The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is a government-funded program to help the needy. It has been around since 2008, and is now Pakistan’s largest social safety net. Instead of using money orders, BISP uses a smart card system. As a result, flood-affected people have received financial assistance.
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is Pakistan’s largest social safety net
BISP is a government scheme which provides income support to more than 5 million poor families in Pakistan. It has a dual objective of eradicating extreme poverty and promoting gender equality. The programme targets the poorest households, especially women and children, and also supports the Sustainable Development Goals. It is implemented through a nationwide network of 33 divisional and 385 tehsil offices.
The program’s targeting strategy relies on household-level data and the participation of parliamentarians. The program reaches the poorest quintile of households at the lowest per capita income level. The most disadvantaged households receive the highest proportion of benefits.
BISP offers unconditional cash transfers to low-income households in rural Pakistan. It has become Pakistan’s largest social safety net and targets low-income women. The scheme is run in a proxy means-testing system to select beneficiaries.
BISP is funded by the World Bank and other international donors. Its support has led to the implementation of the program’s Poverty Score Card test phase and has leveraged the investment of other international and local donors. It also helped establish initial organizational arrangements for BISP implementation.
The beneficiaries of BISP are selected according to their sociodemographic and family-economic characteristics. For example, the gender and marital status of the household head, their age, education, and land holdings were evaluated. Other socio-economic factors examined included their annual income and sources of income. Their household expenditure and food consumption patterns were also assessed.
The efficiency of social-protection programmes depends on their coverage and accurate identification of those in need. Political favouritism and interpersonal relationships may affect the identification of beneficiaries. This affects the efficacy of BISP. For example, BISP recipients in urban areas have a higher chance of being selected for the program than those in rural areas.
The program aims to reach 5.5 million poor households in the coming financial year. It has a gender equity component and prioritizes women’s rights in household decision-making.
It was launched in 2008
The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is the flagship national safety net system in Pakistan. It provides predictable monthly cash transfers of US$15 to nearly 4 million families and makes investments in human capital development. Its main objective is to eradicate extreme poverty and empower women. The program has provided cash transfers to nearly half of all eligible beneficiaries.
Since its inception, the BISP has helped over eight million people. Moreover, it has expanded its reach to about 10 million families by June. In the last few years, the poverty ratio in Pakistan has increased. The country has also experienced an increase in inflation.
The BISP helpline number is available for the benefit of beneficiaries. This free and confidential helpline number is staffed by welfare experts who can offer guidance and support. It helps beneficiaries identify their eligibility and apply for the benefit. Besides, this helpline helps in filing and updating claims and ensuring timely payouts.
Critics of the BISP have pointed out several shortcomings. While BISP provides RS 3000 bi-monthly payments, the poverty line is RS 2,550 per month. This payment is inadequate for moving beyond the poverty line. It also lacks conditionality. Some countries, particularly in Latin America, have had greater success with conditional cash transfer programs. These programs require recipient families to fulfill certain requirements before receiving a cash payment. Among the requirements are enrolment of children in primary school and attendance of health seminars.
It uses a smart card system instead of money orders
The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has started a national rollout of debit cards for its beneficiaries. These cards allow beneficiaries to withdraw their installments at an ATM or through a partner bank’s agent network. This will help ensure that beneficiaries receive their payments in full. Previously, BISP beneficiaries received cash through Pakistan Post money orders. This was a problem for poor beneficiary families because mail carriers demanded kickbacks for delivering money orders.
BISP is a well-established social program in Pakistan with a mission to eliminate poverty and increase the standard of living for the poor. BISP has been in existence for over a decade and uses several payment methods, including cash disbursements through ATMs and e-payments. However, the most recent version of the program introduces a biometric system.
The program has been criticized for several shortcomings. Its low level of conditionality has been a key flaw. In countries like Latin America, conditional cash transfer programs are much more effective at empowering poor households. Beneficiaries are required to meet certain requirements in order to receive their cash payment. Some of the criteria include enrolling children in primary education, attending health seminars, and seeing a health care provider.
It has helped flood-affected people
The Benazir Income Support Programme has helped flood-affected families get cash relief from the government. Since April 2017, the programme has disbursed more than Rs 23 billion in cash assistance to flood-affected families. The government has established a special control room to ensure a fair and transparent distribution of relief cash.
According to the government, over 133,477 flood-affected families are already receiving financial assistance. Several campsites have been established in flood-affected areas for flood victims to receive their flood relief cash assistance. In addition, a control room has been set up at BISP headquarters to ensure that payments are made smoothly.
In an effort to help flood-affected people, the government has increased the compensation amount for flood-affected families. The compensation amount has been increased from Rs 28 billion to Rs 70 billion through the Benazir Income Support Programme. In addition, the UN has issued a flash appeal for USD 160 million to help flood-affected families. The government has also set up a relief and rehabilitation program to help flood-affected people recover from the devastation.
The government has arranged for a joint survey of flood-affected areas, which will help assess the damages to crops and houses. It is also working with international aid partners to provide assistance to flood-affected people. But this will require a lot of effort from everyone in the country.
The prime minister is visiting flood-affected areas and lauding the efforts of local rescue teams, PDMAs, the National Highway Authority and provincial departments. He has also called for the unity of the nation in facing the situation. The federal and provincial governments are working closely together to help the flood-affected people recover. The government has also called for the help of the media and the intelligentsia.
As the flood disaster continues to spread, many local NGOs and donor organizations are stepping up their aid efforts. The World Food Programme, for example, is aiming to reach 1.9 million people experiencing extreme food insecurity. In addition to cash assistance, the World Food Programme is focusing on recovery programmes to build community infrastructure and create new livelihood opportunities for those affected by the disaster.