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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan would be landing in the Khyber District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday (Aug 13) to launch Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme for pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as minor children facing stunted growth due to malnourishment.

This was informed by Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, while speaking to media Wednesday.

Nashonuma is a conditional cash transfer programme, specifically designed to prevent stunting in children, she said adding that World Food Programme (WFP) is the implementing partner of Ehsaas for this programme launched in collaboration with provincial Health departments.

In the first-phase of this programme, 33 Nashonuma Centres would be set up in the nine less developed districts in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) including Khyber, Upper Dir, Bagh, Ghizer, Hunza, Kharmang, Kharan, Badin and Rajanpur, under this programme, by the end of this month to support pregnant and breastfeeding women besides children up to two years of age facing stunted growth due to lack of nutritious diet, she said.

Eight Nashonuma centres are being set up in Gilgit Baltistan, six each in Upper Dir and Badin, four are being set up in Rajanpur, three each in Khyber, Kharan and Bagh, Nishtar said.

Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme was designed in one-and-a-half year and it is a product of comprehensive planning, technical deliberations and public-private partnership, she added.

The female children in Nashonuma centres would be provided a three-month stipend of Rs 2,000 each while the male children would be provided a three-month stipend of Rs 1,500 each, she said.

"The issue of stunted growth in children has always been on the priority list of Prime Minister Imran Khan. In his very first speech after assuming power, the PM highlighted this issue. Not less than 40 per cent children in Pakistan are faced with stunted growth due to malnourishment. Something has to be done to save them and change their lives for good and we are doing it," Nishtar said.

The SAPM said a specially designed internet application is being launched to ensure the provision of Sehat Insaf Cards to the beneficiaries of Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme in addition to a host of other facilities they would receive at the Nashonuma Centres.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are being installed at all the Nashonuma Centres to allow the beneficiary women of Ehsaas Nashonuma Programme to draw cash after biometric verification, Dr Sania Nishtar said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020