Pakistan’s Ehsaas programme, successful social welfare model for countries

Hartwig Schafer congratulated Ehsaas for leading an incredible role not just amid COVID-19 pandemic but also in building a better post-COVID environment.

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ISLAMABAD, Hartwig Schafer, South Asia Regional Vice President (SARVP) visited Ehsaas offices, this morning. Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM together with Ehsaas team welcomed the World Bank’s South Asia Regional Vice President and his delegation. She briefed them on the deep-rooted reforms embedded in the design and roll out of Ehsaas programmes, policies, reforms and initiatives. Hartwig Schafer congratulated Ehsaas for leading an incredible role not just amid COVID-19 pandemic but also in building back better post-COVID. The meeting aimed to discuss the Bank’s ongoing engagements with the government of Pakistan’s Ehsaas. “Many lessons can be learnt by developed and developing countries from the social protection and poverty alleviation experience of Ehsaas”, commented Schafer. Schafer assured full assistance of the World Bank to antipoverty efforts undertaken under Ehsaas. He also praised the Ehsaas 50% plus benefits policy for women and girls who aims to create a conducive sociocultural and economic environment to ensure women and girls can participate in all spheres of public and private life. Hartwig Schafer was leading a delegation consisting of high-ranking officials from the World Bank- Najy Benhassine, Country Director; Gailius J. Draugelis, Operations Manager; and Amjad Zafar, Senior Social Protection Specialist. From Ehsaas, Secretary Ismat Tahira and Additional Secretary Captain (Retd) Saeed Ahmed Nawaz also joined the meeting. While briefing the delegation, Dr. Sania outlined ten major foundation stones laid out under Ehsaas to make the programme transparent, inclusive resilient and results driven. She highlighted, in particular, the governance and integrity policy; Ehsaas 50% plus benefits policy for women; culture of delivery tied to policies, frameworks and strategies; institutional consolidation of executing entities; Ehsaas National Socio-economic Registry; One Window operations; transparency measures; digitally enabled systems and dashboards; expert committees; and design stamped roll out of multispectral programmes that enabled Ehsaas to reach out to 40% of the country’s population. Further, Dr. Sania shared the women centric policy of Ehsaas that poorest families are given a higher amount for educating girls and are offered support through higher secondary school levels. Also, girls are given a bonus on the completion of 5th grade based on the understanding that this will enable continuation of education to the secondary level. She also lauded the World Bank’s support to Ehsaas programme since its launch in 2019. Schafer is on the visit to Pakistan between August 3-8, 2021. During his visit, the delegation is meeting with key counterparts about the upcoming country partnership framework as well as government of Pakistan’s ambitious reform on human capital, and economic and inclusive growth in Pakistan.

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