ISLAMABAD - Ehsaas has fully consumed budget allocations in the last two financial years through implementing multi-faceted poverty alleviation programmes with an aim to ensure uplift of downtrodden segments of society in true spirit.
According to the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, overall, the entire Rs206.76 billion Ehsaas allocations for FY 2020-21 have been consumed for various social protection and poverty alleviation initiatives under Ehsaas. Similarly, Rs254.95 allocated for FY 2019-20 was fully disbursed and utilised in the said year.
Hinged on more than 280 programmes, initiatives and policy areas, Ehsaas aimed at reducing inequality and alleviating poverty through a multi-sectoral approach.
Under Ehsaas Kafaalat, more than seven million families have been enrolled till June 30, 2021 through the ongoing Ehsaas survey. Kafaalat includes monthly payments of Rs2,000, saving bank accounts for disadvantaged women across the country.
Work on the new Ehsaas survey has significantly been expedited all over the country to gather data about the socioeconomic status of households. The survey is currently 95% percent complete and will accomplish by July 31, 2021.
Enrolment of new beneficiaries is dependent on the data from the new Ehsaas survey. Households missed in the door-to-door survey will be able to enrol themselves through Ehsaas Registration Desks that will be opened at Tehsil level after survey completion.
Under the first phase of Ehsaas Emergency Cash in 2020, the government delivered Rs179.8 billion as one-time emergency cash assistance to 14.8 million families at risk of extreme poverty.
Currently, under the second phase of Ehsaas Emergency Cash, Rs12,000 is being provided to 12 million deserving households (including 4 million additional deserving households). The purpose is to compensate affected households for unemployment caused by COVID-19 crises.
To address stunting in children under two years of age, 50 Ehsaas Nashonuma Centres have been opened across 15 districts in the first phase of program. Besides, the primary education CCT program has brought 1.6 million primary school children into its fold from across all 154 districts of Pakistan.
Children are provided conditional cash grants of Rs1,500 for boy child and Rs2,000 per quarter for girl child on attainment of 70% attendance in school.
Promoting higher education, Ehsaas undergraduate scholarship program provided 142,765 need cum merit-based scholarships worth Rs13.2 billion in last two academic years. The scholarship offers full-tuition fee and a living stipend.
Ehsaas is also creating small livelihoods opportunities for deserving families through Ehsaas Interest-Free Loan and Ehsaas Amdan Programme. After the launch of Ehsaas Interest-Free Loans in July 2019, a total of 1.35 million loans (46% loans to women) have been disbursed with a value of Rs47.77 billion. Under Ehsaas Amdan, 60,364 small income generating assets of Rs3.62 billion have been transferred so far to the deserving households (60% women).
Ehsaas Langars serve free meals twice a day to daily wage earners and labourers in different parts of the country. To-date, 28 langars have been opened throughout the country. Through ‘Ehsaas Koye Bhooka Na Soye’ (EKBNS), meals are delivered free of charge through food truck arrangements across Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar. Since its launch in March 2021, overall 535,576 meals have been served through 12 food trucks operating in five cities.
Furthermore, to facilitate labourers and daily wagers who need shelter, model Panagah facilities have been built up under the Ehsaas umbrella countrywide. Since September 2020 when the responsibility was entrusted to Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, 1.8 million beneficiaries have availed shelter and meal facilities at 17 model Panagahs in all four provinces, GB and the federal capital.
Ehsaas Tahafuz is Pakistan’s first shock-oriented precision safety net program. Tahafuz is aimed at preventing people from catastrophic health expenditures and is being pilot tested in one hospital, since December 2020, following which it will be upscaled in FY 2021-22.
On June 9, 2021 Prime Minister inaugurated the first One Window Ehsaas Centre in Sitara Market, Islamabad. In this centre, all the services under Ehsaas can be accessed under one roof. Ehsaas will open one window centres in 154 districts of the country.
According to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishtar, “Allocation for the Ehsaas program has been enhanced to Rs260 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22 which will be utilised for the welfare of disadvantaged population”.