By Hina Kiyani
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Ms. Shazia Marri Tuesday said that the government of Pakistan through BISP is striving to address the vulnerability of women by empowering them through income support to the poorest of the poor families.
This she said in a meeting with Dr. Luay Shabaneh, representative of the United Nations Fund for Population-UNFPA held here. Secretary Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Mr. Ghufran Memon and Secretary BISP Mr. Yusuf Khan also attended the meeting.
Ms. Marri while briefing the UNFPA Representative on BISP’s initiatives said that this income support programme was started in 2008 and it is now extending an annual Rs. 28000/- financial support on Rs. 7000/- quarterly installments basis to around nine million families.
She said that the government has decided to increase this amount of income support by 25%, that is, now quarterly installment will be Rs. 9000. Dr. Luay Shabaneh appreciated Ms. Shazia Marri for her commitment towards marginalized and underprivileged segments of the society, especially women through providing them a comprehensive social protection net. He acknowledged that the vision and interests of BISP are closely associated with UNFPA and hoped to build a strategic partnership under the leadership of Chairperson BISP.
He highlighted many goals of UNFPA which include ending preventable maternal deaths, ending the unmet needs for family planning and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.
He highlighted efforts of gender equality and said that UNFPA would be happy to work with BISP to achieve these goals. At the end of the meeting, Chairperson BISP and UNFPA representative agreed to find ways work together towards achieving the shared objective of poverty alleviation and extending to fabric of social safety.
Earlier, Foreign Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has announced an immediate increase of 25% in the amount of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) stipend, vowing that the process of providing relief money to the flood-affected small farmers by the Sindh government will also be accelerated.m He said that the PPP’s politics was based on bringing justice to the common man.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the registration of deserving women under the BISP through the National Database and Registration Authority on Saturday, the foreign minister said that the concept of this revolutionary programme was given by Benazir Bhutto in her manifesto looking at the poverty, inflation and economic crisis in the country.