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ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced contribution of PKR 1bn while launching the BISP Endowment Fund and BISP Graduation Programme here at the BISP headquarters in Islamabad.
The prime minister appreciated the working of BISP programme with an outreach of 5.7 million women. He also wished that the graduation program, which is now targeting five districts, should be rolling out to more districts and beneficiaries.
Having done so, the prime minister also revealed the plaques for the BISP Endowment Fund and BISP Graduation Programme.
“The government takes pride in the programme that has seen an increase in allocation and cash transfers by over 50 percent,” he said while addressing the ceremony.
The premier said the graduation programme under which the most deserving of the beneficiaries were being paid hefty amount of direct cash to help stand on their feet by launching their business, would play a key role in assuaging poverty.
He also appreciated the second intervention of graduation model such as Business Incubation for Self-Employment (BISE) for playing a primary role in community led poverty elimination.
He was appreciative of the programme and said that any social net that was catering to the poorest of the poor was vital for any society. He spoke high of the philanthropists and development partners who were making the programme a success and for contributing in supporting the government.
“I have high hopes from the beneficiaries. I believe that the allocations for the programme need to be further increased and should target efforts to eradicate poverty in the next five years,” he said.
Abbasi expressed the hope that the next government would continue to expand the programme and keep its focus on the graduation programme besides taking measures for augmenting its volume and scope.
He also lauded the role of Chairperson of BISP Marvi Memon and her team for their dedicated efforts in making the programme a success.
Marvi Memon thanked Shahid Abbasi on this note, and said it was reflective of the government’s dedication to the objective of assuaging poverty from the country.
She recalled Prime Minister Abbasi’s last speech wherein he hoped that the programme ends after eliminating poverty from the country and said till the achievement of that goal the BISP would continue to reach out to the poorest of the poor with complete dedication.
She said the BISP has funds of Rs 121 billion that were being used for the vital Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCTs), Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) such as Waseela-e-Taleem as well as many complimentary initiatives. She said the focus of the programme was on women empowerment and pointed that three Directors General of the programme were also women.
Earlier, Secretary BISP Omar Hamid Khan thanked the Prime Minister for his continuous support to BISP and hoped that BISP will continue to reach out to most deserving communities across the country.
He added that BISP Graduation Programme will lead towards eradication of poverty in meaningful terms, while the Endowment Fund would supplement these efforts on a sustainable basis.
Chairman NRSP Shoaib Sultan Khan also spoke on the occasion and narrated his vast experience in the service of the communities.
He also appreciated the vision of BISP towards graduating its beneficiaries out of poverty and termed it a way forward. He further added that if the programme continued with full potential, it could eradicate poverty from the country within five years.
Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Jean-François Cautain said that EU was a partner in development of Pakistan and supported the changing field of BISP from the cash transfer mechanism to the graduation model. He also appreciated the creation of Endowment Fund of BISP.
The Graduation Programme of BISP is supported by a grant of US$ 35 million from Asian Development Bank (ADB).