ISLAMABAD - A dinner was hosted by Alfredo Leoni, the Ambassador of Brazil, in honour of Senator Muhammad Enver Baig, Chairman BISP on the eve of Chairman’s BISP departure to Brazil to attend a South-South learning forum.

The forum is organised by the World Bank in partnership with the Government of Brazil and State of Rio De Janeiro. The purpose of the forum is to promote knowledge exchange amongst practitioners from low and middle-income countries and fragile states on the design and delivery of Social Protection and Labor (SP & L) systems. It is worth mentioning that Brazil hosts the World’s largest Social Protection System i.e. Bolsa Familia. The dinner was also attended by Country Heads of various UN Agencies. It is also relevant to mention that Pakistan is one of the five countries who will be sharing their achievements vis-à-vis Social Protection and will update the participants about the marvels achieved in the successful transition of payments delivery from a manual system to technology based system.  The Brazilian Ambassador in his welcome note highlighted the importance of the forum and observed that attending the meeting will not only enable BISP to see practical implementation of Bolsa Familia but will also go a long way in enhancing a closer cooperation and coordination between the two programmes. The Ambassador also extended his country’s help in further improving the design of BISP.

On this occasion, Chairman BISP held that continuation of BISP underlines that seriousness of the present government to root out poverty from the country, which; however, is a very challenging task and requires immaculate planning and designing to achieve the true objectives.

 Further, he observed that while continuing with the unconditional cash transfer, the implementation of a graduation strategy is also of utmost importance.  In this context, he is focusing on imparting technical and vocational skills to the BISP beneficiary families in order to make them self-relied and independent.  Chairman, BISP also appreciated the efforts of the international financial institutions and developing partners in helping BISP in designing and implementing the Programme and held that exposure to the learning and experiences of other countries specifically Brazil will act as a catalyst in this regard. During the dinner, the Chairman BISP also held fruitful discussions with Heads of the UN Agencies and ways and means were discussed as to how a strong partnership can be forged to target the menace of poverty, which is a common enemy.