CLIMATE CRISIS HAS FURTHER INCREASED POVERTY IN PAKISTAN, SHAZIA MARRI
Islamabad, : Ms. Shazia Marri, Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety (PA&SS) and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has said that Pakistan is among the most vulnerable and worst affected countries affected by the climate crisis despite of the fact that its contribution towards carbon emissions is less than 1%. While speaking to a World Bank Delegation in Islamabad on Wednesday, she vowed that we have to make Pakistan more resilient against the climate related disasters, which is increasing poverty in Pakistan.
A four member World Bank delegation comprising Amjad Zafar Khan, Senior Social Protection Specialist Ms. Melis U. Guven, Lead Economist, Zaineb Majoka, Social Protection Economist and Mr. Gul Najam Jami visited Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to discuss various on-going initiatives and programmes.
Ms. Marri has said that Pakistan and particularly the BISP highly value its partnership with the World Bank (WB) and the Bank has always supported Pakistan during the crisis. She also welcomed the technical support offered by the World Bank for introducing Dynamic Registry Survey for BISP Beneficiaries.
Minister apprised the WB delegation that smooth and seamless disbursement of cash assistant is an evolving process and BISP is introducing new cash disbursement method through individual Bank Accounts. She informed that initially the initiative will be introduced on pilot basis in some selected districts which will be further expanded to the whole of the country. This step will be a great leap towards financial autonomy of beneficiary women and they will also be able to plan their savings, the minister highlighted. She also informed that BISP also intends to start SMS for beneficiaries so that they get their updated status through SMS on their phone.
Chairperson BISP while emphasizing the equal opportunities for the marginalized and vulnerable segments of the society said that to empower the transgender community, BISP has brought them under Benazir Kafaalat net without the requirement of the PMT score. Formal launching of ‘Inclusion of Transgender Community in BISP Kafaalat net’ will be done by the end of the current week.
Mr. Amjad Zafar Khan, Senior Social Protection Specialist, lauded the programme work especially during the recent floods. Mr. Amjad further said that BISP safety nets have supported the economy in many different ways. Moreover, WB representative Ms. Melis U.Guven appreciated various initiatives of BSIP for social protection and urged that these efforts should be documented/published at a larger scale so that other countries from the developing nations can learn from this programme.