ISLAMABAD, Oct 21 (APP):Minister for Poverty Alleviation Shazia Marri on Friday informed the National Assembly that after the recent devastating flood in parts of the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had directed provinces to carry-out fresh poverty surveys for assessment of people living below the poverty line.
Responding to questions during question hour, she said that as per the reports of the international agencies the poverty level had increased in the country after the recent flood.
“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a recent meeting has directed the provinces to carry out fresh poverty surveys to determine the level of poverty after the recent flood,” she added.
She said that the prime minister had allocated Rs 70 billion for targeted cash relief for the flood-affected people.
The minister said out of the total allocated amount about Rs 66.22 billion had been distributed among 2,648,824 families so far across the country through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
Shazia said that the flood cash relief assistance had been disbursed among 2,648,824 families so far.
A total of Rs 66.22 billion had been distributed to the affected families across the country through BISP till-date, she said.
In Balochistan province only, she said, about 241,163 flood-affected people had been provided financial assistance under the BISP.
She said that a program is being designed to capacitate the ultra-poor households in graduating out of poverty on a sustainable basis.
The Minister said the program of Rs 5.7 billion is being prepared with the cooperation of the Ministry of Planning.
She said the key interventions under this program will include the development of forty village social enterprises around agriculture and livestock value chains and the transfer of productive assets to the eighty thousand ultra-poor households for income generation and self-reliance.
She said digital skills will be imparted to fifteen thousand rural poor particularly the youth to harness the potential of e-commerce and freelancing as well as to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural youth.
She said financial services will be provided to eighty thousand poor households for livelihood development and diversification.
She said the devastating floods have badly impacted the people. At present, she said, an assessment is being carried out as to how the floods have impacted their social-economic condition.
She said that the budget of BISP has been enhanced to Rs. 364 billion. She said a new payment mechanism is being considered to ensure that the women beneficiaries get the payments in a dignified manner.