ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the Ehsaas Amdan (Income) programme on February 21, one of the several initiatives under the umbrella of the flagship Ehsaas programme.
The objective of the Ehsaas Amdan programme is to create livelihood opportunities for those that are most disadvantaged. The programme involves giving away 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. 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 in 23 of the poorest districts across the four provinces of Pakistan. The programme has set a target of providing around 200,000 assets to the deserving households (60 percent women and 30 percent youth beneficiaries). The scale of the programme will be enhanced based on the results.
This programme compliments Ehsaas Kafaalat, which commenced on January 31, and through which the government will provide cash stipends of Rs 2000 to around seven million most deserving women by the end of the year. The beneficiaries for both the Kafaalat program and Ehsaas Amdan (Income) program are identified through a survey using the Poverty Score Card so that only the most deserving are identified.
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.
Community procurement processes have been established by PPAF to ensure transparency and accountability in the identification, selection and procurement of all assets or vocational skills training. Those beneficiaries that require vocational training are supported to attend courses offered by certified technical training institutes.
Training on asset utilisation 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 require additional financing for business enhancement.
The beneficiaries are identified through a community engagement process in the 375 Union councils 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 Pakhthukhwa, there are ten districts including 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 conducted by PPAF in which three parameters were taken into consideration, ‘level of human development, poverty, and food insecurity. The district which ranked lowest were included in the first wave of the programme.