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CM GB and Sania Nishtar agree on accelerated Ehsaas collaboration in Gilgit-Baltistan

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Muhammad Khalid Khursheed met the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar in Islamabad on Saturday.

The Secretary Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was also present during the meeting.

On the occasion, there was a strong agreement on the accelerated engagement around Ehsaas in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Chief Minister GB was briefed on the ongoing Ehsaas survey which is now 82% complete.

Khalid Khursheed was briefed about the quality features of the survey and it was explained to him how Gilgit-Baltistan can benefit from the Ehsaas survey. The android-based Ehsaas survey is currently 38% complete in GB and is progressing smoothly to accomplish by June 30, 2021.

The Ehsaas registration desks will be set up over the next three months in every tehsil after the survey reaches a 70% milestone in each district so that missed households can register themselves. In addition, programmatic collaboration was discussed in detail.

The ongoing Ehsaas Kafaalat operations in Gilgit-Baltistan were discussed and it was explained to the Chief Minister that all arrangements in GB around Ehsaas Kafaalat had been organized in consultation with the government of GB. Ehsaas sought collaboration of the CM for smooth operations.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “A detailed programmatic road map is being discussed over the next three days to expand Ehsaas Nashonuma and primary education conditional cash transfer programme in GB. A wrap-up meeting with the province is planned for mid-next week. Ehsaas and GB will cost-share and open Ehsaas Nashonuma in every district of GB.”

Overall, in the Ehsaas umbrella, there are many programmes for Gilgit-Baltistan. Across Baltistan, Astore, and Ghizer, 8 Ehsaas Nashonuma Centers have been opened to serve pregnant and lactating mothers and children under two years of age.

Under the primary education conditional cash transfer programme, 58,288 deserving children are benefitting from the quarterly stipends (Rs 2,000 for a girl child and Rs 1,500 for a boy child per quarter).

Currently, 56,920 Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries are being served with the monthly stipends and the number is expected to increase with the enrollment of new households through the ongoing Ehsaas survey.

During the COVID-19 situation, Ehsaas Emergency Cash worth Rs 1.42 billion was disbursed in Gilgit Baltistan among 124,534 beneficiaries.

Aiming to serve free shelter and meals to daily wage earners, one new Panagah has recently been opened in Skardu, the first in Gilgit-Baltistan and the second will be opened in Gilgit by June 2021.

Through the Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship programme, 1,178 scholarships have been awarded to deserving and talented students 948% girls) of GB last year.

Likewise, under Ehsaas interest-free loans programme, small interest-free loans worth Rs 1.24 billion have been disbursed among 30,903 beneficiaries in 9 districts: Gilgit, Astore, Ghanche, Ghizer, Hunza, Kharmang, Nagar, Shigar, and Skardu.

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