ADB approves additional $200m for BISP
ISLAMABAD - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on Monday, $200 million loan as additional financing to the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
This additional finance will support cash transfers as well as to help in making BISP stronger, said the management of the lender in a press release.
BISP, which is considered one of the largest social protection programs in the region, is part of government’s Ehsas program to reduce poverty and inequality.
The Manila-based lending agency noted that an ADB-financed social protection development project, approved in 2013, had facilitated the enrollment of over 855,000 recipients of the BISP.
Director of Public Management, Financial Sector, and Trade for ADB’s Central and West Asia Department, Tariq Niazi said that the social protection programs like the BISP were crucial to ensuring that the poorest segments of the population do not go further into poverty, especially at a time when the country is facing difficult macroeconomic challenges.
The official elaborated that the ADB was committed to helping Pakistani government implement alternative modalities for social protection and poverty reduction such as asset transfer programs that promote improved human capital and reduce intergenerational poverty.
Meanwhile, ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yan said a policy research unit will also be established within BISP to help, monitor and improve the performance of ongoing programs and design new cost-effective and evidence-based initiatives such as poverty graduation programs and conditional cash transfers for health and nutrition in line with global best practices.
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