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Eradicating poverty: Brazilian officials laud BISP commitment

Chairman Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Enver Baig held a meeting in Brazil, on the sidelines of the South-South Forum, with Romulo Paes De Souza, former Deputy Minister for Social Development in the Government of Brazil, who led the world's largest safety net cash transfer programme, the BolsaFamilia, and Antonio Claret Campos Filho, Secretary of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The representatives of the World Bank and UK's DFID also attended the meeting, says a press release received here on Friday. Enver Baig is currently on an official visit to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to attend a South-South Learning Forum, organised by the World Bank in partnership with the Government of Brazil. The forum has allowed Pakistan to showcase it's cutting edge work on developing social protection systems in the country, strongly embedded in the manifesto of the present government of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

During the meeting, the distinguished Brazilian officials appreciated the present government's efforts to reduce poverty in Pakistan and in this context specifically lauded the continuation of BISP and its commitment to invest in human capital by launching a programme, which will support education of the poorest children. They underlined the importance of a closer co-ordination between the federal and provincial governments' vis-a-vis the programme's implementation. Based on experience of Brazil, it was recommended that Pakistan may also explore a performance based system, which encourages and motivates provincial and local governments to achieve agreed targets on school enrolment and attendance of the poorest.

The Chairman BISP informed about the government's commitment to implement a comprehensive, broad based, and targeted social protection initiatives so as to target poverty and improve the living standards of the target population. He appreciated the Government of Brazil's offer for South-South knowledge exchange by supporting Pakistan in effective design and implementation of BISP's co-responsibility cash transfer program for primary education.

He said that further avenues are also explored to find a lasting solution to eliminate the menace of poverty in Pakistan. He invited Brazilian officials to visit Pakistan to observe operations of BISP and also suggest the ways and means as to how this largest social protection programme can be further improved. The Brazilian officials accepted the invitation and promised to visit in August 2014 for sharing their experience with the federal and provincial policy makers, academia and think tanks in the country.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014


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