ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched Ehsaas Nashonuma Program which is Pakistan’s first ever initiative to prevent stunted growth in young children.
The Premier visited the Ehsaas Nashonuma Center in Khyber District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where he was briefed about the initiative by his Special Assistant on Social Security and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar.
The budget of Rs. 8.52 billion has been allocated for the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program by the Government to help overcome stunted growth in children due to malnutrition and other reasons which severely impacts their growth including height and mental capability.
According to sources, Pakistan ranks second in the region for most cases of stunting in children which makes up 40 percent of young children in the country.
Under the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program, beneficiaries will not only be provided with nutritious food and supplements but also a quarterly stipend of Rs. 2,000 for firls and Rs. 1,500 for boys since their birth for a period of two years.
In the initial phase of the program a total of 33 Ehsaas Nashonuma Centers will be set up in nine districts which include three in Khyber, six each in Upper Dir and Badin, four in Rajanpur, eight in Gilgit Baltistan and three each in Kharan and Bagh.
All of these centers would be completed by end of August where special registration desks will be set up for beneficiary women the health records of pregnant and lactating women including their children under two years of age will be maintained with the help of an application that has been developed.
Furthermore, it will be mandatory for the beneficiary women to attend awareness session that will be help in their regional languages in order to be eligible for the aid.
Apart from the quarterly stipend, these women will also be paid Rs. 500 for their commute. Special ATM machines will be setup at these Ehsaas Nashonuma Centers for the dispersal of cash through biometric verification.
Preventing stunting in children has been a major priority of the PTI Government and Prime Minister Khan who has now gone a head and launched the Ehsaas Nashonuma Program. This is something that has been ignored by previous governments.