ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan launched a nationwide SMS service on Wednesday as part of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program to meet the financial needs of poor, needy and worthy people in relation to the current coronavirus situation.
Under the emergency cash program, those in need can receive a lump sum in rupees. 12,000 in financial assistance for four months by sending your Computerized National Identification Card (CNIC) number by SMS to 8171.
People who submit their CNIC numbers will receive a response regarding their right or otherwise to use the tool after analyzing their data as part of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program.
During the launch of the service, the Prime Minister sent his CNIC number by SMS to 8171 and received a reply that, as a public servant, he had no right to participate in the Ehsaas emergency cash program.
Dr. Sania Nishter, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Social Protection, briefed the Prime Minister on the emergency payment program.
According to details, the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program was planned in the context of the economic difficulties facing vulnerable people due to the current coronavirus crisis.
Economic activity, which is currently suspended, is the one that most affects workers and pieceworkers. Furthermore, layoffs in the formal economy are also pushing people below the poverty line.
In this context, the Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative was designed to be simple and easy to implement using the Government of Pakistan’s large-scale digital payment system, which was developed as part of the Poverty Reduction Division.
An SMS campaign will be the starting point to identify the beneficiaries. Through an aggressive communication campaign, citizens will be informed that they can send an SMS to 8171 to verify their right to participate.
If they are eligible, they will receive an SMS informing them on how to raise money. If they are not listed in the database, they will be asked to contact district administration.