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Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation on Friday expressed confidence that government's efforts to pull the poor out of poverty towards prosperity, which would be achieved in collaboration with other social safety institutions.

As the present government's fight against poverty picks pace, Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation said this during a discussions with the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund's senior team at the latter's offices to discuss its plan of action in poverty reducing under the government of Pakistan's flagship "Ehsaas Programme."

The PPAF is the lead implementing agency for the government's National Poverty Graduation Initiative - NPGI, launched two weeks earlier by the Prime Minister, under "Ehsaas Programme; and NPGI is an important component of pillar-II of Ehsaas. The programme aims to provide the vulnerable segments of society livelihoods and social protection, says a press release issued here on Friday.

Dr Sania Nishtar lauded PPAF's impact in bringing social and economic change to hundreds of thousands of communities across the country and discussed its collaborative efforts with the government in the battle for greater social and economic equality in the country. She said that the PPAF is the lead institution in the country that is laying the foundation for stable social safety nets and livelihoods among the poor and vulnerable on a large-scale.

With its work on interest-free loans, the PPAF is the lead implementer of the government's interest-free loans programme under the newly-launched interest free loan programme, whose financial outlay is Rs 5 billion. With the launch of "Ehsaas Interest Free Loans," the PPAF already started disbursing 80,000 loans every month. The "National Poverty Graduation Initiative - NPGI" will provide relief to the masses through interest-free loans, vocational and skills trainings, and asset transfers. The interest-free loans come with easy and simple eligibility criteria for people to build their own businesses.

Dr Sania said she is hopeful and confident about the social safety sector's development. The interest free loans, worth Rs 5 billion, will be called 'Ehsaas bila sood karzay'. The special assistant also appreciated management information system of the PPAF that will be available to the people to make them informed for taking better decisions as they avail the government's social safety initiatives.

Qazi Azmat Isa, PPAF Chief Executive Officer, Captain Asadullah Khan (retd), Additional Secretary, Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division - PASSD, Amir Naeem, PPAF's Senior Group Head, Financial Management and Corporate Affairs and Samia Liaquat Ali Khan, PPAF's Senior Group Head, Graduation Group & Programme Director, National Poverty Graduation Programme were also present.-PR

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