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Dr Sania, PPAF discuss action plan for poverty reduction under ‘Ehsaas’ programme

July 20, 2019

Islamabad: As the government’s fight against poverty picks pace, the PM’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar initiated detailed deliberations with the senior team of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) here Friday to discuss its plan of action to reducing poverty under the government’s flagship ‘Ehsaas programme.’

The PPAF is the lead implementing agency for the government’s National Poverty Graduation Initiative (NPGI), launched two weeks earlier by the Prime Minister under Ehsaas; NPGI is an important component of Pillar II of Ehsaas, which aims to provide livelihoods and social protection to vulnerable segments of society.

The meeting was attended by Qazi Azmat Isa, PPAF Chief Executive Officer, Asadullah Khan, Additional Secretary, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), Amir Naeem, PPAF’s Senior Group Head, Financial Management and Corporate Affairs, and Samia Liaquat Ali Khan, PPAF’s Senior Group Head, Graduation Group and Programme Director, NPGI.

The meeting featured an overview of PPAF’s initiatives and growth over the past 20 years including its vision and strategic trajectory. PPAF’s values in line with its work towards relief of the poor and the vulnerable, it’s programming network and elements of output, were also discussed. The institution’s work in the microfinance sector’s development, strategic pillars, innovation, compliance, inclusion and diversity programmes, and its impact as it eliminates poverty were other key elements of discussions.

Dr. Sania lauded PPAF’s impact in bringing social and economic change to hundreds of thousands of communities across the country and discussed its collaborative efforts with the government in the battle for greater social and economic equality in Pakistan. With its work on interest-free loans, PPAF is the lead implementer of the government’s newly-launched ‘Ehsaas bila sood karzay’ (Ehsaas Interest Free Loans) programme with a financial outlay of Rs5 billion. Under this initiative, PPAF has already started disbursing loans to the tune of Rs80,000 every month. The NPGI will provide relief to the masses through interest-free loans, vocational and skills trainings, and asset transfers. Interest-free loans come with easy and simple eligibility criteria for people to build their own businesses.

Dr. Sania said she was hopeful about the social safety sector’s development, especially with PPAF’s expertise in interest-free loans programme.