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BISP empowered women financially, politically: Chairperson

Islamabad: Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon said that Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) empowered women financially and politically by introducing the pre-condition of having valid CNICs to be eligible for financial assistance of BISP.
She said it is imperative that the conditions of birth registration forms, vaccination and steps against malnutrition may be put in place for unconditional cash transfer (UCT) program to bring health revolution and to curb menace of malnutrition, stunting and low IQ levels among beneficiary children.
Chairperson said this during a meeting with a team of World Bank, the development partner of BISP, led by Stefano Paternostro Practice Manager, Social Protection and Jobs, South Asia Region at BISP headquarters Friday. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the progress of various ongoing initiatives of BISP and the design and implementation of new interventions aimed at expanding the scope of the programme for the welfare of BISP beneficiaries.
Other participants of the meeting included secretary BISP Omar Hamid Khan, Iftikhar Malik, Amjad Zafar Khan senior social protection specialist, Ms. Yoonyoung Cho senior Economist, Syed Amer Ahmed, senior Economist, Ali Qureshi from World Bank and senior officials of BISP.
During the meeting, BISP team gave briefing on national roll out of BISP resurvey for National Socio Economic Registry (NSER) update, enrolment of 1.7 million children in primary schools in 32 districts under Waseela-e-Taleem and plan for its expansion to 18 more districts in March 2018, conversion of payment mechanism to Biometric Verification System (BVS) in 43 districts and plans of countrywide conversion to BVS.
Secretary BISP highlighted the importance of graduation strategy and reiterated that it was high time for BISP to adopt a graduation model so that beneficiaries may be pulled out of poverty by making them self sufficient through skill development and entrepreneurship. He pointed out that two graduation models were under consideration which included ADB funded models and harvard-MIT-LSC model. ADB funded models included comprehensive coaching model and inclusive business model while direct cash transfer model was part of Harvard-MIT-LSC model.
Stefano Paternostro appreciated the progress of BISP initiatives and stated that BISP is one of the priority programs of World Bank and they were very keen on to expand the social protection agenda in Pakistan for the welfare of the underprivileged. He ensured that World Bank, being development partner of BISP and having global experience of social protection, would continue providing assistance and expertise in the progress of ongoing initiatives and in the design and implementation of new interventions.

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