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A total of 18 million people are receiving financial assistance under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme with the addition of six million people in the newly-added category-IV, while 12 million beneficiaries are already being provided financial help in the first three categories of the programme.

As part of the programme, these six million people would be provided one-time cash assistance of Rs12,000, 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 the federal government.

The payments for the applicants of category-IV beneficiaries are not part of Rs144 billion allocated by the federal government to financially assist 12 million families in the three categories of emergency cash initiative.

Category-IV has been introduced to the category mix of emergency cash programme for benefitting six million job-loss affectee men and women amid coronavirus shutdown, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said earlier on Tuesday.

Funds for this category come from Prime Minister's Corona Relief Fund and category-IV beneficiaries will be paid one-time assistance of Rs12,000 each channeled through Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, she said in a statement.

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

On May 2nd, the prime minister had launched the web-portal for soliciting applications from people who lost their livelihoods in the context of the outbreak of the 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 the 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 that were 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. Since April 9, 2020, Rs112.16 billion have been disbursed for categories I-III among more than 9.2 million families countrywide.

The Ehsaas Information Portal has been made online to give real-time updates about the number of beneficiaries served in each of the three with provincial, district and tehsil-wise breakdowns.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020