Friday, April 19, 2024

World Bank Recognizes Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program among Top Social Protection Worldwide

In terms of the number of people protected, the World Bank has named Pakistan’s government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash program as one of the top four social security interventions in the world.

According to the World Bank’s latest report, Social Protection and Jobs Responses to COVID-19: A Real-Time Review of Country Measures, India’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) program is the world’s largest Covid-related cash transfer system, with over 206 million people covered.

Following this program are three cash transfer interventions, all of which reach over a hundred million people: the US first stimulus check (160 million), Japan’s one-time universal program (116.5 million), and Pakistan’s Ehsaas (100.9).

Pakistan was also ranked among the top five lower-middle-income countries in terms of social security spending, according to the survey. Mongolia (8 percent of GDP), Zimbabwe (5 percent), Bolivia (3 percent), Pakistan (1.2 percent), and a variety of other lower-middle-income countries invest 1 percent of GDP.

According to the survey, provincial governments in Pakistan adopted supportive fiscal initiatives as soon as the shock hit, including cash grants to low-income households, tax relief, and increased health spending (including a salary increase for healthcare workers).

Punjab’s government launched a PKR 10 billion cash grant scheme. The Sindh government’s policies included a cash grant.

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