ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is to launch soon the Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme for pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as minor children facing health issues due to lack of diet.

In this connection, 31 Nashonuma Centres are being set up in the nine less developed districts across Pakistan to help pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children up to two years of age facing stunting growth due to lack of nutritious diet, the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety (PASS) Division says.

Nashonuma is a conditional cash transfer programme, specifically designed to prevent stunting in children, the PASS Division has said in an official statement. World Food Programme (WFP) is the implementing partner of Ehsaas for this programme launched in collaboration with provincial Health departments, the statement says adding that the PM will launch Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme in next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Rs 160.43 billion have been distributed among 13.26 million beneficiaries under six categories of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme to provide one-time financial cash assistance of Rs 12,000 each to those whose livelihoods were adversely affected as a result of restrictive measures taken to stem the spread of coronavirus in Pakistan.

According to latest figures (till Saturday), as of July 25, 2020, a total of Rs 160.43 million were distributed among 13.26 million beneficiaries including Rs 56.64 billion distributed among 4.6 million beneficiaries under category-I, Rs 42.74 million among 3.56 million beneficiaries under category-II, Rs 36.26 billion among 3.02 million beneficiaries under category-III, Rs 6.25 billion among 0.521 million beneficiaries under category-III A, Rs 13.57 billion among 1.13 million beneficiaries under category-IV and Rs 4.95 billion distributed among 0.41 million beneficiaries under category V, suggests the official data issued by the PASS Division.

The federal government says the eligible persons for Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme have been identified from the most vulnerable groups in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) identified through a combination of the existing socioeconomic registry maintained by Ehsaas, SMS (Short Messaging Service) registration and web-based registration with stringent verification processes.

Furthermore, the government says, the focus of this programme has been on the fastest possible delivery by leveraging existing digital capabilities particularly data analytics, biometrically enabled precision payments and data driven accountability.

Additionally, according to the federal government, it has also opened a range of assistance initiatives through Ehsaas Rashan Portal, Ehsaas Langar and Panagahs to empower welfare organizations to play a well-coordinated role with the government in responding to the COVID-19.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020


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