Dr. Sania briefs foreign diplomats on Ehsaas Emergency Cash: Pakistan’s social protection response to COVID-19

July 2, 2020 -Islamabad: Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a virtual briefing on the country’s social protection response to COVID-19, Ehsaas Emergency Cash program that brought together heads of diplomatic missions, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Country Representatives and Charge de Affairs from around 60 countries. Dean of Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Atadjan Movlamov was also present. Briefing foreign diplomats, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar who heads Ehsaas program reflected on various dimensions of the USD 1.16 billion program particularly the scale and design, speed of deployment, transparency safeguards and real-time evaluations that are hardwired in the success of Ehsaas Emergency Cash. She apprised all participants that the program has provided one time cash assistance (USD 75 each) to 12.30 million families in just 11 weeks, following rule based approach. Diplomats richly praised the Ehsaas Emergency Cash that it took lead in radically expanding social safety nets to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 in Pakistan. They offered broader collaboration to the government of Pakistan to further expand this apolitical program. Closing the briefing, Foreign Secretary, Sohail Mehmood acknowledged the success of Pakistan’s social protection program and said that another interaction will be planned very soon to share the final report of Ehsaas Emergency Cash.