Islamabad: The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and KfW, a German Development Bank, have forged a partnership aimed at strengthening their joint efforts to combat poverty and provide aid to flood victims in Pakistan.
A significant milestone was achieved as both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) valued at €27 million Euro. The MoU signing ceremony took place in Islamabad on Friday, witnessed by Ms. Shazia Marri, the Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety (PA&SS) and Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), along with Secretary PA&SS division and other officials from the Benazir Income Support Programme. The MoU signifies the commitment of the German Bank to contribute a generous sum of 27 million euros, dedicated to supporting the rehabilitation and providing cash assistance to individuals affected by the floods in Pakistan.
Federal Minister Shazia Marri emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to social protection programs and announced a new partnership with the German development bank. The minister praised the government’s efforts in increasing allocations for social safety nets and addressing the challenges faced by vulnerable communities in Pakistan.
She said that over the past year, the government has demonstrated a clear priority for social protection by significantly increasing budget allocations by more than seventy percent. Despite facing various challenges, including a devastating flood situation, the government swiftly provided relief to affected individuals. Prime Minister of Pakistan authorized the immediate disbursement of Pakistani Rupees 70 billion to support flood-affected people, with each family receiving 25,000 rupees.
Minister Marri highlighted the government’s proactive approach in extending assistance to pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children through the ongoing conditional cash transfer program of the Benazir Nashonuma Program.
An additional allocation of 1 billion Pakistani rupees was made to support the affected population in flood-stricken areas, aligning with the ground reality and reports on the dire conditions faced by pregnant women and children.
The Federal Minister expressed gratitude towards KfW for their interest in the nutrition and health of the Pakistani people. She welcomed their support and acknowledged the long-standing partnership between Pakistan and various development partners, including GIZ. Minister Marri viewed this collaboration as a further strengthening of ties with the German government and people, presenting a new avenue for exploration through KfW.
The minister stressed the global issue of malnutrition and stunted growth, attributing it, in part, to climate shocks and their impact on food production and soil quality. She acknowledged the significance of international support from development partners and expressed the government’s unwavering commitment to address these challenges.
Minister Marri reiterated that Pakistan considers such opportunities as fortunate and appreciates the interest shown by organizations and countries in helping the society and its people develop both mentally and physically.
Furthermore, Minister Marri announced an upcoming partnership focused on the health of adolescent girls, emphasizing the government’s enthusiasm for this new initiative. The program is viewed as a fresh approach to tackling health-related issues and malnutrition.
The minister encouraged all stakeholders to approach this partnership with the same dedication that has characterized the government’s work for the past 15 years through the Benazir Income Support Program.