38m SMS received for financial assistance
Islamabad : Since the launch of Prime Minister’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash program, the government has received more than 38 million SMS for financial assistance from around the country, which is more than three times the actual number of families to be supported under this initiative.
Under Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme, the government plans to support 12 million families with one time cash assistance of Rs12,000 per family. A total budget of Rs144 billion has been allocated for this purpose. The government has committed that if the demand for Ehsaas Emergency Cash will be higher, additional resources might be earmarked.
Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme has been planned in the context of the economic hardship being experienced by the vulnerable due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The SMS campaign is the entry point to identify deserving families. People can send an SMS on 8171 to check their eligibility status. If found eligible, they receive an SMS message informing them of how to collect money. If they are not identified in the database, they are directed to contact their respective district administration or they can apply through web-portal exclusively created to facilitate applicants for verification through NADRA.
In response to Ehsaas SMS campaign, more than 38 million people send SMS for financial assistance, which is three times more than the total number of families to be supported under Ehsaas program.
Talking to ‘The News’, the Spokesperson for Ehsaas Programme said that SMS were send by the individuals whereas the one time financial assistance will be given to family unit. “In many cases, there is a chance that all family member applied for financial assistance separately. To verify this, the applications will be verified through NADRA, National Socio-economic Registry (NESR) of Ehsaas Program and the local government.”
Under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Assistance program, assistance will be provided to two categories. In Category 1, Special cash assistance of Rs. 1,000 per month will be given to the currently enrolled 4.5 million Kafaalat beneficiary families, in addition to the regular cash transfer of Rs2,000 per month. They will get a lump sum of PKR 12,000 covering 4 months.
In Category 2, 7.5 million new beneficiaries will be given a lump sum of Rs12,000 as well. This is one time assistance. Under Category 2, higher eligibility/poverty threshold will be used to identify beneficiaries through the National Socioeconomic Database and those that are not in the database will be verified through NADRA and district governments.
The Ehsaas programme is expecting that 4 million will be identified through National Socioeconomic Database and 3.5 million will be identified after verification through NADRA and district governments.