ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday while extending full support to the education and empowerment of women in the country, announced a donation of Rs one billion for the BISP Endowment Fund as part of government efforts to hasten achievement of this goal.
Addressing a ceremony here at the auditorium of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to mark the launch of Endowment Fund, the Prime Minister said the government takes pride in the programme that has seen an increase in allocation and cash transfers by over 50 percent. He said this amount was equivalent to almost one-third of the money spent by the federal government on running its affairs.
The Prime Minister said the graduation programme under which the most deserving of the beneficiaries were being paid lump sum Direct Cash to help stand on their feet by launching their business would play a key role in alleviating poverty.
He was appreciative of the programme and said any social net that was catering to the poorest of the poor was vital for any society. He spoke high of the philanthropists and donors who were making the programme a success and playing their part in helping the most deserving stand on their feet. He said he has high hopes from the beneficiaries as well as they would contribute in the progress and prosperity of the country.
Abbasi said he believed that the allocations for the programme need to be further increased and should target efforts to eradicate poverty in the next five years. He said his government would complete its term by June 1 and expressed the hope that the next would continue the programme and keep its focus on the graduation programme besides taking measures for expanding its volume and scope.
He lauded the role of Chairperson of BISP Marvi Memon and her team for their dedicated efforts in making the programme a success.
Marvi Memon thanked the Prime Minister on his second visit to the BISP in a short time and said it was reflective of his government’s commitment to the objective of alleviating poverty from the country.
She recalled Prime Minister Abbasi’s last speech wherein he hoped that the programme ends after eliminating poverty from the country and said till the achievement of that goal the BISP would continue to reach out to the poorest of the poor.
She said the BISP has funds of Rs 121 billion that were being used at different levels for provision of safety net, health, education and funds for setting up business. She said the focus of the programme was on women empowerment and pointed that three Director Generals of the programme were also women.
Marvi also pointed to the recent inking of a Memorandum of Understanding with the acid survivor foundation courtesy EU funding on getting rid of violence against women within BISP beneficiary community. She termed it an important initiative to ensure that no woman suffers mental or physical agony in silence.
She said the BISP would continue to serve the masses under the vision of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, direction of the government and added that she looks “forward to many more achievements with Prime Minister Abbasi and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).”
Marvi appreciated her staff, particularly those in the fields for making the BISP a success and for achieving the cherished goal of being at the top in global safety net organisations.