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October 2, 2019

Dr. Sania exhibits Ehsaas at global level

Islamabad

October 2, 2019

Islamabad :Making use of the opportunity to contribute to the global development discourse at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74), Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar represented Pakistan in several high-level events on the side-lines of UNGA, particularly showcasing Ehsaas to create awareness among world leaders about Pakistan’s multi-sectoral flagship programme.

Exhibiting Ehsaas, Dr. Sania briefed President of Costa Rica Dr. Sabina Alkire and other ministers at the multidimensional poverty peer network meeting organized by the government of Costa Rica. Dr. Alkire is an Oxford scholar who has done her Ph.D in Poverty Metrics in Pakistan. In the meeting, Dr. Sania reflected on how Ehsaas is using both income as well as Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) metrics for policy design and targeting. Ehsaas will invite Dr. Alkire to sit on the Ehsaas Poverty Metrics Committee and she will also help Ehsaas with analysis of the local drivers of poverty studies. Being a member of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Lead Group, Dr. Sania presented a bold plan at the lead group meeting to address malnutrition in Pakistan. She outlined the new and improved policies under Ehsaas that will ensure that all Pakistanis can enjoy nutritious diets. Speaking to the other UN-appointed campaign leaders, Dr. Sania said, “Tackling malnutrition is embedded in the strategy of Ehsaas which, for the first time, is working across government departments and across sectors to strengthen the structures already put in place by SUN in Pakistan and to develop new policies that augment those successes.”

On the side-lines of UNGA, Dr. Sania together with Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, joined a panel discussion at the SDG Action Zone Summit. During the discussion, she explained about what Ehsaas entails, its components, progress underway, its priorities and partnership approach, challenges and opportunities and what success it entails. Bill Gates outlined how digital and financial inclusion can be a force multiplier to address poverty.

Further, at the side event on environmental stewardship on tackling poverty organized by Malaysia, Turkey, and Pakistan, Dr. Sania read Pakistan’s statement.

A bilateral meeting with Queen Maxima of Netherlands was also held wherein Dr. Sania gave her a detailed overview of several initiatives which are envisaged to contribute to financial inclusion objectives in the Ehsaas framework while cross-cutting with women empowerment and poverty alleviation goals. Queen Maxima is visiting Pakistan in November 2019.

Representing Pakistan at the US Pakistan Women Council re-launch event hosted by the State Department, Dr. Sania elaborated on the myriad ways in which Ehsaas is mainstreaming the role of women in the economic sphere, through financial inclusion amongst other measures, creating livelihoods and jobs.

As part of her meetings in the US, Dr. Sania manifested details about the multi-pronged approach to Universal Health Coverage under Ehsaas at the WHO High level Summit on UHC. She also attended ‘World Economic forum Summit on Health’ and ‘Global Development Forum’ as a panellist.

During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dr. Sania, Bill Gates, and Chris Elias, president of global development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also participated in a bilateral meeting and signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the Ehsaas initiative to alleviate poverty in Pakistan, a partnership to put funding, technical assistance, and the help of global experts toward improving health, nutrition and financial inclusion within Pakistan.

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