Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Dr. Sania exhibits Ehsaas on the sidelines of UNGA 74TH session

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NEW YORK, OCT 01 (DNA) – US: 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) was a busy and exciting week for global development activities and provided an engaging venue to the global community of leaders and innovative thinkers for discussion, collaboration and coalition building.

This annual gathering featured hundreds of events where world leaders gathered to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the world today and drive progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for a brighter and equitable global future.

Making use of this opportune time to contribute to the global development discourse, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation represented Pakistan in several high-level events on the sidelines of UNGA.

During the meetings, Dr. Nishtar particularly showcased Ehsaas to create awareness among the leaders from around the world about this multisectoral flagship programme of the Government of Pakistan.

Exhibiting Ehsaas, Dr. Nishtar briefed President of Costa Rica, Dr. Sabina Alkire & other ministers at the multidimensional poverty peer network meeting organized by Government of Costa Rica.

Dr. Alkire is an Oxford Scholar who has done her PhD in Poverty Metrics in Pakistan. In the meeting, Dr. Nishtar reflected on how Ehsaas is using both income as well as multidimensional poverty index (MPI) metrics for policy design and targeting.

Ehsaas will invite Dr. Alkire to sit on the Ehsaas Poverty Metrics Committee and she will also help Ehsaas with the analysis of the local drivers of poverty studies.

Being a member of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Lead Group, Dr. Nishtar presented bold plan at the lead group meeting to address malnutrition in Pakistan.

Speaking as a one of the 27 global leaders specially selected by the United Nations to spearhead the Scaling Up Nutrition campaign, Dr. Nishtar outlined the new and improved policies under Ehsaas that will ensure that all Pakistani’s can enjoy nutritious diets. Speaking to the other UN-appointed campaign leaders from around the world, Dr. Nishtar said, “Tackling malnutrition is embedded in the strategy of Ehsaas, which for the first time is working across government departments and across sectors to strengthen the structures already put in place by Scaling Up Nutrition in Pakistan and to develop new policies that augment those successes.”

On the sidelines of UNGA, Dr. Nishtar together with Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined a panel discussion at the SDG Action Zone Summit.

During the discussion, Dr. Nishtar explained about what Ehsaas entails, its components, progress underway, its priorities, & partnership approach, challenges & opportunities and what success entails. Bill Gates outlined how digital & financial inclusion can be a force multiplier to address poverty.

Further, at the high-level UNGA side event on Environmental stewardship on tackling poverty organized by Malaysia, Turkey, and Pakistan, Dr. Nishtar read the Pakistan’s statement at the UNGA side.

A bilateral meeting with Queen Maxima of Netherlands was also held wherein Dr. Nishtar gave her a detailed overview of several initiatives which are envisaged to contribute to financial inclusion objectives in the Ehsaas framework while cross cutting with women empowerment and poverty alleviation, goals. Queen Maxima is visiting Pakistan in November 2019.

Representing Pakistan at the US Pakistan Women Council re-launch event hosted by the State Department, Dr. Nishtar elaborated on the myriad ways in which Ehsaasis mainstreaming the role of women in the economic sphere, through financial inclusion amongst other measures, creating livelihoods and jobs.

As part of her meetings in US, Dr. Nishtar manifested details about the multi-pronged approach to Universal Health Coverage under Ehsaas Pakistan at the WHO High level Summit on UHC. She also attended ‘World Economic forum Summit on health’ and ‘Global development Forum’ as a panelist.

During the visit, on the future of Ehsaas- Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Chris Elias, president of global development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also participated in a bilateral meeting and signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the Ehsaas initiative to alleviate poverty in Pakistan, a partnership to put funding, technical assistance, and the help of global experts toward improving health, nutrition and financial inclusion within Pakistan.

Ehsaas is about the creation of a ‘welfare state’ by countering elite capture and leveraging 21st century tools—such as using data and technology to create precision safety nets; promoting financial inclusion and access to digital services; supporting the economic empowerment of women; focusing on the central role of human capital formation for poverty eradication, economic growth and sustainable development; and overcoming financial barriers to accessing health and post-secondary education.=DNA

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