LAHORE - National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has reached out to 1.2 million flood affected families and Rs21 billion have been disbursed in lieu of rehabilitation and reconstruction through 115 Watan Card distribution centers established countrywide in just few weeks, Tariq Malik, Deputy Chairman NADRA said in a statement, says a press release. Responding to criticism on media regarding speed of the program, Malik said in a country where file moves from one office to the neighboring one in a month, NADRA has established 115 centers, equipped them with technology, deployed resources and issued cash assistance cards with the speed of light. It has already become one of the largest cash assistance programme in post disaster relief, as far as catering to such a huge masses is concerned. Tariq Malik rejected the impression created by some media organizations that Widows and special persons are not getting Watan Cards. We have already issued more than 90,000 Watan cards to flood effected widows and 3123 Watan cards to disabled persons as head of family. Remember all widows and disabled persons are not eligible -only those who belong to flood hit area duly notified by provincial governments are entitled for Watan Cards said Malik. Deputy Chairman said that NADRA has played its role and created a system under which funds can be distributed in a transparent way. Its enforcement is responsibility of the provincial governments and they have to play their role, he added. NADRA has deployed the Watan Card strategy of cash assistance after it was approved by Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting with the agreement of all four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and AJK. He said NADRA with its biometric technology ensures that the beneficiary is the same person claiming to be resident of the areas notified as flood hit area under Calamity Act by provincial government. Its strategy is based on Evidence of Identity (EOI) methodology. Based on EOI, ID card alone is not enough, we are checking the persons fingerprints and photos digitally. It cant be more transparent than that, said Tariq Malik. We are now fully operational in all provinces of Pakistan. he said. He said NADRA has also set up two distribution points in Derra Allah Yaar and Sohbat Pur in Balochistan. He said the delay in issuance of Watan Cards in Balochistan was due to non-availability of the final lists by provincial authorities. NADRA got the final list on Nov.3, provincial government selected its partner bank on Nov 5 and within 48 hours NADRA started issuing Watan Cards.