Yesterday, Special Assitant to Prime Minister on Social Safety and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar addressed a press conference where she revealed that the survey which will enable poor and needy people to get financial aid and assistance is around 70 percent completed.
Currently, four million needy people in Pakistan are being looked after by the Ehsaas Kafaalat Program and the government aims to get that number to seven million once the survey is completed, Dr. Nistar stated.
“About four million poor people including orphans, widows, special children, and women, were being provided financial assistance under Ehsaas Program and this assistance would be increased up to seven million poor people after completion of this survey in the country,” she said.
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The survey is currently being conducted in Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) under the assistance of the social welfare department, teachers, and police. The program is looking to add more needy people under the social security net. To achieve that, those who qualify the eligibility criteria of the program are being added to a new list, through an efficient process. People meeting the eligibility criteria would have their data digitized to ease access and it will be made sure that every deserving person is added to the list, Dr. Nishtar informed.
Dr. Sania Nishtar also refuted false claims about the Ehsaas Program being funding by international donors and informed that the Ehsaas program is being fully funded by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan.
Moreover, she informed that the students who do not have proper resources or financial means to get the education they deserve are being provided with scholarships to ensure quality education. Around 140 of the Mardan Women University students have been given scholarships, she added. The university also saw an increase in the number of female students, which Dr. Nishtar was pleased about.
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The Ehsaas program, launched on April 1st, 2020, offers financial support to millions of families hit by the pandemic. The Ehsaas Amdan (Income) program involves giving away small “assets” to those who live below the poverty line so that they can earn a living and escape from the shackles of poverty. Local media reports that this is the “biggest and boldest program” ever launched in Pakistan to uplift marginalized people.
“The program has achieved the goal of successfully reaching out to millions of needy families across the country, making it an exceptional effort during this time of crisis,” reports Siasat News.
The country’s largest social protection program of Ehsaas will establish a Women Empowerment Center (WEC) in South Waziristan this year to impart livelihood skills training to 200 deserving women annually.
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According to an official source, the Ehsaas extensive social safety initiative was likely to benefit over 25 percent population of South Waziristan in the year 2021 through various schemes in a transparent manner.
The Ehsaas National Socioeconomic survey based on which the Ehsaas Kafaalat and many other stipends were extended to deserving people in the district continued since January 9, 2021 under which Ehsaas enumerators were going house-to-house with tablets to collect district-wide information.
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The official source revealed that the socioeconomic survey conducted in 2011 did not cover South Waziristan owing to the military operation.
Once the survey was completed, the quantum of social protection support will be enhanced for deserving people in the district, benefiting more than 25 percent population of South Waziristan this year.
More than 20,000 families were likely to benefit from Ehsaas Kafaalat, more than 35,000 children from Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, 2,500 children and mothers from two Nashonuma Centers to be established in 2021.
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