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ISLAMABAD: Over Rs 115 billion have been distributed among 9.5 million beneficiaries of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme under which some 18 million deserving families are being provided one-time financial assistance of Rs 12,000 each.

As of June 1, Rs 115,680.39 million were distributed among 9,513,271 beneficiaries in the first three categories of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, reveals the data issued by Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety (PASS) Division.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched category-IV to financially support 6 million men and women from the downtrodden segments of society who lost their livelihoods as a result of preventive measures taken by the federal and provincial governments to stop the spread of coronavirus.

These six million people would be provided one-time cash assistance of Rs 12,000 while the entire funding of category-IV would come from the Prime Minister's Corona Relief Fund but channeled through Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, according to federal government.

The payments for the applicants of category-IV beneficiaries are not part of Rs 144 billion allocated by the federal government to financially assist 12 million families in the three categories of emergency cash initiative.

The PM has committed that for every rupee donated by donors, rupees four will be contributed by the government, she said.

The PM has participated in different telethons as federal government is mainly relying on public donations and contributions from donors to generate funds under the Prime Minister's Corona Relief Fund.

On May 2, the PM launched the web-portal for soliciting applications from people who lost their livelihoods in the context of the outbreak of coronavirus in Pakistan. Since then, the portal is currently open to applications in line with criteria detailed in the web-based application form. Applicants are required to give a declaration while submitting application form that they lost their job due to coronavirus outbreak.

As part of Ehsaas Emergency Cash framework, categories I-III are funded through government coronavirus relief package. Category-I includes 4.5 million Kafaalat beneficiary women cleared from the NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) data analytics before inclusion in the Kafaalat Programme. Category-II includes four million men and women who registered with Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme through Short Messaging Service (SMS). Category-III includes 3.5 million men and women identified through district administrations and as well as SMS facility.

The Ehsaas Information Portal provides real time updates about the number of beneficiaries served in each of the three categories with provincial, district and Tehsil-wise breakdowns.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020