The government has asked $600 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fulfill its vision of social protection and poverty reduction through the Ehsaas program.
The government plan is to enhance social protection and access to education, health services, and nutrition requirements for the poor and deserving households.
The project documents said that the impact of the ‘Integrated Social Protection Development Program’ (ISPDP) would be the alleviation of poverty, reduction of inequality, and sustainability of human capital development.
In addition to the loan, ADB is asked to provide grant assistance of $3 million for the integrated social protection development program. The bank has already held its management review meeting, which is a requirement for the loan’s approval.
Alleviating poverty, reducing inequality through loan
The aims of the proposed ISPDP are to strengthen and expand BISP so that it helps the government in combating poverty and raising the quality of life for the lowest tier of society. This objective will be achieved through the institutional capacity for social protection and strengthened climate resilience, enhanced access to primary and secondary education for poor girls and boys; and enhanced access to health services and nutritional supplies for women, adolescent girls, and children of poor families.
A new study of ADB prepared for the project says that BISP was passing through an institutional restructuring process, and facing difficulties in technical human resources, lack of experience in implementation of environmental safeguards, and to develop resilience to shocks induced by climate change.
However, BISP has already worked with the World Bank and a few other international donors and funding institutions. Its significant contributions to the social sector had widely been applauded.
ADB said that despite BISP’s institutional seniority and acknowledged credibility, it has never faced the challenges of implementing environmental safeguards and developing resilience to climate change-induced shocks.
ISPDP will be implemented across the country.