PM to inaugurate 3 Ehsaas programmes in GB today

ISLAMABAD   –  Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan today (Friday) will inaugurate three major Ehsaas programmes in GB. The PM will announce roll out of Ehsaas Nashonuma, Ehsaas secondary education stipends and Ehsaas One Woman One Account initiatives across GB. 

So far, eight Ehsaas Nashonuma centres have been opened in 3 districts of GB including Diamer, Astore and Kharmang. In collaboration with the government of GB, a detailed roadmap has been developed to open Ehsaas Nashonuma Centres in every district of GB. Ehsaas Nashonuma is pegged on improving nutrition and health in the first thousand days of life, starting at conception and finishing at age of two.

Under the Prime Minister’s ‘One Woman One Bank Account Initiative’, Ehsaas Bachat Account (saving account) for Ehsaas Kafalaat beneficiaries has been launched in thirteen districts of the country. The initiative will formally be launched in Hunza Nagar district and will be scaled up later nationwide. Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries will have the option of either drawing their money or saving money into digital wallets. For the first time, the poorest women in Pakistan will have the option to save their payments. 13 districts where Ehsaas Bachat Account has been launched include Haripur (KP), Muzaffarabad (AJK), Hunza Nagar (GB), Quetta (Balochistan), Islamabad (ICT), Faisalabad, Okara, Sheikhupura, Sargodha (Punjab), Matiari, Karachi Malir, Sanghar and Khairpur (Sindh).

PM will also announce the first of its kind Ehsaas’ secondary education conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme for secondary school going children of deserving households. Ehsaas has already approved and budgeted for the expansion of the conditional cash transfer from the primary level to the secondary education level. The new secondary education CCT has been structured along the lines of Ehsaas Stipend policy that allocates higher stipend amount for girls as compared to boys. Children of underprivileged households will be provided conditional cash grants of Rs2,500 for boy child and Rs3,000 per quarter for girl child on fulfilment of 70% attendance in school. This programme will commence from the next financial year and will be deployed in all districts of GB. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has already been agreed with the Gilgit-Baltistan government.

According to a press statement, Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “Overall, under the Ehsaas umbrella, there are many programmes for GB. Post-COVID-19 there is a need for new forms of social protection and the need to reach out to various disadvantaged regions.” She said, “The education conditional cash transfer programme is being expanded to secondary level, the health and nutrition programme, Ehsaas Nashonuma is being upscaled in time and the phased expansion of the One Woman One Account initiative countrywide, is well on time this year. Also, additional resources have been allocated for the Ehsaas National Poverty Graduation Initiative.” 

Ehsaas Statistics for GB: Since the launch of PM’s Ehsaas in March 2019, several Ehsaas programmes and initiatives including Ehsaas Kafaalat, Ehsaas primary school stipends, Ehsaas Nashonuma, Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship, Ehsaas interest-free loans, Ehsaas Emergency Cash and several others have been rolled out across GB to benefit marginalised populations.

Under Ehsaas interest-free loans programme, small interest-free loans worth Rs1.24 billion have been disbursed among 30,903 beneficiaries in 9 districts including Gilgit, Astore, Ghanche, Ghizer, Hunza, Kharmang, Nagar, Shigar and Skardu.

Through Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme, 1,178 scholarships have been awarded to the deserving and talented students 948% girls of GB in the year 2019-20. 

During COVID-19 situation, Ehsaas Emergency Cash worth Rs1.42 billion was disbursed in Gilgit-Baltistan among 124,534 beneficiaries.

Under primary education conditional cash transfer programme, 58,288 deserving children are benefitting from the quarterly stipends of Rs2000 for girl child and Rs1,500 for boy child per quarter.

Across Baltistan, Astore and Ghizer, 8 Ehsaas Nashonuma Centres have been opened to serve pregnant and lactating mothers and children less than two years of age. Total 1,408 beneficiaries (children and mothers) have been enrolled under Nashonuma in 3 districts of GB and will get specialized nutritious food to prevent stunting in children along with cash stipends (Rs2000 for girl child and Rs1,500 for boy child per quarter). 

In Ehsaas Kafaalat, 56,920 women beneficiaries are being served with the monthly stipends. The number is likely to increase with the enrolment of new households through the ongoing Ehsaas survey. For the ongoing Kafaalat payments, as many as 53 specialised campsites have been set up in GB to facilitate biometrically enabled disbursements to deserving households enrolled in Kafaalat. GB-based recipients can also withdraw Kafaalat stipends from biometric ATM machines of Ehsaas partnering bank, Bank Alfalah. 

To identify new deserving households for Ehsaas Kafaalat programme, the Ehsaas survey is currently 43.76% complete in GB. The android-based survey is progressing smoothly to accomplish by June 30, 2021. 

Ehsaas Registration desks will be set up over the next three months in every tehsil after the survey reaches 70% milestone in each district. This will enable missed households to come forward and self-register themselves in the survey. 

Aiming to serve free shelter and meals to daily wage earners, one new Panagah has recently been opened in Skardu, the first in GB and the second will be opened soon in Gilgit.


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