Under the ambit of the Ehsaas Strategy which is a part of the National Poverty Graduation Initiative, Interest free loans worth Rs 500 million were rolled out in 10 lagging districts of Sindh. The cheques were distributed amongst the beneficiaries by Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail who was the Chief Guest at the ceremony held in Karachi.
Under the Ehsaas program, loans worth Rs13.8 billion have been disbursed so far to 413,390 borrowers. 46% of the borrowers are women. In Sindh alone, interest free loans of around Rs500 million have been rolled out to more than 15,000 borrowers of which 70% are women. The initiative draws funds from the Government of Pakistan, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In total Rs 42.65 billion have been set aside for 100 districts across the country under the Ehsaas Program. The amount will impact 16.28 million people with 50% women including youth, persons with disabilities, transgender, minorities and marginalized communities. During the next 4 years, as many as 3.8 million interest free loans will be provided to 2.28 million households. In total, 14.7 million people will benefit from this component. The program is being executed through Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Akhuwat Foundation.
Speaking at the event, Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail said, “Millions of households in Pakistan suffer from extreme poverty, they are unable to access basic necessities of life. Ehsaas Program’s interest free loan program can help them forge a better future for themselves.
It is our government’s priority to serve the underprivileged sector of Pakistan and through the Ehsaas program we envision to drive millions out of the circle of poverty. This initiative will not only allow us create employment opportunities but will also be crucial towards economic prosperity.”
Talking about this program, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Qazi Azmat Isa expressed hope that such initiatives will help bring major transformation in the lives of the poor. “Societies can only thrive if people work in collaboration to uplift each other. Ehsaas program is one such example of a fruitful partnership which shall immensely benefit the people of Pakistan.”