UNDER the supervision of Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar, Ehsaas is moving forward with innovative financing models to help the under-privileged segments of the society and alleviate poverty.
In yet another important initiative, Ehsaas Saving Wallets (Ehsaas Bachat Bank Account) was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday which is aimed at financial and digital inclusion of women.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister termed it a very significant program saying financial inclusion of women will help in their mainstreaming and their economic empowerment.
Indeed it is so and Ehsaas Saving Wallets will also enable Kafaalat beneficiaries to either draw their money or save it in the digital wallets.
Hence this will enable them to better utilize the assistance provided to them by the government and also promote the culture of savings.
Globally we have examples of economies that have encouraged a mindset shift towards savings and have reaped its benefits.
Kenya introduced mobile money transfers, resulting in a savings increase of 22% in the beneficiary households, and helped lift 2% of these households out of extreme poverty.
In Bangladesh also digital savings accounts were used to change the nature of government to people programs from social protection to social investment using financial literacy campaigns.
Under the Rural Maintenance Program, women with no male earning members in the family were paid wages for maintaining village roads but were required to enrol in a compulsory savings program, and 79% of the graduating women of this program continued to be self-employed after three years.
We are confident that Ehsaas Saving Wallets will also prove to be a success like other Ehsaas programs and in our view provision of loans to women through the wallets will also go a long way in helping the households stand on their own feet and earn livelihood in a dignified manner.
The beneficiaries must be imparted with different skills so that they could start their own businesses and graduate from Ehsaas Program.
Ehsaas poverty survey must also be completed at the earliest so that the deserving families can benefit from excellent programs launched under the umbrella of Ehsaas.