Over 25 percent population of South Waziristan to benefit from Ehsaas in 2021: Nishtar

South Waziristan: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday during his visit to South Waziristan launched Ehsaas Kafaalat programme in the district of South Waziristan and reviewed the status of first-ever digital survey in the district.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Ehsaas Dr Sania Nishtar in a statement said over 25 percent population of South Waziristan was going to benefit from Ehsaas in 2021. The Ehsaas National Socioeconomic survey based on which the Ehsaas Kafaalat and many other stipends were extended to deserving people in the district had already commenced on January 9, 2021, she added.

“This is the first time the population of the district will be benefited from a transparent and rule based social protection program”, said SAPM Dr Sania Nishtar. “Ehsaas enumerators are going house-to-house with tablets to collect district-wide information.”

She added that owing to military operation in the area, the socioeconomic survey conducted in 2011 did not cover South Waziristan, so it was a very significant step that this survey was being successfully initiated.

“Once the survey is completed, we will significantly enhance the quantum of social protection support to deserving people in the district. Ehsaas will benefit more than 25% population of South Waziristan this year”, said Nishtar.

“More than 20, 000 families are likely to benefit from Ehsaas Kafaalat, more than 35, 000 children are likely to benefit from Waseela-e-Taleem Digital, and through the new two Nashonuma Centers which are to be established in 2021, as many as 2, 500 children and mothers will additionally benefit. A Women Empowerment Center will also be established this year that will annually impart livelihood skills training to 200 deserving women. Further, an amount of Rs. 22.3 million has been earmarked for providing individual financial assistance to the poorest families in need. In addition, Ehsaas will provide 100 artificial limbs to special persons who lost their body parts in bomb/mine blasts in South Waziristan. We are also hoping more students will apply for Ehsaas UG scholarships this year to benefit from the pool of 50, 000 scholarships which are given out every year under this scheme” she further added.

While in South Waziristan, PM oversaw payment to select number of Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries through Ehsaas’ digital payment system. Ehsaas Kafaalat was the government’s flagship safety net programme through which it gives monthly cash stipends of Rs. 2, 000 and saving bank accounts to the poorest women across the country.

The currently fast-tracked and end to end digital survey in South Waziristan would build the foundation of wide-ranging social protection interventions in the area. Results of Ehsaas survey would determine which households in the district were eligible to benefit from monthly Kafaalat grants, Waseela-e-Taleem Digital quarterly stipends, Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships, Ehsaas Interest Free loans for small enterprises and Ehsaas Amdan assets for income generation. Ehsaas Registration desks would also be opened in the district after the survey to ensure that missed households could come forward and register themselves. PM was also briefed about the status of Ehsaas National Socio-economic Registry (NSER) survey.

Overall, under the umbrella of Ehsaas, there were many social protection and poverty graduation initiatives for the socio-economic transformation of South Waziristan.

In the last one year, Ehsaas interest free loans have supported more than 3, 706 borrowers through loans worth Rs 119 million to run small enterprises. Under Ehsaas Amdan, small income-generating assets worth Rs. 240 million have been allocated for 4, 000 deserving households to graduate them out of poverty. Through Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship program, around 102 scholarships have been awarded to deserving and talented students of South Waziristan in the year 2019-20.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis (April 2020 – October 2020), Ehsaas Emergency Cash worth Rs. 177.85 million has been delivered to 14, 821 families of South Waziristan.

Under Ehsaas Bait ul Mal Madad, individual financial assistance worth Rs. 8.83 million has been extended to special persons and those in need of education, health and cash support.