What is Ehsaas?

Ehsaas is the biggest and boldest programme ever launched in Pakistan to uplift marginalized people. Ehsaas is unique because of its:

  • Scale: It is currently an umbrella initiative of 134 policies and programs, and the list is growing 
  • Multisectoral character: 34 agencies of the federal government and all federating units are tasked to implement Ehsaas
  • Breadth and depth: Ehsaas addresses state capture, social protection, livelihoods and human capital development
  • Process of formulation: 23 consultations were held over a 45-day planning period; 359 experts were formally consulted
  • Governance and integrity Policy: The process of implementing Ehsaas began with the Governance and Integrity Policy
  • Institutional arrangements: A new division has been created to implement Ehsaas and there will be a formal mechanism of engagement with the private sector  
  • Funding: for social protection has been doubled despite financial constraints 

The Policy statement relating to Ehsaas can be accessed here.

Consultations on the Ehsaas Strategy.  were held online with public from September 17, 2019 to October 17, 2019.

The status of key Ehsaas initiatives as of December 2021:

  • The development of the National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) 2021 has been 100% completed. With the accomplishment of new survey, this new data about people’s socio-economic conditions is being deployed as the basis of all benefits, including the Kafaalat programme. Families who were missed in the Ehsaas survey can self-register in the survey through Tehsil level Ehsaas Registration Desks.  About self-registration timetable under NSER, find out more here.
  • One-window Ehsaas for social protection and livelihoods assists beneficiaries and reduce duplication and abuse. One Window of Ehsaas is articulated in six pillars: firstly, a one stop shop, the Ehsaas Center; secondly, back office digital interface; thirdly, a public facing digital information and services platform; the fourth component is a mobile app; the fifth component is cognitive API architecture— the integrated database; and finally, the Ehsaas One-Window Beneficiary Selection and Targeting Policy. Find out more here.
  • The Kafalaat programme has successfully been rolled out, driving financial and digital inclusion for around 8 million women. Find out more here.
  • Pakistan’s first shock-oriented precision safety net Tahafuz assists those that have suffered a catastrophic event. After the successful completion of pilot in one hospital of Rawalpindi, the programme is being expanded to 14 tertiary care hospitals across all federating units. Tahafuz will also reform the individual financial assistance system.
  • The Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship programme was launched in November 2019 and 50,000 need cum merit based scholarships are awarded to deserving students every year. Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is an implementing partner of this programme. The programme will award 200,000 scholarships over four years. Find out more here.
  • To address stunting in children, conditional cash transfer and specialized nutrition food initiative for mothers and children up to 2 years has been rolled out in the first phase in 15 districts of the country. Find out more here.
  • Education conditional cash transfer programme, Ehsaas Education/School Stipends provides financial assistance to Kafaalat eligible families for the education of their children aged 4- 22 years at primary, secondary and higher secondary levels. The quarterly stipend amount is higher for girls compared to boys at all levels. The programme covers all districts. Details here. 
  • 500 digital hubs will be established at the Tehsil level for poor families with limited opportunities. Relevant public resources and information will be made accessible to create opportunities for poor families to graduate out of poverty.
  • A new policy for disabled people was announced in July 2019. This will impact 2.5% of the country’s population. The NADRA-certified differently abled will get Insaf Insurance cards and will have universal access to assistive devices. Health plan for disabled was launched by the PM in August 2019. A 1% quota for disabled government employees in government accommodation, 2% quota for the disabled in Naya Pakistan housing scheme, and 2% quota in employment will be ensured.
  • The Ehsaas Kafaalat Policy has been expanded for special persons in Dec 2020. The 8 million families which are currently eligible under Ehsaas Kafaalat fall under the predefined poverty ranking threshold. Under the new “Ehsaas Kafaalat for Special Persons Policy”, this threshold has been increased for such households with at least one special person. These households are now eligible to get Ehsaas Kafaalat cash. 2 million families with at least one disabled person will benefit from Ehsaas Kafaalat for Special Persons Policy. Details here. 
  • To ensure the protection of orphaned children, Ehsaas has stipulated living standards aimed at minimizing variation in the orphan care and to support private sector orphanages in raising their service standards nationwide. Several new orphanages—Dar-ul-Ehsaas—had been established in the last year. Details here. 
  • The Poverty Alleviation Coordination Council's platform is being utilized to develop partnerships with the private sector, and soon a social partnerships platform will be announced.
  • A new board was appointed in 2019 for the Trust for Voluntary Organizations (TVO), which had been totally non-functional for the last 5 years. Find out more here.
  • On May 1, 2020, the  Ehsaas Labour Expert Group produced a recommendations report. One of its recommendations, which involves incrementally bringing the informal workers into the social security net has been approved by the Cabinet for implementation. The policy entails mandatory bank accounts as the initial step to formalization and to enforce minimum wage Details here.
  • The National Poverty Graduation Initiative (NPGI) was launched on July 5, 2019. This Rs. 42.65 billion NPGI is being rolled out in over 100 lagging districts across the country and will impact 16.28 million vulnerable people, with 50% of loans reserved for women. As part of this, 80,000 interest free loans are given out every month for the next 4 years. Find out more here.
  • The Ehsaas Amdan programme is Livelihoods and Jobs initiative that rolled out in 375 union councils of 23 districts through which assets are given to the deserving to enable them to graduate out of poverty. For the purpose of this programme, assets include livestock (goats, cows, buffaloes and poultry), agricultural inputs, body of Chingchi rickshaws, and inputs for small retail outlets and small enterprises. Find out more here.
  • Ehsaas TV and a corresponding online portal consolidating free government resources will go live soon.
  • Free accessibility of data is being ensured through the District Development Portal, ‘Data4Pakistan’ in which poverty and other socio-economic indicators across Pakistan’s districts have been made available to policy makers and the public. Data4Pakistan was launched on March 10, 2020. Find out more here.
  • Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) has issued the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity policy after getting it approved by the Cabinet in November 2019. All Ehsaas implementing agencies are bound by this policy. Find out more here.
  • Langars are being launched across the country since October 2019 in public private partnership with Saylani Welfare International Trust to ensure those on the lowest incomes have access to healthy meals. So far, 34 Ehsaas Langars have been launched all over the country. Find out more here.
  • Given the existence of gender inequities in Pakistan, Ehsaas is centered around principle of inclusivity and comprehensiveness with a focus on leaving no one behind, especially women and marginalized populations. Therefore, Ehsaas encompasses several initiatives targeted towards women, across a plethora of domains including financial empowerment, education, healthcare, legislation, policy and digital inclusion.The socio-economic transformation of women is principally ensured through Ehsaas 50% plus benefits policy in its entirety. Find out more here.
  • The Ehsaas Financial Inclusion is a multi-component initiative that was launched in November 2019 in presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands who is United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).  Ehsaas Financial Inclusion initiatives include “one woman one bank account policy”, bank accounts for informal workers under Mazdoor ka Ehsaas and promotion of access to credit for the bottom of the pyramid. Find out more here.
  • Ehsaas Savings Wallets, the Bachat Bank Account initiative includes savings wallets for all 8 million Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries. Part of the One Woman One Account Policy, the empowering initiative will help the women to plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies. Details here. 
  • Launched by the Prime Minister on April 1, 2020, the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme under its first phase provided Rs. 12,000 each to 15 million deserving families affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. In 2021, under the second phase of the programme, 12 million deserving families are being disbursed Ehsaas Emergency Cash grant. Find out more here.
  • Launched by the Prime Minister on Nov 3, 2021, Ehsaas Rashan Riayat programme aims to reduce the impact of inflation for the marginalized segments of society. A subsidy of Rs. 1,000 a month will be granted to each of eligible families on the purchase of flour, pulses, cooking oil. Accordingly, 30% subsidy will be given on these three items, per unit purchase. The Rs. 120 billion targeted subsidies programme covers 20 million families; overall 130 million people will benefit nationwide which equates to 53% of the country’s population. Details here. 
  • ‘Ehsaas Koye Bhooka Na Soye’ (EKBNS) is a new policy initiative of the federal government to eliminate hunger in the country. On March 10, 2021, EKBNS was officially launched by the PM, to serve free meals to deserving populations. Currently, Ehsaas is running 16 trucks in 7 cities (Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Peshawar). It is being expanded to 40 food trucks in 29 cities will feed 40,000 people everyday. Details here. 
  • ‘Panagahs’ (shelter homes) is one of the Prime Minister’s priority programs. 25 model Panagah are being run by Ehsaas as “One Star+ bed and breakfast” facility for labourers all over the country. New model purpose-built Panagahs are also in the making in the ICT territory. Details here. 
  • Ehsaas is implementing Ehsaas Rehri Baan initiative in selected sectors of Islamabad to give street hawkers licenses, vending carts and training. This multistakeholder pilot will be expanded in a phase wise manner.
  • Part of One Window Ehsaas operations, the Ehsaas digital e-portal offers programme specific people centered information to address their questions about how they can benefit from diverse programmes of Ehsaas. Details here. 
  • Under the umbrella of Ehsaas, strengthening and expansion of Women Empowerment Centers (WECs) is one of the tangible measures being taken for the socio-economic empowerment of women. Under the supervision of Pakistan Bait ul Mal, the disadvantaged women are empowered through skills development in the fields of livelihoods, education, economy, and self-reliance at 157 WECs nationwide. Details here.