ISLAMABAD:Graduation strategies for the poor people of the country. This was stated by Minister of State and Chairperson BISP MNA Marvi Memon in her address during the opening session of an event of “The International Day for Eradication for Poverty”. The event, consisting of four sessions, was organised by BISP, Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) and Punjab Microfinance Network (PMFN) at BISP Secretariat.The event was attended by the representatives of BISP, PMN, PMFN, DFID, State Bank of Pakistan, UNDP, Orangi Pilot Project Karachi, NRSP, Akhuwat, BRAC, Rural Community Development Society, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Jinnah Welfare Society, Mojaz Foundation, Thardeep Rural Development Programme, ECI, Empowerment through Creative Integration, Agahe, PPAF, PIDE, LUMS, OCT, Enclude, FMFB, Damen Support Programme, Acumen Pakistan, Kashf Foundation and other members of PMN.
The primary objective of this event was to provide a platform to all stakeholders such as Microfinance Providers, donor agencies, policy makers, regulators, development agencies and Government authorities to discuss the challenges in the achievement of SDGs related to combating poverty and achieving inclusive economic growth. Another purpose of this event was to initiate a dialogue for concerted efforts among all relevant stakeholders, especially in the context of the launch of SDGs globally and NFIS nationally and to break free low-income households and vulnerable population from the chains of poverty through the provision of financial services.
Chairperson BISP, during her address, said that we are very happy to host all the stakeholders who work for the poverty eradication. She said that BISP is one of the largest social safety net programmes in the world whose mandate is to provide basic sustenance to the poorest of the poor. In order to graduate the people out of poverty, BISP intends to develop alliance partnerships with microfinance institutions.On the occasion, a panel of distinguished speakers also addressed the audience. Acting Country Head DFID, Ms. Judith Herbertson said that DFID is proud to be supporting BISP and microfinance sector in partnership with Government of Pakistan to help reduce poverty and inequality, particularly for women. Assistant Country Director UNDP, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed said that poverty is beyond level of income. It is multi-faceted phenomenon and it need to be addressed and integrated in close manner. Issues of rising inequality in Pakistan and across the world need urgent attention of the stakeholders. Executive Director State Bank of Pakistan, Syed Samar Hussnain said that microfinance is a very strong tool for financial inclusion and poverty eradication.
CEO NRSP, Rashid Bajwa said that impact of cash transfer in Pakistan is multi-dimensional. Besides financial assistance, the impact of cash transfer on behavior of children and learning outcomes is a new dimension which needs to be further explored. Director Orangi Pilot Project Karachi, Mr. Anwar Rasheed said that efforts for economic development should be much more focused on rural areas as poverty in these areas is much higher. Secretary BISP, Muhammad Saleem Ranjha said that BISP has set its targets and our management is fully committed to achieve these targets with result oriented approach.The concluding session of the event was chaired by Special Assistant to PM and Chairman Board of Investment, Dr. Miftah Ismail. He appreciated the role of BISP and other microfinance institutions in combating poverty and hunger. He said that these organizations, besides addressing the issues of poverty either by basic sustenance or by graduation strategies, are a source of providing rights and empowerment to the women. He added that the present government is taking all the necessary measures which will ultimately contribute in the welfare of the poor population. In the end, he stressed that all of us should remain committed to the cause of eradication of poverty from the country.Various organizations had established stalls on this event as well. During the visit of the stalls, Chairperson BISP discussed the outreach of these organizations in different areas of the country with their representatives. She asked them to share their data with BISP so that BISP beneficiaries may be cross checked from its data. She said that the exchange of data will help to streamline the efforts of different organizations towards the welfare of the deserving people.