IMF delegation appreciates BISP's performance

IMF delegation appreciates BISP's performance

ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation Monday appreciated the vision and work of Benazir Income Support Programme for improving the socio-economic conditions of the poor.

The delegation head Herald Finger said continuity of funds for BISP was critical for effective implementation of its initiatives.

"We are in much favor of social protection and hope that more such initiatives would be launched by the BISP to enhance quality of life of poor women," he said this during the visit of the delegation to BISP to discuss matters of mutual interest here at BISP headquarters.

The IMF delegation comprised of Herald Finger, Resident Representative of IMF Islamabad, Senior Economist, Washington DC Ricardo Llaudes, and Senior Research Associate Hiba Zaidi.

BISP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan said the IMF had been a reliable partner of government of Pakistan.

He shared that the BISP had completed 10 years of its journey and introduced several complimentary initiatives, apart from its core unconditional cash transfer programme.

The delegation was briefed on various initiatives, programmes and activities of BISP as well as its national and international partnerships.  

They were also apprised of the public private partnership of BISP which contributed towards innovative approaches of tackling poverty and providing opportunities to vulnerable women to seek socio-economic empowerment.

It was specifically mentioned that the IMF termed BISP as a highly satisfactory programme under its 12th programme review in 2017 under the IMF's external fund facility (EFF).

The delegation was informed that 24 million children had been enrolled in schools under the Waseela-e-Taleem programme. They were also briefed on the future plans of BISP where it intended to bring in 8 million beneficiaries in its fold after update of the National Socioeconomic Registry.

A number of issues were discussed with relation to coordination with provinces and regions. The delegation was informed that there were no issues pertaining to programme management at provincial level as BISP was a federal programme and the provinces were supportive of the programme's activities to end poverty.

It was shared that several provincial departments were also engaged for strengthening of supply side towards needs of BISP's beneficiaries, particularly related to health and education.

It was added that several programme interventions had been initiated by the provincial governments on the basis of BISP's data, via data sharing protocol.

BISP secretary presented souvenirs to the visiting delegation and hoped that IMF would continue to support pro-poor initiatives of government of Pakistan.