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The federal government Tuesday launched 'Ehsaas Rashan Portal' in a bid to facilitate matchmaking between donors and beneficiaries and provide data of eligible beneficiaries to donors.

The portal's major functioning would be to identify the deserving population in need of the ration assistance and get them connected to the donors from the private sector for their assistance on sustainable basis, sources told Business Recorder.

"The idea is to actively engage the private sector in federal government's social welfare initiatives. In a way, it's public-private partnership for the service of downtrodden segments of the society," an official said.

The Ehsaas Rashan Portal is a donor-beneficiary linking system for ration distribution, a statement from Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division said. It has been set up to enable the private sector to reach the most vulnerable, the statement added.

Donors and potential beneficiaries will register on the Ehsaas Rashan Portal, it said.

"Beneficiaries' information will be validated, and eligibility determined using Ehsaas data. Donors will be evaluated against a specific eligibility criterion to ensure only trustworthy, tax compliant, and at-scale organizations become partners of the programme," the statement said adding that after signing data privacy agreements, beneficiary information will be shared with donors to ensure disbursement of food ration packs or cash equivalent to beneficiaries.

The government, it said, will ensure one person from each family gets benefit and will monitor delivery on a sample basis.

Sources said the Ehsaas Rashan Portal would not be applicable to the ongoing Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme which deals with providing cash assistance to deserving families, and it would serve to identify deserving population under the broader ambit of Ehsaas Programme.

According to Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, the private sector will be responsible for establishing mechanism for sourcing and disbursement of ration or cash equivalent to beneficiaries. The donors will be given a list of parameters to select from to identify which segment of the beneficiaries do they want to support. The parameters include area of residence district/tehsil, gender of the beneficiary, etc. Based on the chosen parameters a subset of beneficiaries will be identified from a larger pool who may then benefit based on a first-in first-out basis.

"There are two categories of donors that the government is looking towards initially in the Ehsaas Rashan Programme i.e. For-profit private organizations and Not-for-profit private organizations. We are starting with large corporate donors with annual revenue of at least Rs 2 billion willing to donate at least Rs 10 million in ration packs or cash equivalent. Similarly, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) approved by Ministry of Interior and EAD (Economic Affairs Division) willing to donate Rs 2 billion are invited to participate at this stage," the statement added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020