ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday will launch the much anticipated Ehsaas ‘Financial Inclusion Strategy’ in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
Queen Máxima is visiting Pakistan in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).
Ehsaas was launched earlier in the year with financial inclusion being a key cross cutting theme. Currently, only one in five people in Pakistan having access to basic financial tools such as bank accounts, access to credit or electronic payments.
The prime minister has prioritised the need for a dramatic scale up in access to formal financial services, with a prioritisation on women financial inclusion.
Today, only 7% of the women in Pakistan have access to a banking account according to the World Bank Global index 2017 Database.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Sania Nishtar, said the new strategy on financial inclusion under Ehsaas framework is expected to reflect how access to financial products enables greater security, autonomy, and better decision-making.
“We look forward to welcoming Queen Maxima to Pakistan who has worked for ten years as the UNSGSA to give people safe and affordable access to the financial services they need to protect themselves against hardship and invest in their futures.
“With access to a broad range of financial tools – savings, credit, insurance, payments and more, families can move out of poverty, small businesses can expand, farmers can thrive, and societies and economies can grow stronger and more inclusive.
The Ehsaas’ financial inclusion strategy drives access to financial services for the poorest and most marginalised,” said Dr Nishtar.
She said the meeting is important as it reflect the overarching message both at home and abroad that Pakistan is open for business.