The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) has termed Pakistan as one of the best countries in Asia when it comes to the “highest number of responses to social protection” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this regard, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s newly launched Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program has been lauded. PM Khan launched the program on April 1, 2020, to offer financial support to millions of families as the country was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, the program has been termed exemplary for achieving the goal of successfully reaching out to millions of needy families across the country.

IPC-IG’s conference titled Turning the COVID-19 Crisis into Opportunity: What’s Next for Social Protection, noted that Pakistan’s response via Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme during the COVID-19 has been exemplary across the Asia Pacific region.

The social protection Programme has also been termed successful mainly because of its outreach and effective delivery mechanisms. “The evidence suggests that countries [such as Pakistan] with existing and adaptive social protection programs have greater potential in reducing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kathrin Oellers while speaking at the conference.

“The urgency of the COVID-19 crisis has shown us the relevance of SP programs in fighting consequences of the pandemic,” she noted further. Shahra Razavi said that “the consequences of COVID-19 have been effecting countries in an unequal way…social protection is a crucial tool to support the poorest and most vulnerable during these difficult times.”

It is high time that Pakistan’s government work on expanding the existing social program systems further.