ISLAMABAD - Emergency cash disbursement among more than 12 million daily wagers (Rs12,000 each as one-time assistance) countrywide under the Ehsaas Programmeme has been completed.

Within 100 days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Rs 193.96 billion Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, which was launched on April 9, has successfully accomplished the Ehsaas target of emergency cash disbursement among more than 12 million daily wagers, said a spokesman of the Ehsaas Programme.

Given the overall success of Ehsaas Emergency Cash and its massive demand in these unprecedented times, the government has set out a new emergency cash target to reach out to around 16.163 million beneficiaries. 

Further, the PM launched web-portal for COVID-19 livelihood-loss-affectees who had been laid off by employers (categories 4 and 5) on May 2, 2020 and committed that for every rupee donated, the government will match additional four rupees and that all donations will be earmarked for Ehsaas Emergency Cash. Payments are currently underway for category 4 and 5 of beneficiaries.

The focus of this Programme has been on the fastest possible delivery by leveraging existing digital capabilities particularly data analytics, biometrically enabled precision payments and data driven accountability.

Transparency safeguards and real-time evaluations in the rollout of Ehsaas Emergency cash have ensured safe cash delivery coupled with appropriate real time mitigating actions from the field such as, supplementary payment solutions for beneficiaries with biometric issues, crackdown against fraudulent elements in field, incentives for branchless banking retailers of partnering banks and waiver of SMS charges for labourers etc.

To address the need of the hour, the federal government had also opened a range of assistance initiatives through Ehsaas Rashan Portal and Ehsaas Langars, the Ehsaas Langar and Panahgah App to empower welfare organizations to play a well-coordinated role with the government in responding to the COVID-19. The Ehsaas Rashan Programme links private sector organizations willing to donate food rations, to government-verified beneficiaries. Till today, as many as 738,869 requests have been received on the portal and food assistance has been kicked off. 

In the wake of the economic hardship being experienced by the vulnerable due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Ehsaas has opened 6 Langars in Punjab, KP, Sindh and Islamabad through public private partnership.

Each Langar distributes around 1,200 complimentary meals to labourers for two times daily. In Islamabad and Lahore, “Ehsaas-Saylani Langar on Wheels” has been introduced as well in the context of COVID-19 to serve cooked food aid to the deserving.

Striking balance between safety and social protection, cumulatively Ehsaas Interest Free loans amounting Rs24.08 billion have been disbursed so far to 712,852 borrowers countrywide. Likewise, through Ehsaas Amdan 25,500 assets worth Rs. 1.5 billion have been transferred to deserving recipients in these difficult times.