PR No.132
Sania outlines process for reaching out to 6 million category-4 beneficiaries under Ehsaas Emergency Cash channeled through PM-COVID19 funds
Islamabad May 19, 2020

Immediately following the newly launched disbursal to category-4 beneficiaries through PM COVID19 fund by the Prime Minister, Dr. Sania Nishtar, PM’s Special Assistant tweeted an explanatory video to elaborate the entire process for identification and payments to category-4 Ehsaas beneficiaries. Earlier on April 3, 2020, Dr. Nishtar, had tweeted the first descriptive video to apprise the wider audience about details of beneficiary identification criteria and payment mechanism for categories 1-3 under Ehsaas Emergency Cash program. The video elaborated beneficiary identification process, SMS campaign and the process flow, data analytics, district level verification procedure, profiling criteria, payment mechanism and challenges foreseen for the cash program. Since April 9, 2020, Ehsaas Emergency Cash worth Rs. 106.8 billion have been disbursed for categories 1-3 among more than 87 million families countrywide. To safeguard transparency, the Ehsaas information portal has been made online to give real time updates about the number of beneficiaries served in each of categories 1-3 with provincial, district and tehsil-wise breakdowns. Fully premised on the principle of integrity, the portal highlights amounts disbursed to partnering banks for distribution to beneficiaries, and the number of beneficiaries who have withdrawn money. The portal can be accessed through this link. Regarding payments through PM COVID19 funded Ehsaas emergency cash, Dr. Nishtar apprised that category-4 has been introduced to the category mix of emergency cash program for benefitting 6 million job-loss affectee men and women amid COVID-19 shutdown. Funds for this category come from PM’s COVID-19 relief fund and category-4 beneficiaries will also be paid one-time assistance of Rs. 12, 000 each channeled through Ehsaas Emergency Cash system. PM has committed that for every rupee donated by donors, rupees 4 will be contributed by the government. Earlier on, PM had launched the web-portal for soliciting applications for this category on May 2. Since then, the portal is currently open to applications in line with criteria detailed in the web-based application form. Applicants are required to give a declaration while submitting application form that they lost their job due to COVID19 outbreak. Portal can be accessed at this link. As part of Ehsaas Emergency Cash framework, categories 1-3 are funded through Government COVID package. Category-1 includes 4.5 million Kafaalat beneficiary women that were cleared from the NADRA data analytics before inclusion in the Kafaalat program. Category-2 includes 4 million men and women who entered the emergency cash program through 8171 SMS campaign. And, Categoy-3 caters for 3.5 million men and women identified through district administrations and 8171 SMS campaign. Explaining the whole process for identification of category-4 beneficiaries and payments through PM COVID-19 Fund, Dr. Nishtar, “The existing principles, processes and data analytics that have been applied to Ehsaas Emergency Cash categories 1-3 will be fully deployed in the use of PM COVID-19 donor funds for identification of category-4 beneficiaries. Rule-based criteria will be fully adhered to and is available online:” Dr. Nishtar then continued, “The procedure of identification will be fully apolitical and free from human interference. All disbursements will be made after biometric verification and there will be full transparency in deployment of funds.” ****