Dr Sania spends Sunday at Ehsaas Emergency call centre Rs22.46b cash distributed among 1.77m households in four days

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Zubair Qureshi

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Dr Sania Nishtar, who leads the Ehsaas programme Sunday visited Ehsas Emergency Call Centre and sat with call centre operators and interacted with the callers.
She replied to their queries regarding eligibility of the Ehsas emergency cash disbursement, duration between registration and collection of the castion and other questions of basic nature.
“I wanted to hear first-hand about people’s complaints pertaining to Ehsaas Emergency Cash distribution, so that we can make improvements in the programme in real time,” she later told media.
On average 1,500 calls are being received on daily basis in the call centre and this number has increased since the advisement appeared.
The Ehsaas Emergency Cash advertisements also appeared in newspapers of the day and there was a sudden surge in the number of incoming calls in the Ehsaas call centre.
According to a spokesperson of the BISP, mostly people were asking about when the payment messages would be received; millions of people have received messages stating that they are eligible but that they need to wait for the “payment message”. In this regard, people want to know what the timelines is, and the Call centre is proving very useful in giving out details. Dr. Sania was briefed that some of those who have received regrets wanted to make appeals.
Family members of eligible households whose heads of family had died wanted to know how they could be helped. The staff in the Call Centre was regularly briefed about the programme so that they can answer questions with clarity. Dr. Sania thanked Call Centre staff for their dedication and hard work and spent a lot of time with the staff to get insights and boost their morale.
“It has been 4 days, since Ehsaas started one-off cash distribution of Rs. 12,000 each to the low-income households in all provinces of Pakistan including GB and AJK. By 3:30 pm Sunday, Rs22.466 billion were disbursed to 1.77 million individuals.” Dr. Nishtar later briefed the media about on-the ground progress of the emergency cash payments.
Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme is the largest ever social protection and relief operation in the history of Pakistan aimed to help alleviate sufferings of low-income households, who have been distressed by the coronavirus shut down across the country.
The government has deployed biometric technology along with other Covid-19 precautionary measures, to ensure the safe and transparent delivery of emergency cash.