, it is important for our young population to learn entrepreneurial skills that will not only help them but also create opportunities for others as their businesses grow”, said Dr. Sania while congratulating the winners and organizers. The Startup Cup is Pakistan’s largest startup competition. This year’s event showed a unique virtual experience to those attending it.

Dissemination event of 10 country case studies on financing of NCD prevention in low- and middle-income countries

With the support of IDRC – International Development Research Centre (Canada), Heartfile conducted 10 country case studies on financing of NCD prevention in low- and middle-income countries. The countries included Pakistan, Zambia, Belarus, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Vietnam, Jamaica, Iran, and Kenya. The studies can be accessed here and the webinar of the dissemination event can be viewed here

Heartfile TFA Report Dissemination Event

July 11, 2019: Heartfile co-hosted a dissemination event with @WHOPakistan & Nutrition wing of MoNHSRC in Islamabad to share our recently completed situational analysis on trans fats in the Pakistan context & discuss how to make Pakistan Trans fat free by 2023. The report can be accessed here.

Report on the Future of Healthcare launched

May 9, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar, along with Dr. Andre Goy chaired the World Economic Forum Global Future Council (GFC) on the Future of Health and Healthcare over a two year period (2016-2018). GFC comprises expert stakeholders representing the public and private healthcare sectors. For the 2016-2018 mandate, members of the GFC worked together to provide insights on how the evolution of global health and healthcare will affect us all in the decades to come, including through the implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Report which was launched this week can be accessed here

Third Meeting of the High-Level Commission on NCDs

April 2-3, 2019: Third Meeting of the WHO High-Level Commission on NCDs was held in Geneva on April 2nd and 3rd. The Commission worked in three sub-groups and deliberated on the way forward for its second phase. The commission’s second report is expected to be released in October 31, 2019, which is when the Commission will sunset. Dr Sania Nishtar chaired the meeting of the Commission.

Global Consultation on Agriculture and Food Systems

March 28, 2019: The Benazir Income Support Program and the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food systems for Nutrition co-hosed a joint high-level dialogue on food systems in Islamabad on March 28. An outcome of the event is a statement of intent in which ministers, experts and other stakeholders agreed on specific, actionable policy options within their spheres of influence to support the provision of safe, affordable, accessible and healthy diets. The statement of intent is available at meeting was chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar. Speakers included Tom Arnold and Prof Sandy Thomas, Director, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.

Launch of the Ehsaas program by the Prime Minister

March 27, 2019: The largest ever poverty-eradication focused program in Pakistan, called Ehsaas (feeling for the poor) was launched on March 27. At the launch event at the convention center in Islamabad, Dr. Sania Nishtar, who has designed the program, gave an overview of the program, following which Prime Minister Imran Khan formally announced the program and outlined his commitment to its policy goals. In order to facilitate Pakistan’s transition towards a welfare state, the Government is striving to play a more effective role in eliminating disparities between the have and have-nots. This strategic framework, therefore, aims to target poverty, vulnerability, malnutrition, and deprivation so that the fundamental rights of all citizens can be ensured. Ehsaas will reach out to all those now excluded, with a special emphasis on those parts of the country where development is lagging and where poverty is higher.The launching ceremony can be watched here

PACC meetings and process

January-March, 2019: Following the notification of the Poverty Alleviation Coordination Council, on January 9, 2019 by the Government of Pakistan, Dr. Sania Nishtar convened more than 23 Stakeholder consultations in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat over a two month duration to develop a plan for addressing the issue of ‘inequality’ and poor ‘human capital development’ in the country. Some details about these consultations were posed on twitter #PovertyCouncilPak