In a report published on Saturday, the World Bank named Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program as one of the four largest social protection measures in the world, based on the number of people served.
The World Bank has just published a report on “Global Social Protection Responses to Covid-19“.
This report is known as the “Living Article” and has 18 co-authors and a large number of contributors. The document contains a 650-page volume and an associated database that documents how countries and territories are planning, implementing, or completing social protection measures in the context of the pandemic.
According to the report, between March 20, 2020, and May 14, 2021, there was ‘an exponential growth in social protection measures and a total of 3,333 social protection measures were planned or implemented in 222 countries or areas”.
Pakistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of the number of insured persons and third in terms of the percentage of the insured population among those with more than 100 million people.
The World Bank said that only “selected countries have hit impressive six-digit numbers”. One of them is Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program from Pakistan.
The main author of the article is Hugo Gentilini, Head of Social Protection at the World Bank. An Excel spreadsheet is attached to the report so that more data is available.
Pakistani Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program also ranked among programs that performed well in terms of planned and actual reporting, according to the report.
According to the report, most social protection measures are provided in the form of social assistance.
They make up 55% of global programs and are the predominant form of support in most regions.
In terms of social assistance measures, remittances remain the main instrument. A total of 734 box office events were planned or carried out in 186 countries.
The highest spending in the lower and middle-income category is in Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, and Pakistan. One of the characteristics of the report is delivery issues.
According to the report, there were four ways to find and register new beneficiaries around the world. The first was to simply add households to the existing list of social registers.
Pakistan has adopted an innovative hybrid targeting approach to recruiting new beneficiaries, combining emergency aid for known vulnerable groups with demand-driven support for the “new poor“.
Inquiries were made via the SMS 8171 Shortcode Service and the web portal. The data analysis identified eligibility using unique national identification numbers and using the National Socio-Economic Register and wealth representation data (travel, taxes, accounts, property ownership, and government employment status).
The system was consistent, data-driven, fully automated, rule-based, transparent, and politically neutral. Payments passed biometric verification.
Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program delivered grants to Between 12,000 and 15 million households last year, meaning helping more than 100 million people or half the country’s population, was the largest and most ambitious social protection measure in the country’s history.
The digital capabilities that Ehsaas, Pakistan’s new poverty reduction system, created last year have been adapted to provide Ehsaas Emergency Cash, in particular a new biometric payment system, an SMS search platform on the demand side, and a new extensive profiling system. … data analysis engine.
The legacy of this program is not just short-term relief. Ehsaas emergency money will be an important part of the modernization of the social safety net after COVID-19 and contribute to the global rethinking of the social security provided in Ehsaas.
In terms of sharing global experiences, the example of Pakistan provides useful lessons for other countries using unique identification systems.
He shows that the combination of phones, internet connections, national ID cards, and commercial payment systems can create an innovative, demand-driven digital social safety net that enables those in need to seek social support in times of crisis.
Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program also showed how money transfer programs can be implemented to counter the socio-economic impact of external shocks like COVID-19, which are a long-term situation.
This approach can also help eradicate growing inequality and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in the post-COVID-19 world.