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July 31, 2020

Int’l donors praise Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme

Islamabad

July 31, 2020

Islamabad : Donors and international development partners on Thursday praised the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program for reaching out to millions of deserving households in a transparent, cost-effective and fast manner.

They expressed these views webinar hosted by Ehsaas to share key findings of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Report penned by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation. Country directors and heads of International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other agencies joined the webinar.

Convening the virtual meeting, Dr. Nishtar shared her experience around the design and implementation of Ehsaas Emergency Cash that will support 16.9 million families affected by the COVID-19 induced economic shutdown with cash handout of Rs. 12, 000 each.

Narrating her experience, SAPM Dr. Nishtar shared, “Pakistan which is the fifth largest country in the world, there are 24 million breadwinners who rely on daily wages or are self-employed in the informal economy and life for them virtually came to a standstill with implementation of a lockdown in March 2020. To respond to this challenge, the Government of Pakistan created the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program, which is the largest social protection program ever in the country’s history.”

She said that this end to end digital program was rolled-out within 10 days of the lockdown to deliver one-time emergency cash grants adding that 1.23 billion USD were allocated to support more than 16.9 million families, which cover around 109 million people which is approximately 50 per cent of the country’s population.

Elaborating about how Ehsaas digital infrastructure was leveraged for emergency cash, Dr. Nishtar continued, “Ehsaas Emergency Cash report takes stock of the digital systems and tools deployed in the design and roll out of the program, which built on digital capabilities established over the past year as part of the overarching Ehsaas framework. To ensure compliance with the rule -based procedures, a new biometric payment system, the demand side SMS and web service and wealth-profiling data analytics mechanism were ingrained in the roll out of Ehsaas Emergency Cash.