PM Imran Khan launches initiative to feed poor

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday formally launched ‘Ehsaas Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ (No One Sleeps Hungry) initiative at a ceremony held here.

Addressing the launching ceremony, the Prime Minister regretted that there were many areas in Pakistan where people go to bed hungry.

“Most people in Pakistan are on daily wages and when they don’t get their wages, they have to sleep empty stomach,” he added.

He said that the government is starting the programme in Islamabad at the moment but it would soon reach other cities as well. “One day, these vans would feed people in entire Pakistan.”

As per the programme, cooked meals will be provided through mobile trucks at designated delivery points to people in need especially those at risk of or experiencing hunger.

Initially, the Ehsaas Food Trucks are being operated in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and at later stage this programme will be further expanded to other parts of the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the programme is a step towards a welfare state, which always cares for its poor and deserving people.

He said he always feels happy to see that deserving people are given shelter and food with honour and dignity at various Panahgahs established across the country.

He also announced to launch a subsidy programme by June this year under which money will directly be transferred to the accounts of 30 million families.

He said it will enable the poor and deserving people to procure kitchen items.

It was his dream to extend the ‘Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ programme to the whole country and “Insha Allah we will do it”, he added.

Imran Khan said a large number of philanthropists in the country desired to participate in such programmes, and he believed that the success of pilot project in the twin cities would help win their trust to contribute towards its extension across Pakistan.

He also mentioned with pride the government’s health card scheme in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Gilgit Baltistan, under which each family was entitled for medical treatment worth Rs one million from any public or private hospital.

The prime minister, in a briefing on the occasion, was informed that after extensive deliberations on different avenues, the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) initiated the Meals on Wheels programme to tackle the extended demands of Panahgaahs.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar said the programme was aimed at providing two time hygienic packed food – lunch and dinner – to the needy individuals through real time mobile kitchens in urban and rural areas of Islamabad.  The project would be later scaled up to other areas of the country.

PBM Managing Director Aon Abbas, in his briefing, said at present two Ehsaas food trucks were serving free quality cooked food at various points across the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, including hospitals, bus stations and other public places with utmost dignity. The meals were cooked, stored and distributed from the truck kitchen.

As per estimates, each food truck would feed two meals to around 2,000 people daily, and would target those, who could not reach the Panahgaahs for food.

The programme had been designed in a public private partnership mode whereby the PBM would be responsible for the operations of food trucks and Saylani Welfare International Trust would be responsible for the provision of meals.

The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal had already been working on the component of Panahgaahs to provide food and shelter to the extremely poor and needy.It had so far established 15 Panahgaahs in different provinces.

To make ‘Ehsaas Koi Bhuka Na Soye’ more financially stable, the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division had constituted a “Donor Coordination Group” that would serve as an Ehsaas channel to engage with the private sector. Pledges and commitments by the private sector, international agencies, philanthropists, civil society and individuals would be overseen by the coordination group.

The step was a new policy initiative of the Federal Government to eliminate hunger in the country. It was an extension of the Ehsaas Langar Policy, which was aimed at distributing cooked meals at designated delivery points to the people in need, especially those at risk of or experiencing hunger.

 

 

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that provision of their own housing to homeless people is amongst the top priorities of the government.

Chairing the weekly meeting of National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction and Development here, the Prime Minister said provision of houses to the people was the top priority of the government and is right of every poor and low income individual.

The meeting was told that the approved and under-consideration projects of the housing and construction sector would generate economic activity worth Rs 2.07 trillion.

Since April 2020, there were 307 housing and construction sector projects spread over an area of 39.83 million square feet and 17 of these projects were approved. While the approval of 526 projects spread over 64.12 million square feet was under consideration.

The meeting was told that the approved projects would generate economic activity of Rs796.5 billion.

The under-consideration projects will create economic activity of Rs 1.28 billion. As a result of these projects 250,000 people will get direct jobs while Rs 450,000 people will get indirect jobs.

The meeting was told that Lahore the Development Authority had approved 3435 projects spread over an area of 11.03 million square feet while 700 projects were being considered.

Rawalpindi Development Authority had approved 67 projects over an area of 4.8 million square feet while 51 projects were under consideration.

Capital Development Authority had approved 121 projects spread over an area of 12.8 million square feet while 142 projects of 18.7 million square feet were being considered.

Sindh Building Control Authority sanctioned 33 projects of 9.1 million square feet while 269 projects of 40.8 million square feet were still being considered. The prime minister expressed concern over the slow pace of approvals in Sindh and said the construction activities would give direct benefit to people and province of Sindh.

It was decided that all the construction projects whose approvals were delayed would be sent to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to determine responsibility and take action against those who delayed the projects.

During the meeting, the Chief Secretary Punjab told that a portal was being set up for verification of land record to facilitate the banks.

He said the bank could ensure the verification of the land record in five days while earlier it took many months.

In the next stage, the documents regarding the provision of documents relevant to the land record would be ensured to the banks.

Chairman CDA briefed the prime minister about the low income housing projects in the federal capital.

He said in the first stage 5000 housing units would be constructed and the project would be inaugurated in the first week of April.

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