ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the Ehsaas Amdan (Income) Programme on February 21 with an objective to create livelihoods opportunities for those who are most disadvantaged.
The Ehsaas Amdan Programme involves giving away of small “assets” to those who live below the poverty line so that they can earn a living and can come out of the shackles of poverty. The assets include livestock (goats, cows, buffaloes and poultry), agricultural inputs, body of Chingchi rickshaws, and inputs for small retail outlets and small enterprises.
The programme is commencing in 375 rural Union Councils (UCs) in 23 of the poorest districts across the four provinces of Pakistan.
The Ehsaas Amdan Programme has set a target of providing around 200,000 assets to the deserving households (60% women and 30% youth beneficiaries). The scale of the programme will be enhanced based on results.
This programme is complimentary to Ehsaas Kafaalat, operations of which commenced on January 31, 2020 and through which the government will provide cash stipends of Rs 2,000 to around 7 million most deserving women by end of the year.
Beneficiaries for both the Kafaalat programme and Ehsaas Amdan (Income) programme are identified through a survey using the Poverty Score Card so that only the most deserving are identified.
The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), which is an organization attached to the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, is the lead implementing agency for the Ehsaas Amdan programme and is working through implementing partner organizations that have a strong presence in the selected districts.
The Community procurement processes have been established by the PPAF to ensure transparency and accountability in the identification, selection and procurement of all assets and/or vocational skills training.
Those beneficiaries that require vocational training are supported to attend courses offered by certified technical training institutes. Trainings on asset utilization and business planning are also provided to eligible household members to help them turn the asset into an economically productive enterprise. Asset recipient households are also supported to access the Ehsaas interest-free loan window if it is available in their area, and if they believe they require additional financing for business enhancement.
Beneficiaries are identified through a community engagement process in the 375 UCs and villages of 23 districts where this program has begun.
Districts in Punjab where this program is commencing include Dera Ghazi Khan, Jhang, and Layyah.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are 10 districts (Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohistan, Palas Kolai, Torghar, Batagram, Shangla, North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank). In Balochistan there are three districts: Jhal Magsi, Zhob, and Sherani. In Sindh the districts include Badin, Thatta, Sujawal, Kashmore, Shikarpur, Tharparkar and Umerkot.
These districts were selected based on a special study which was conducted by the PPAF in which three parameters were taken into consideration, Level of human development, and level of poverty, level of food insecurity.
The district which ranked lowest were included in the first wave of the programme. Ehsaas Amdan programme is based on the evidence of rigorous research.