PM launches Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative worth Rs. 144 billion to support 12 million needy families affected by COVID19 crisis
April 1, 2020 – Islamabad: Prime Minister has launched Ehsaas Emergency Cash program in the context of the economic hardship being experienced by the vulnerable due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The program covers 12 million families; 12,000 per family and the total budget for this initiative is Rs. 144 billion. Speaking at the occasion, PM Imran Khan said, “The financial assistance under this program is meant to help people in need particularly labourers and daily wagers to buy rations so that their families don’t go hungry”. An SMS campaign will be the entry point to identify these beneficiaries. Through an aggressive communication campaign, citizens will be informed that they can send an SMS on 8171 to check their eligibility status. PM inaugurated the initiative by texting his CNIC number to 8171. “To address inclusion errors, special data analytics on defined parameters (Government officials, those owning cars, and those with history of multiple foreign travel) will be applied by NADRA on all categories of potential beneficiaries”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation.
Radio Program Raabta: Dr. Nishtar gives Corona disease advice to drive social change
March 26, 2020, Raising awareness to drive social change, Dr. Sania Nishtar, PM’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation advised masses in rural areas to avoid social gatherings/baithaks and sharing of hookah as these cultural practices may spread Corona. She was answering live questions of audience in today’s national hook up program, ‘Raabta’ on Corona virus. Further, Dr. Nishtar urged the public to strictly follow preventive measures and avoid misinformation from unofficial sources. This will help us break the chain and protect ourselves from the pandemic. Listen here
Radio Program Raabta: Dr. Nishtar discusses PM’s multi-billion rupees economic relief package to offset adverse impacts of Corona outbreak
March 25, 2020, In today’s episode of Radio Pakistan’s national hook up program, ‘Raabta’ that aims to create awareness on Corona outbreak, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation discussed the Prime Minister’s multi-billion rupees economic relief package. She informed listeners that the government has announced this massive package to offset the adverse economic impacts of COVID-19 emergency across the country particularly laborers and daily wagers. Listen here.
Radio Program Raabta: Dr. Nishtar emphasizes on importance of social distancing and self-isolation to fight against Corona emergency
March 24, 2020,Talking about the importance of social distancing and self-isolation to combat the spread of Corona Virus in Pakistan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar encouraged listeners to stay at homes and follow the precautionary measures. She reiterated that there is a public health reason for social distancing. Staying at least three feet away from other people, lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. Dr. Maj. Gen(R) Dr. Azhar Mehmood Kayani also participated in the program and created awareness about Corona Virus and heart patients. ‘Raabta’ is Radio Pakistan’s national hook up program that is broadcast live every morning to create awareness among masses on Corona virus outbreak. Listen here.
Ehsaas-Saylani Langar-on-Wheels introduced to feed the poor with safety and dignity in times of pandemic emergency
March 21, 2020 – Islamabad: Ehsaas and Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT) have decided to run “Ehsaas-Saylani Langar on Wheels” to deliver cooked food aid to needy people particularly labourers and daily wagers. This commenced at a busy bus station at Faizabad, the junction of twin cities Islamabad-Rawalpindi. To inaugurate the first Ehsaas mobile food unit that will distribute food two times daily, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was joined by Yousuf Lakhani, President, SWIT. Mobile vans aimed to combat hunger will discourage people from congregating at one spot for free food collection and will serve at various points in cities including public places, slums and hospitals while explicitly ensuring dignity and social distance for the safety of people. As people are at the risk of small income generating opportunities due to the pandemic emergency in the country, this food aid concept will be stretched out soon to a bigger, better and faster scale across all major cities of Pakistan as part of the Ehsaas framework. Footage can be accessed here.
Ehsaas promotes coronavirus preventive measures while running social protection operations
March 20, 2020-Islamabad: As the coronavirus spreads out and the government takes rigorous measures to slow down the spread of the pandemic, Ehsaas continues educating citizens with health protection guidelines alongside measures to ensure that their services are ongoing. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation visited an Ehsaas partner loans office in outskirts of the federal capital. She was accompanied by Qazi Azmat Isa, who is the CEO of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), the implementing agency of the Ehsaas initiative which provides loans through partners- Akhuwat being the largest of the 24 partners. While monitoring the Ehsaas interest free loan operations, Dr. Nishtar, advised the public not to panic but follow the precautionary measures being communicated by the government. Talking to the media, she stated, “As a social protection ministry, we are conscious that we need to continue assisting those who need our services, the most in these difficult times. Day before yesterday we decided to continue running our cash transfer operations for the Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries, as these families need financial assistance. However, on the other hand we closed our registration centres, where large number of women congregate for registration.” She said, further adding, “We have to strike a balance between safety and assistance, as the latter is the need of the hour; also we are conscious that we must continue to provide credit in these difficult times, which is the lifeline of the small entrepreneurs and therefore, we decided not to shut our loan offices”.
Radio Program Raabta: Dr. Nishtar discusses effective measures taken by government to control Corona outbreak
March 20, 2020,To create awareness about Corona virus emergency, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation reaches out to wider national audience through ‘Raabta’, a national hook up radio program broadcast every day at 10 am. Participating in today’s live program, Dr. Sania Nishtar talked about the several initiatives being taken by the government of Pakistan to combat the spread of Corona Virus in the country. She gave detailed statistics about facilities set up by the government for the general public particularly authorized health centers, quarantines and Corona test facilities. Communicating directly with listeners, she said, “War against Corona is new type of war and collective efforts by the government and citizens are the need of hour to win it. Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar, a renowned epidemiologist from Islamabad also joined the program. Listen here
Radio Program Raabta: Dr. Nishtar briefs masses on statistical developments about Corona pandemic in Pakistan
March 19, 2020, Connecting with general public through Radio Pakistan’s live national hook up program, ‘Raabta’, Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation gave valuable advice to listeners for prevention against Corona Virus. Guiding listeners, she said that the government is taking all measures to cope with the situation. Currently, 35 fully equipped isolation wards have been set up in all provinces including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad based epidemiologist, Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar also participated in the program. Listen here
Radio Program Raabta: Dr. Nishtar guides general public on COVID-19 protection and preventive measures
March 18, 2020, To respond to Corono virus crisis, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, participated as a special guest in Radio Pakistan’s special nationally electrified programme ‘Raabta’ and reflected on measures taken by the Government to prevent the spread of Corona virus. She guided listeners about how to protect from COVID-19 by avoiding touching hands with eyes, mouth and nose, shaking hands and hugging. Further, giving Corona prevention advice to listeners, she recommended that one should keep distance of about three feet while interacting with each other and use hand sanitizers. People who are suffering from Corona Virus and those who are looking after them are required to wear mask. There is currently no vaccine to prevent Corona Virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).The best way to prevent illness is to stay at home and avoid being exposed to this virus. Listen here.
Dr. Sania Nishtar holds a new radio program every day to educate masses on Corona Virus
March 17, 2020 – Islamabad: Given the Corona Virus pandemic across Pakistan, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation will be reaching out the wider national audience every morning through Radio Pakistan’s live program, “Raabta” relating to Corona outbreak. Aiming to address the need of the hour, Dr. Nishtar together with Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar who is an expert in epidemiology, will hold new program on daily basis to educate the masses about Corona virus, its transmission, symptoms and precautionary measures. They will reply to questions of listeners who can connect with them on telephone by calling directly at 051-9206995 and 051-9215206. Talking to the people in today’s program, Dr. Nishtar highlighted the measures being taken by the Government of Pakistan to fight this epidemic and urged them to fully cooperate with government by following all required precautionary measures to defeat coronavirus. This program would also be translated and broadcast in Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi and Barahvi languages and can be listened everyday at 10 am through this link.
Ehsaas ensures people’s health and wellness in making Kafaalat payments amid Corona outbreak
March 17, 2020- Islamabad: Since Covid-19 outbreak has now been classified as a pandemic, Ehsaas has come up with preventive measures for Kafaalat beneficiaries to ensure their safety while trying to continue biometrically enabled Kafaalat payments in the field. Taking into consideration, the current situation wherein Corona epidemic has potentially affected several areas of Pakistan, Kafaalat registration centres mobilized by NADRA across 15 districts of Pakistan have been advised to suspend self-registration drive from March 16, 2020 till April 5, 2020. Alongside that, Ehsaas has issued precautionary protocols to stringently comply with sanitization, hygiene and social distance while making biometrically enabled payments to Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries. To ascertain the compliance of the above beneficiary safety system aimed to combat the corona outbreak, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation visited an HBL Konnect outlet in Islamabad and demonstrated the precautionary procedure to the women who had gathered at the point of sales to get newly released tranche of Rs. 9,000 that includes previous arrears.
Dr. Nishtar lauds civil society initiative to scale up girls education program
March 13, 2020 – Islamabad: The British High Commission and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in partnership with civil society organisation Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) hosted a discussion and marketplace event titled, ‘Leave No Girl Behind: Scaling up What Works for Adolescent Girls in Pakistan’ in Islamabad. In her keynote address, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar lauded the civil society initiative which has a long-standing history of work to promote a second-chance-for-girls in education. Reiterating further, she stated, ‘Government is conscious of glaring gender disparities in many sectors across Pakistan. Attention to women issues particularly social protection, education, livelihoods and economic empowerment is central to Prime Minister’s multisectoral Ehsaas program. We stringently follow 50 percent plus benefits policy for women under Ehsaas to create equal opportunities for them across the board ensuring that no girl is left behind. Ehsaas Kafaalat, undergraduate scholarships, interest free loans and Amdan are specifically aimed to bring women on the pathways to socioeconomic prosperity.’
PM launches Ehsaas Data4Pakistan portal to steer evidence driven decision making in social welfare solutions
March 10, 2020-Islamabad: Prime Minister launched the Ehsaas District Development Portal titled, “Data4Pakistan” that provides open and public access to a spatial interactive portal with poverty estimates, interactive maps, indices and reports for every district in Pakistan, along with over 120 development and policy indicators. The portal currently has six rounds of district poverty and development data, covering the period 2004-18. Addressing the ceremony, the PM said, “A civilized society is known by the standard of living of its poor. This is the first step in finding the necessary ways and means to fight poverty and will help identify areas which are in most need of funds, besides finding other vital statistics about issues being faced by local people.” The portal has been developed in collaboration with the World Bank. This portal will be a very valuable resource for federal, provincial and district level policymakers, for decision making. Earlier, demonstrating the features of this ground-breaking Ehsaas initiative, Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation stated, “Data4Pakistan is one of the 134 programs and policies under Ehsaas that is aimed to leverage data and technology to create solutions for welfare.” The portal can be accessed here.
PM launches Ehsaas Kafaalat in KP to uplift disadvantaged women across the province
March 9, 2020 – Peshawar: The Prime Minister Imran Khan formally launched Ehsaas Kafaalat programme in KP at a ceremony in Mohmand Tribal district to financially and digitally empower the disadvantaged women across KP. During the ceremony, the PM distributed Ehsaas Kafaalat cards among deserving women and appreciated the Kafaalat registration and payment system that has recently been put in place under Ehsaas framework to ensure financial and digital inclusion of the marginalized women. Under the umbrella of Ehsaas, the Kafaalat programme has currently begun by enrolling deserving families in 4 districts of KP- Lakki Marwat, Mohmand Agency, Haripur and Charsadda districts and it will be expanded to all other districts by the end of year. Following on the federal launch of Ehsaas Kafaalat programme by the Prime Minister on Jan 31, 2020 in Islamabad, this was the first provincial launch of Ehsaas Kafaalat in any province. While addressing the event, the PM said, “The government is working to provide relief to the downtrodden segments of the society on the pattern of Riyasat-e-Madina.” Chief Minister, KP Mahmood Khan and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar also spoke at the occasion. Footage can be accessed here.
Dr. Sania joins women’s day celebrations at Aiwan-e-Sadar
March 8, 2020- Islamabad: To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020 and to discuss issue of women’s harassment in Pakistan, President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi hosted an event at Aiwan-e-Sadar in Islamabad. While discussing the issue of women’s harassment at the event, the president also referred to the government’s flagship social welfare programme Ehsaas and said that the government was committed to ensure social and economic betterment of womenfolk. The ceremony was attended by PM’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, Federal Ombudsman, Kashmala Tariq, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, prominent women personalities and representatives of different organizations.
Dr. Sania Nishtar spot checks Ehsaas Kafaalat Registration Desks at Haripur
March 6, 2020 – Islamabad: In a quest to draw on lessons from the field, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar paid an impromptu visit to Ehsaas Kafaalat registration desks set up by NADRA in Haripur. The visit aimed to overlook the self-registration process for deserving women in Kafaalat through on spot checking and feedback from people and officials. Despite heavy rains, the visit saw long queues of women who had gathered to get themselves registered under the Prime Minister’s Kafaalat program under Ehsaas framework. Dr. Nishtar stood with the applicant women in the queue who had arrived for Kafaalat self-registration, took round of the facility and interacted with women and officials to enquire about the current applicant care process and arrangements. Footage can be accessed here. Later, she visited Alfalah Bank’s alfa pay outlets in Haripur to check the results of newly introduced payment digital payment system for Kafaalat beneficiaries. Footage can be accessed here.
PM grants need based Ehsaas scholarships to leaders of tomorrow
March 2, 2020, Prime Minster Imran Khan granted Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships for academic year 2019-20 to the first batch of deserving students in Islamabad.Addressing the leaders of tomorrow, the Prime Minister reiterated that Pakistan’s biggest asset is the country’s youth and Ehsaas scholarships for deserving undergraduate students is another step towards the realization of the goal of a welfare state based on the pattern of state of Madina. Aiming to provide higher education opportunities for 200,000 students coming from underprivileged backgrounds, the 4-year Ehsaas undergraduate scholarship program is the largest ever need based scholarship program in the history of our country. The scholarship offers full-tuition fee and a living stipend (Rs.4,000 per month) for bright yet disadvantaged students to earn an undergraduate degree at any of the 119 public sector universities across Pakistan (including GB and AJK) recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). As part of the policy, the scholarship support will be continued to awardees throughout the course of their undergraduate degree program based on their academic performance. Earlier, speaking at the award ceremony, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar said, “ The scholarships will be awarded on transparency and merit to help the deserving students get education.”
Ehsaas scholarships to be first ever state sponsored mega initiative: Dr. Nishtar addresses press conference
Feb 28, 2020, Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar while addressing a press conference at PID said that it is for the first time in the history that such a big undergraduate scholarship programme has been initiated purely on government expenses under ‘Ehsaas’ to ensure that 50,000 deserving students access the higher education annually. She addressed a press conference along with a senior leader of PTI, Dr. Shahbaz Gill and Advisor Human Resource Development, HEC, Noor Amna Malik. Dr. Sania Nishtar briefed media that this scholarship will accommodate 200,000 students including 50 per cent girls from the low backgrounds in the four years through providing them full tuition fee as well as living stipends.
Ehsaas Rural Value Chain Building Committee brings myriad stakeholders to the table to formulate Ehsaas rural value chain framework
Feb 28, 2020, The Ehsaas Value Chain Building Committee met today for third time at the Prime Minister’s office to deliberate on strengthening rural value chains agenda, which comes under the umbrella of the pioneering Ehsaas social protection and poverty alleviation programme. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, chaired the meeting. The meeting brought experts’ perspective to the table around building value chains for rural transformation, catalyzing increased productivity, increased incomes for subsistence farmers and job creation. The meeting was an opportunity for the leadership from across eight federal government ministries and Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Livestock – to join representatives of key national and international finance, food and agriculture bodies – including the key persons from State Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, FBR, Government research entities, and representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID and Japan International Cooperation Agency, TELCOS including Telenor and Jazz. In attendance were also representatives from IFAD, which is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations Agency and collaborator on this initiative.
Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships Steering Committee gathers to give final touches to scholarship program
February 27, 2020, The Steering Committee of Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships met for the fourth time to give final touches to the scholarship program for the academic year 2019-2020. The steering committee is co-chaired by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Nishtar and Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr. Tariq Banuri. The steering committee discussed and finalized the schedule for scholarship distribution to 50,000 deserving students for the year 2019-2020. For the current academic year, applications were solicited from students online via HEC’s portal-HEC being the implementing agency for this Ehsaas program. The scholarships award will soon commence and dates for this will be shortly announced. “The steering committee will ensure that scholarship program benefits maximum number of students who are in actual need”, reiterated Dr. Nishtar.
Dr. Sania Nishtar sits on the grounds of QAU to discuss Ehsaas Scholarships
February 26, 2020, Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships is one of the eight priority programs of Ehsaas. For the current academic year (2019/20), the scholarships award will begin soon and dates for this will be shortly announced. In this regard, the Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation made a surprise visit to the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. She held a dialogue with students in the grounds of QAU. “This was a critical policy consultation, which enabled me to appreciate fully how important financial access to education is for students at an undergraduate level” she said. VC QAU, Muhammad Ali was also present at the occasion. The consultation with students wasn’t held in a fancy hotel or auditorium; there were no microphones or fancy backdrops. She sat on the floor on the grounds of QAU and interacted with students to get insights on their academic aspirations and key challenges being faced by them. She listened to students and empathized with them to understand their concerns and constraints. “I strongly believe that we cannot frame policies sitting back in offices; unless we engage with the beneficiaries of programs we run, we cannot ensure that programs are responsive” she said. The students were delighted to interact with her. Footage can be accessed here.
Ehsaas convenes big data analytics consultation with stakeholders
February 24, 2020, Ehsaas convened a consultative meeting on ‘Big Data Analytics’ with the key stakeholders at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in Islamabad. The meeting provided an opportunity to develop a better understanding of the existing capacity within the country regarding data analytics and how it can be leveraged to design and implement, accelerated and lasting social protection and poverty alleviation initiatives under the overarching Ehsaas framework. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty and Chairperson BISP chaired the meeting. Big Data Analytics are key to Ehsaas framework as their use enables important insights from programmatic data, enhancing the accuracy of decision-making processes for various Ehsaas programs, initiatives and policy actions.
FAO and Ehsaas explore options to drive forward the progressive agriculture and nutrition agenda
February 14, 2020, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, welcomed the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Mr. Qu Dongyu, and his delegation to Ehsaas offices in Islamabad to explore collaborations for Ehsaas, the Prime Minister’s flagship poverty alleviation programme. This was Mr. Dongyu’s first official visit to any country in Asia. The meeting discussed avenues of cooperation to drive forward the progressive agriculture and nutrition agenda and working closely to deliver to the small farmers and disadvantaged people in rural areas of Pakistan. The FAO is part of Ehsaas Value Chain Building Committee, which comprises of diverse stakeholders exploring how to most effectively shape a value chain building policy to address challenges faced by farmers in rural areas of Pakistan. The FAO is also a member of Ehsaas Development Partnership Group, which provides integrated, coherent and aligned technical support to the Government of Pakistan for the implementation of Ehsaas strategy.
Ehsaas welcomes Turkish First Lady to Pakistan Bait ul Mal’s sewing machine distribution ceremony
February 14, 2020, Turkish first lady, Emine Erdogan together with the first lady of Pakistan, Samina Alvi was the chief guest at the Ehsaas sewing machines donation ceremony organized jointly by Pakistan Bait ul Mal and TIKA – Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency. Addressing the deserving women who were gifted sewing machines, the Turkish first lady said that the friendly relationship between Pakistan and Turkey would further strengthen for the benefit of their people. She assured that Turkey would provide assistance to Pakistan in domain of social welfare. First Lady of Pakistan Samina Arif Alvi said that the government was determined to make women the useful segment of society as without their participation, the concept of national development was irrelevant. PM’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Managing Director – Pakistan Bait ul, Mal Aun Abbas Bappi and senior officials were also present. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Nishtar shared that Pakistan Bait ul Mal under the umbrella of Ehsaas was taking steps for empowerment of women in line with the vision of President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. She expressed gratitude to Turkish first lady for giving away sewing machines to the women suffering from Thalassemia.
Women Empowerment at the heart of Ehsaas: Dr. Sania delivers keynote at GLWE Roundtable
Feb 7, 2020, In continuation of efforts for women empowerment, inclusion and participation in the country’s socioeconomic uplift, The World Bank organized a roundtable at Telenor Pakistan headquarters under its Girls Learn, Women Earn (GLWE) initiative. The roundtable discussed the significance of female participation in the country’s labour force was discussed. The session was attended by representatives from key telecom players, microfinance banks, and policy makers. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was a keynote speaker at the event. In her keynote statement Dr. Nishtar stated, “Women empowerment is at the heart of Ehsaas framework. The programme is highly skewed towards uplifting of disadvantaged women through a mutisectoral approach, enabling them to become contributing members of the economy. With Ehsaas Development Partners’ Forum in place and public private partnership in the pipeline, the multistakeholder construct of Ehsaas solutions offers wide-ranging opportunities to exploit synergies. Adding further, she elaborated, “To bring about more sustainable change, Ehsaas constantly follows the fifty percent rule for women inclusion in all Ehsaas initiatives including interest free loans, scholarships and asset transfers. Kafaalat that has recently been launched by the PM will ensure financial and digital inclusion of 7 million disadvantaged women across Pakistan.”
Dr. Sania makes global recommendations in Geneva to reduce killer diseases
Feb 5, 2020, As health leaders gathered in Geneva for the World Health Organization’s Executive Board; Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation delivered the final report of the WHO Independent Commission on High-Level Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) to WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Noncommunicable diseases kill still account for more than 70% of deaths. “We need to stop talking and accelerate action to beat the biggest killers,” said Dr. Nishtar. “The new recommendations provide governments with concrete steps on how to take clear, which will dramatically decrease the mortality and morbidity of NCDs.” Dr. Nishtar outlined an eight-point recommendation plan to WHO’s Director-General, which could save millions of lives and promote mental health. The high-level commission was convened by Dr. Tedros in October 2017 and Dr. Sania was installed as a co-chair with several Heads of State from across the world. The aim was to identify innovative ways to curb the world’s leading causes of death: cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, respiratory diseases and mental health conditions.
Governor GB and Dr. Sania explore federal-provincial collaborations
Feb 4, 2020, Governor Gilgit Baltistan, Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon called on Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation to discuss federal-provincial partnerships under the Ehsaas framework. Dr. Nishtar briefed the Governor on the running Ehsaas initiatives including Ehsaas Kafaalat, Ehsaas Interest Free Loans, Ehsaas Langars and Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships and apprised him on the ‘Ehsaas webpage for Parliamentarians” that has been optimized for mobile phones. Governor GB appreciated Ehsaas programme and assured full support of GB government to ensure that Ehsaas endeavours benefit the most deserving.
Ehsaas determined to reshaping women entrepreneurship: Dr. Sania
February 04, 2020, Entrepreneurial women leaders from Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) came to the table with Ehsaas at Pak China Friendship Centre in Islamabad to explore the collaborative opportunities aimed at supporting artisanal women. The meeting was convened jointly by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Amir Ali, Chairman, Capital Development Authority to support entrepreneurial women under the Ehsaas programme that is the multisectoral antipoverty programme of the present Government. The deliberations explored options for supporting the Women Chamber under the Ehsaas framework. Women Chamber brought light to the pressing need for the display centre in the capital to showcase and promote the work of artisanal women from far flung areas. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Chairman CDA assured that they will explore the suitable sites in Islamabad for setting up display centre exclusively for artisanal women.
PM Imran Khan Launches ‘Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme’ for 7 million deserving women
Jan 31, 2020, Putting the poorest women at the heart of poverty alleviation was the key message behind the Prime Minister’s launch of the Ehsaas Kafaalat programme in Islamabad. Coming under the Ehsaas poverty alleviation and social safety umbrella, Kafaalat is a new unconditional cash-transfer programme that will provide monthly payments of Rs. 2,000 to seven million disadvantaged women across the country. Addressing the participants at the event, the PM said that this programme is aimed to facilitate the poor segments of the society. The initiative is a realisation of the PM’s commitment to “One Woman, One Bank Account”policy with each beneficiary now having access to their own bank account. The programme will also improve access of the women to the smart phone. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, has led the design of this new programme, which is a successor to the outdated BISP system. Unlike previous systems, Kafaalat will deploy technology including biometrics and mobile banking to ensure accountability, transparency and protection are inbuilt, taking power away from corrupt officials and agents and giving it back to poor and deserving women.
Dr. Sania inspires global women leaders in Karachi
Jan 30, 2020, The tenth ‘International Women Leaders’ Summit’ was held in Karachi, bringing together women leaders from across the globe, to reflect on their stories of success, and inspire others to take the lead. The Summit focused on bringing 250 women professionals and together by inspiring them through success stories of global women leaders. . The keynote speaker, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation highlighted the evolution of women’s empowerment in Pakistan and the importance of promoting inclusiveness of women in the workforce. She also spoke of the upcoming Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme being launched by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to benefit the disadvantaged women across the country. Adding further, she said, “Tomorrow’s launch of Ehsaas Kafaalat will change the lives of millions of poor women who have been financially excluded”. The event was well attended by members of the diplomatic community, renowned women entrepreneurs, and heads of bilateral trade associations, teams from the World Bank Group, senior businessmen and members of the media.
Title: Government’s bold decision to depoliticize Safety nets: Quaid’s picture to be on Ehsaas Kafaalat cards
Jan 30, 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch the innovative new Kafaalat program, on Jan 31 which will provide PKR 2,000 monthly cash payments to 7 million of the poorest women in the country. In a brave and unprecedented move, the new Ehsaas Kafaalat card unveiled a day prior to the launch has the Quaid’s picture. Previous safety net initiatives under BISP were mired in politicization because of the image of political figures. By putting the Quaid’s picture on the identification card, the Government has settled the matter once and for all and has depoliticized the matter of safety nets. “There are major differences between the earlier BISP program and Kafaalat”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation. “Major changes have been made after 10 years. The survey methodology has been revised to enable ongoing identification of beneficiaries through desk registration. The new biometrically enabled payment system has been introduced, cash transfer has been increased, inflation adjusted and the safety net Kafaalat now offers digital and financial inclusion opportunity since women will have bank accounts and better access to mobile phones”, added Dr. Nishtar.
Dr. Sania inaugurates Ehsaas innovative digital payment system for poorest women in KP
Jan 27, 2020, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation visited a branch of Bank Alfalah located at Shuba Chowk in Peshawar to oversee final preparations for the launch of the new Kafalat cash-transfer program, which will enable cash disbursements of Ehsaas Kafalat Programme. Sitting under the umbrella of Ehsaas, the Kafalat programme will use a fully biometric payment system to provide safe, digital cash payments to millions of women across the country, giving them access to a bank account for the first time in their lives. “The Ehsaas Kafalat programme is a major component of the government’s plans to build a welfare state which supports the poorest in society”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar during the visit. During the visit, Dr. Nishtar observed how Bank Alfalah plans to provide a welcoming environment for those people who have not previously used a bank, including their methods for guiding beneficiaries through the new system of finger-print security. Footage can be accessed here.
Pakistan Post Foundation helps deliver new flagship Ehsaas Kafalat
Jan 27, 2020, Preparations for the new Kafalat cash-transfer programme are well underway at the Pakistan Post Foundation, with eligibility letters ready to be delivered to the first wave of beneficiaries across the country. The process of readying the official letters for distribution was inspected during a visit over the weekend by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services, Murad Saeed. They saw how the official envelopes were printed, stuffed with letters and sorted into geographical areas, and then handed to the Postmen for delivery to those families that need support the most. The Kifalat is a key policy of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme, which is working to lift people out of poverty and create a welfare state. Footage can be accessed here.
Dr. Sania briefs CM KP on Ehsaas Kafalat
Jan 27, 2020, Following the inauguration ceremony of biometrically enabled ATM for the poorest women in Peshawar, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation called on CM KP and briefed him on the new digital payment system introduced under upcoming Kafalat programme. Kafalat is being launched by the Prime Minster Imran Khan on January 30, 2020. Dr. Nishtar apprised the CM that it is the first time that biometrically enabled efficient digital system has been put in place to ensure transparency in cash transfer system for the poor. ATMs are being opened by the partner banks and Points of Sales (PoS) are being increased to benefit the disadvantaged women under the Kafalat.
Ehsaas Communications Committee Meeting discusses plan for the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme
Jan 27, 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be launching the Ehsaas Kafalat programme on January 31, 2020. Preparations are underway to give final touches to the launch. The Ehsaas Communications Committee meeting was an important component of the preparations. The members of the Communications Committee met to deliberate on the comprehensive communications plan for Ehsaas Kafalat Programme. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation chaired the meeting. The meeting discussed print, electronic and social media engagement plans for the forthcoming mega launch event. Kafalat is a key policy of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme, which is working to lift around 7 million women out of poverty and create a welfare state.
The Ehsaas Ministry releases the first ever Ehsaas Newsletter
Jan 23, 2020, Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (the Ehsaas Ministry) has released the first-ever “Ehsaas” Newsletter. Since Ehsaas’ inception last year as the country’s largest pro-poor program, it has seen incredible support from local, national and international stakeholders to deliver on the Prime Minister’s vision of creating a 21st century welfare state. The newsletter looks back at the Ehsaas program’s progress over 2019. The newsletter can be accessed here.
Biometric ATMs enabled Ehsaas digital payment system made operational
Jan 24, 2020, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation inaugurated the new biometric ATM at Habib Bank Limited branch (partner bank) in Melody Market Islamabad for the beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kifalat Programme. Prime Minister Imran Khan will be launching the Ehsaas Kifalat programme on January 31, 2020. Preparations are underway to give final touches to the launch. The Ehsaas digital payment system is an important competent of Kifalat and is a significant progress from the earlier BISP payment system in many respects. This is the first ever digital system that has been introduced to facilitate cash transfers to Kifalat women beneficiaries in a transparent manner. Procurement of the system was completed in a transparent manner last year. Two banks Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Bank Alfalah (BA) were selected after a 10-month procurement process. The senior HBL officials were also present at the inauguration. Footage can be accessed here.
Ehsaas has multiple initiatives that can utilize digital technologies to target neediest population effectively: Dr. Sania
Jan 23, 2020, To improve digital access, Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital company has launched Pakistan-ka-Smartphone, JazzDigit4G, which is an extremely affordable 4G handset which will be sold at a price of around PKR 1,800. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP was the chief guest at the launch event who lauded a private sector company for investing in improving the country’s digital and financial inclusion landscape. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Nishtar stated, “Ehsaas is the Government’s signature programme dedicated towards poverty alleviation in Pakistan through leveraging technology and promoting access of the vulnerable population to digital and financial inclusion.” She then continued, “Most of the digitally excluded segments are poor women, and initiatives like KaiOS which further digital inclusion can improve outcomes significantly. Ehsaas has multiple initiatives that can utilize digital technologies to target the neediest population effectively”.
JICA Mission keen to collaborate with PM’s Ehsaas Programme
January 23, 2020, A visiting Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Mission of 8 members from Tokyo led by Dr. Shigemochi Hirashima, Senior Advisor to JICA met with Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation in Islamabad. The mission aimed to explore the possibilities of collaboration between Ehsaas programme and JICA. During meeting, the deliberations focused on understanding the multisectoral Ehsaas policies, programmes and initiatives concerning poverty alleviation and rural development to explore areas of mutual cooperation and discuss JICA’s ongoing contributions in Pakistan. Secretary PASSD was also present in the meeting. The JICA mission highly commended Ehsaas that is largest ever poverty reduction programme of the Government of Pakistan. Dr. Nishtar appreciated the contributions of JICA in areas of education and health across Pakistan. She briefed the mission about Ehsaas that currently embodies 134 policies and programme areas.
Japan Communications Inc. delegation calls on Dr. Sania
Jan 23, 2020, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was called on by Japan Communications Inc. (JCI) delegation led by Fukuda Naohisa, Chairman, & Fukuda Shizue, Member Board of Directors to explore tech-based collaborative opportunities under the Ehsaas framework. The discussions revolved around promoting access of marginalized population of Pakistan to digitization & Fintech platforms.
12th CSR Summit 2020- Dr. Sania says special system to be launched in three months to ensure transparency in spending private sector donations for Ehsaas programme
Jan 22, 2020, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar said that the federal government is going to launch an institutional arrangement in next three months allowing the corporate and private sectors to connect with Ehsaas Programme being the government’s flagship welfare initiative with utmost transparency and efficiency. She stated this while addressing as the chief guest at the inauguration of 12th Annual CSR Summit-2020 organized by National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) in Islamabad. Dr. Nishtar said that she had been advising the philanthropists associated with the country’s corporate sector and willing to donate for the Ehsaas programme to wait for another three months to let this special purpose vehicle be launched allowing the government to receive these donations from the private sector and spend them with utmost integrity and honesty. Further, she added that a web portal would be launched under the proposed arrangement to let the private sector know well as in what manner each of the penny of the philanthropic donations would be spent for the welfare of the individuals and for the benefit of several initiatives of the Ehsaas programme.
President appreciates the philanthropic work of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal
Jan 22, 2020, President Dr. Arif Alvi during his visit to Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal’s (PBM) was briefed on programmess which are part of Ehsaas framework. The President appreciated the tremendous philanthropic work being done and emphasized that the efforts must be coordinated in the same direction by taking all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the loop for uplifting the marginalized strata of the society to increase the philanthropic footprint across the country. Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Adviser on Establishment, Mohammad Shehzad Arbab, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan and Managing Director, Aun Abbas Bappi were also present at the occasion.
BISP signs MoU with Health Department, Government of GB
Jan 22, 2020, BISP inked an MoU with Health Department, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan for the launch of Ehsaas Health & Nutrition Conditional Cash Transfer Programme across Gilgit-Baltistan. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation witnessed the signing ceremony. The project is part of Ehsaas strategy which envisages launch of a new community and health and nutrition initiative to address stunting in children. Under the programme, BISP will provide conditional cash grant to pregnant and lactating BISP beneficiaries and their children under two years of age for consumption of Specialized Nutrition Food (SNF) in 3 districts of GB namely Ghizer, Hunza and Kharmang. In rest of the districts of GB, BISP beneficiaries will be provided with a conditional cash transfer on compliance of immunization against Vaccine Preventable Diseases.
Dr. Sania addresses BISP beneficiaries at Khuli Kachehri in Karachi
Jan 18, 2020,The Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar has announced that under the Upcoming Kifalat Program, the quarterly stipend under the BISP is being increased from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 6,000. She stated this while talking to a large number of women beneficiaries of BISP at a Khuli Kachehri (open court) in Malir, Karachi. Dr. Nishtar said that the stipend was being increased as per the vision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan that the government should benefit the deserving people in the country. Furthermore, she said under the upcoming Ehsaas Kifalat programme, the increased sum of stipend would be dispensed as monthly instalments and every beneficiary would get Rs 2,000 in the first week of each month. Dr. Nishtar elaborated that every woman beneficiary of the programme would have a bank account as special arrangements have been made for evolving this banking system. She continued that women beneficiaries would be able to draw the BISP stipend while using an ATM card. The project is an income support initiative of the federal government under the Ehsaas framework.
Dr. Sania continues drawing on field visits to ensure results-driven implementation of Ehsaas
January 16, 2020, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar visited Choa Saiden Sahah and Kallar Kahar areas in Chakwal together with Secretary, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division and senior officials from NADRA to review the quality of services and facilities being established by NADRA at the special purpose counters for self-registration of Ehsaas beneficiaries so that no deserving person is left out from the Ehsaas programme. She took round of facilities provided at the two self-registration sites, met with the staff and people present there and enquired about the current arrangements. The delegation led by SAPM also visited the BISP Tehsil offices in Choa Saiden Shah and Kallar Kahar and Basic Health Unit in Khairpur areas of Chakwal. During the visit, Dr. Nishtar also met with dwellers of slums residing in the impoverished suburbs of Chakwal. As conversations unfolded, she discussed about the status of registrations of dwelling families with NADRA database and their accessibility to channels and sources of information locally available to them so that Ehsaas could extend maximum benefits to the most deserving.
Ehsaas announces the Winner of Ehsaas Logo Contest
January 16, 2020, Ehsaas has announced, Laila Khan from Shahpur Saddar, Sargodha as the Winner of the Kifalat Logo Contest! Laila’s design will be on all informative material relating to Ehsaas Kifalat program. Earlier this month, Ehsaas had launched an online Kifalat Logo Design Contest to pick bright young minds for creative ideas. By Jan 7, 2020 that was last date of submission, Ehsaas received as many as 42 entries from all across Pakistan. The winner has been selected by the jury of experts. Ehsaas is launching a new program Kifalat by the end of this month. Under Kifalat, deserving women will get stipends, saving bank accounts, and access to interest free loans and skills training opportunities besides other benefits. Details on twitter at @SaniaNishtar.
ADB Mission calls on Dr. Sania Nishtar to explore collaborative options
Jan 15, 2020, The Asian Development Bank Mission called on Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation to explore avenues of technical collaboration under Ehsaas framework. The Mission was led by Country Director, Xaiohong Yang. ADB Mission praised the social welfare and poverty alleviation initiatives rolled out under the multisectoral Ehsaas programme and assured full cooperation to continue its support to the deprived segments of the society in Pakistan, through the Ehsaas programme. Dr. Nishtar acknowledged the support extended by ADB to Pakistan and stated that ADB has a key role in supporting women empowerment and poverty alleviation across the country.
President Hails Ehsaas Inclusive Disability Policies
Jan 8, 2020: President Arif Alvi hosted a high-level consultation with leading civil society representatives from across Pakistan to discuss how the government is expanding access to services for people with disabilities through the Ehsaas program. Also, in attendance were the First Lady of Pakistan, Mrs. Samina Alvi, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, the wives of the Governors of Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, MD Pakistan Bait ul Mal, Aon Abbas Bappi, representative from WHO, civil society as well as other representatives from across the federal government. “Differently-abled people deserve our special attention as they face many hardships, not all of them as a result of their disability,” said President Arif Alvi. He emphasized that collective efforts from all segments of society in synergy with the Government are required to mainstream them in society as well as in social, economic and political decision making.” Held in the President’s House in Islamabad, the two-hour session included a presentation by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection, who explained how Ehsaas is targeting its policies to ensure that the differently abled can thrive in Pakistan.
Ehsaas and UBL explore options to improve financial access of disadvantaged
Jan 8, 2020: Ehsaas and United Bank Limited (UBL) came to the table in Islamabad to explore collaborative options for improving financial access of the disadvantaged segments of population. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation (PASSD). Secretary PASSD was also present. UBL team was led by Sima Kamil, CEO and President, UBL.
The deliberations revolved around new Ehsaas initiatives to enhance financial accessibility of the vulnerable to enable them to escape poverty. The Ehsaas Financial Inclusion is a multi-component initiative. It includes the Prime Minister’s one woman one bank account policy; bank accounts for informal workers under Mazdoor ka Ehsaas and promotion of access to credit for the bottom of the pyramid.
BISP takes action against Government officers who took benefit from BISP
Jan 8, 2020: BISP has taken action against 2,543 government officers/their spouses of grade-17 and above who had got themselves registered among the beneficiaries from the social safety net and received the assistance meant for the poorest of the poor. They have been excluded from the programme. The BISP has also written to the provincial chief secretaries and federal ministries whose officers had illegally enrolled themselves as BISP beneficiaries. To avoid such irregularities in future, appropriate measures had been taken under the government’s Ehsaas programmer reforms, Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and BISP Chairperson said. According to official data, the highest number of government officials receiving the BISP assistance was from Sindh. As many as 1,122 officers of Grade-17 and above from the province had been BISP beneficiaries. The second highest number came from Balochistan where 741 government officials were signed up for the poverty alleviation scheme. From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 403 government officials availed the BISP funds, while 137 did so from Punjab. From the federal government, 62 officers received the programme funds. Additionally, one officer of the Pakistan Railways, 22 of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and 49 of Gilgit-Baltistan were also marked as undeserving recipients of the BISP.
Dr. Sania Nishtar paid unannounced visits in Islamabad to enquire about quality of Ehsaas social welfare programmes
Jan 3, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation paid surprise visits to Islamabad based branchless banking retailer outlets of BISP’s partner commercial bank in Blue Area, F-8 and G-9 areas of Islamabad. The visit aimed to check the working of their officials while dealing with registered deserving women. Recently, BISP has introduced quarterly payments to women through biometric verification at branchless banking retailers. Dr. Nishtar sat with the women present at the outlets to collect cash grants and discussed with them the problems they were facing while receiving their compensations. This was part of her visits to enquire about the quality of Ehsaas programmes, witnessing and observing on-the-ground situation without prior intimation. The footage can be accessed here. Later, she visited Utility Store situated at G-9 in Islamabad together with Chairman and Managing Director, Utility Stores Corporation to see the quality of food and non-food items that are provided to the public and specially to the poor, at comparatively cheaper rates than the market. During her visit, she appreciated USC’s commitment in line with the Prime Minister’s directives to ensure the provision of basic commodities to the poverty-stricken families on subsidized and cheaper rates.The footage can be accessed here.
Sania Nishtar Visits Panagah At Mandi More
Jan 1, 2019: Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar who leads the Ehsaas programme paid a surprise visit to the Mandi More Panah Gah together with DC Islamabad and his team to review the facilities being provided by the government to people in need. Dr. Nishtar took round of the facility and interacted with the people staying there. She assured them that the Ehsaas would take similar steps to improve their economic conditions. The Special Assistant shared that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed all the Cabinet Ministers to visit Panah Gahs and ensure that nobody stays shelterless and hungry in this extreme cold weather. Adding further, she said, “Ehsaas is committed to ensure that Panah Gahs serve the needy and poor across the country.” Free meal is served to 1,500 people at the Panah Gah everyday. The people, labourers and needy travelers living in the Panah Gah, were happy to find Dr. Nishtar among them. The footage can be accessed here.
New Study launched on leveraging social protection system for stunting prevention
Dec 17, 2019, A new study in Pakistan has revealed a 15 percent reduction in stunting and 33 percent reduction in wasting in children at 24 months as a result of specialized nutritious foods (SNF), cash-based transfers, and social and behavioral change communication (SBCC). The joint study by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the Aga Khan University, and the Integrated Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child Health & Nutrition Program (IRMNCH&NP), focused on the impact of the in-kind provisions to prevent stunting among children aged between six and 23 months in Rahimyar Khan. In her remarks, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation stated, “Child stunting is a double-edged sword and remains a major barrier to the human capital development. It is linked to a number of factors including quality of water, sanitation and agricultural incontaminations etc. Within framework of Ehsaas, this new study will guide design and implementation of all nutrition specific policies and interventions on the basis of evidence.”
Oxford University professor praises Ehsaas
Dec 16, 2019, Dr. Sabina Alkire, Professor at the Oxford University visited Pakistan from December 12-15 on the special invitation of Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant of the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and UNDP. Dr. Alkire is the Director of Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford. Dr. Alkire is a global expert in poverty measurement and has developed the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). She was in Pakistan to assist with poverty estimations for Ehsaas. “This year, Dr. Sania Nishtar’s presentation of the innovative Ehsaas Strategy at the MPPN’s UN General Assembly event fomented keen interest. The reason? It had a coherent, high-profile problem-focused approach to poverty using many kinds of tools across different sectors and provinces: legal, financial, judicial, statistical, institutional. Coordination and management are the heart of the Ehsaas approach so diverse actors together could take out the thorns perpetuating poverty”, said Dr. Alkire.
Dr. Sania inaugurates two- day women expo in Islamabad
Dec 15, 2019, Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) organized a two-day expo at Pak-China Friendship Centre on 14th and 15th December, 2019. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation inaugurated the event. The annual event was attended by the women entrepreneurs from all over Pakistan while different NGOs, banks, multinationals, mobile operators, diplomats, and government officials participated in the largest women’s exhibition in Pakistan. Dr. Nishtar met with women entrepreneurs, encouraged them and visited their stalls featuring inspirational work of women in textiles, embroidery, jewelry and pottery etc. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Nishtar said, “Ehsaas is keen to support women entrepreneurs. We will call the second meeting of IWCCI at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat soon to find solutions to problems of women entrepreneurs”.
Ehsaas ties the knot with Facebook
December 14, 2019, In partnership with Facebook, the Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division launched the first-of-its-kind Design Hackathon on malnutrition at the National Incubation Centre in Islamabad. Over the course of two-days, the Design Hackathon will connect experts in malnutrition with digital marketers who, with additional support from Facebook, will help build innovative digital campaigns for social media around the challenges of malnutrition. This is the first in a series of Ehsaas – Facebook collaborative initiatives. “To fight malnutrition today, we need 21st century tools such as digital marketing techniques on social media that can reach wide audiences,” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, speaking today at the launch event.
New Ehsaas Poverty Index Key to Tackling Poverty
December 14, 2019, In partnership with Facebook, the Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division launched the first-of-its-kind Design Hackathon on malnutrition at the National Incubation Centre in Islamabad. Over the course of two-days, the Design Hackathon will connect experts in malnutrition with digital marketers who, with additional support from Facebook, will help build innovative digital campaigns for social media around the challenges of malnutrition. This is the first in a series of Ehsaas – Facebook collaborative initiatives. “To fight malnutrition today, we need 21stcentury tools such as digital marketing techniques on social media that can reach wide audiences,” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, speaking today at the launch event.
Dr. Sabina Alkire calls on President of Pakistan to discuss the use of MPI for poverty policy
Dec 13, 2019, Professor Dr. Sabina Alkire, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative together with Dr. Sania Nishtar called on honorable President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi in Islamabad. They briefed the President about a potential multidimensional poverty plus metrics for Pakistan to gauge progress and impact of Ehsaas programme. The President lauded expert inputs of Dr. Alkire for developing new Ehsaas index to tackle poverty that is currently in the pipeline. Dr. Alkire is here in Pakistan to share international experiences about the use of MPI for poverty policy. She works on a new approach to measuring poverty and well-being that goes beyond the traditional focus on income and growth. This multidimensional approach to measurement includes social goals, such as health, education, nutrition, standard of living and other valuable aspects of life.
Improving Learning Outcomes and Investing in Girls & Women Crucial to Pakistan’s Sustained Growth
December 11, 2019, A national 100-day action program to support girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment launched today at Quaid-e-Azam University, supported by the World Bank Group. The ‘Girls Learn, Women Earn’ launch concluded with a roundtable discussion on women’s participation in the labor force, led by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Chairperson of the BISP. During her keynote address, Dr. Nishtar highlighted the multiple policies under the Ehsaas programme which are driving women’s fuller participation in both the economy and society. She highlighted, “Kifalat is the new digital and financial inclusion policy for poor women under the Ehsaas framework. In addition to stipends, eligible women will now get bank accounts and will have access to mobile phones.”
The Ehsaas Labour Expert Group’s recommendations report in the pipeline
December 10, 2019, The Ehsaas Labour Expert Group (LEG) in its tenth meeting today afforded the opportunity for all stakeholders to sit together, around one table, and flesh out avenues for ensuring that every worker in Pakistan whether they work in the formal or informal economy is provided the protection and minimum standard of living, as pledged by the Constitution of Pakistan. The expert deliberations were held around the key findings of draft report furnished by the LEG for extension of social protection services to the informal labor sector in the first phase of its working. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson of the BISP.
SDG Hackathon 2019 concludes
Dec 8, 2019, The two-and-a-half-day SDG Hackathon 2019 event brought together over 150 participants; a mix of technologists, designers, urban planners, social scientists, NGOs and CSOs, and government representatives to develop innovative solutions aimed to address five particular UN Sustainable Development Goals using technology, data and digital tools. The Women SDG Challenge Cup 2019 was held alongside the hackathon, where women entrepreneurs pitched their startups with a mission to create civic and social impact. “It has been inspiring to hear from the SDG Hackathon participants who are leveraging technology, design thinking and open-source hacking to pave the way for achieving Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation in her closing remarks at the concluding Award Ceremony.
Pakistan: National Survey on Violence against Healthcare Workers launched
Dec 6, 2019, According to the study “Violence against Healthcare Workers: A Survey across 16 Cities of Pakistan” compiled by the International Committee of the Red Cross in collaboration with local research institutes and partners, more than one third of the health-care providers surveyed had experienced some form of violence in the last six months. Speaking at the launch ceremony of the study in Islamabad, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar underlined the grave consequences of violence in healthcare settings and its adverse effects on the delivery of health care. “It is important that we, as healthcare practitioners and as attendants work on changing behaviours towards violence against healthcare and adopt specific multi-disciplinary strategies to protect health care.”
All Pakistan Women Chambers’ Presidents call on Sania Nishtar to seek partnership under Ehsaas
Dec 3, 2019, Presidents of all Pakistan Women Chambers accompanied by leadership of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. The meeting took stock of key challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs around economic activities in the country and explored options for supporting the Women Chambers under the Ehsaas that is the multisectoral antipoverty programme of the Government.
Digital online education system through mobile phones would be introduced to facilitate the people in far flung areas: Dr. Sania
Dec 2, 2019, Honorable President Dr. Arif Alvi inaugurated the three-day conference on “Sustainable Development in a Digital Society”, organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was a keynote speaker at the inaugural session. Addressing the conference, Dr. Nishtar said that the Ehsaas is a multi-sector and multi-component programme encompassing 130 programmes and policy initiatives. She continued that on December 13, a hackathon would be held in collaboration with the Facebook to create mass awareness on the issue of malnutrition. Regarding the utilization of technology in its initiatives, she said a digital online education system through mobile phones would be introduced to facilitate the people in far flung areas, besides establishing agricultural value chains for the farmers. Moreover, she said, the prime minister had recently approved a policy under which 70 million women would be transferred cash assistance through their mobile wallet.
All Pakistan Women Chambers Summit celebrates women in business
Dec 1, 2019, Third All Pakistan Women Chambers Presidents’ Summit (APWCPS) organized by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) began in Rawalpindi. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was a chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas Pakistanis & HRD was also present at the occasion. The summit brought together presidents of women chambers and large number of women entrepreneurs from all across the country. Dr. Nishtar invited Presidents of all Women Chambers in town to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat for a consultation on exploring collaborations under Ehsaas for ensuring effective participation of women in our economy.
Graduates urged to face challenges with courage and perseverance
Nov 30, 2019, Three hundred and fifty graduates celebrated the completion of their programmes at the Aga Khan University’s convocation ceremony where they were urged to remember the importance of courage, perseverance and agility in the years to come. The chief guest at the event, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty alleviation, spoke to the graduating class about integrity, or staying true to one’s moral principles. “The crux of my experience leads me to believe that in order to make lasting and sustainable change you have to root your actions in integrity.”
Graduation ceremony at PAF finishing School held
Nov 30, 2019, Graduation ceremony of the 47th batch of PAF Finishing School was held at the Officers’ Mess, PAF Complex here on Friday. Dr. Sania Nishtar, special assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety was the chief guest at the occasion. The chief guest awarded certificates to the graduating students. Dr. Nishtar congratulated the students on successful completion of their personality development programme at this unique institution of the country. She also praised the standard of training at this premier institution and lauded the efforts of the faculty members in grooming the womenfolk of our society.
HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan and Sania Nishtar Commit to addressing malnutrition in the 1000 days window
Nov 29, 2019, HRH Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan met with Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation in Islamabad to discuss current projects aimed at fighting malnutrition in Pakistan. HRH Princess Sarah is a Special Advisor to the World Food Programme (WFP) on Mother and Child Nutrition, campaigns globally to bring attention to the criticality of good nutrition in the first 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday. Tackling malnutrition is also a core focus of Ehsaas, the government’s pioneering poverty alleviation programme. The meeting was part of a high-level mission by Princess Sarah to Pakistan hosted by the World Food Programme. Addressing the meeting, HRH Princess Sarah lauded the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to address malnutrition across Pakistan. She reiterated that malnutrition has long lasting consequences for families and countries.
Prime Minister launches flagship Ehsaas financial inclusion initiatives
Nov 26, 2019, Millions of people in Pakistan will finally have access to financial services, thanks to the Ehsaas Financial Inclusion Initiatives launched today by the Prime Minister Imran Khan. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands attended the launch in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). Her Majesty Queen Maxima spoke passionately about the need to promote financial inclusion as a tool to empower women and achieve social goals. At the launch, Prime Minister praised the new Ehsaas financial inclusion initiatives and noted the significant impact these will have on the ability of the poorest to escape poverty. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation presented an overview of Ehsaas Financial Inclusion Initiatives. The Ehsaas Financial Inclusion is a multi-component initiative. It includes the Prime Minister’s “one woman one bank account policy”; bank accounts for informal workers under Mazdoor ka Ehsaas; promotion of access to credit for the bottom of the pyramid. Details of Ehsaas Financial Inclusion Initiatives can be accessed here.
Ehsaas holds bilateral meeting with Queen Maxima on financial inclusion
Nov 26, 2019, Earlier today, Ehsaas held a bilateral meeting with a delegation led by Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. The conversation aimed to reinforce collaboration on Financial inclusion in Pakistan under Ehsaas programme. The meeting was hosted by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation who leads Ehsaas programme. During the meeting Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division and Secretary BISP were also present. Queen Máxima is visiting Pakistan in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA).
Prime Minister to launch flagship Ehsaas financial initiatives
Nov 25, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan will tomorrow launch the Ehsaas, ‘Financial Inclusion Initiatives’ in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. Queen Máxima is visiting Pakistan in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). “We look forward to welcoming Queen Maxima to Pakistan who has worked for ten years as the UNSGSA to give people safe and affordable access to the financial services they need to protect themselves against hardship and invest in their futures. With access to a broad range of financial tools – savings, credit, insurance, payments and more, families can move out of poverty, small businesses can expand, farmers can thrive, and societies and economies can grow stronger and more inclusive. The Ehsaas’ financial inclusion initiatives drive access to financial services for the poorest and most marginalized,” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation.
KP Cabinet briefed about Ehsaas
November 21, 2019, KP Cabinet in its 25th meeting was briefed on the Ehsaas programme. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was in the provincial capital for the briefing. Chief Minister KP, Mahmood Khan chaired the meeting. The aim of the meeting was to inform the KP Cabinet about the Ehsaas framework and begin to identify areas for coordination and collaboration. Dr. Nishtar outlined details of Ehsaas programme and particularly stressed on areas which are relevant to federal – provincial partnerships. Members of the Cabinet took keen interest in the ‘Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy’. This was the fourth provincial briefing that Dr. Nishtar has led on Ehsaas, following briefings in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab.
Ehsaas to partner with Facebook on malnutrition ‘Hackathon’
November 20, 2019, The Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division (PASSD) has announced it will partner with Facebook and Invest2Innovate to host a first-of-its-kind ‘Design Hackathon’ on malnutrition at the National Incubation Centre, Islamabad on 14th – 15th December. “Ehsaas is bringing together the brightest talent in digital marketing and technology to tackle malnutrition across the country and improve millions of lives”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation. “Social media is an important channel through which educate and inform the public, and we are excited to see the results of this pioneering Design Hackathon.” Interested digital agencies, health startups, NGOs and individuals with applicable skills who are committed to social justice and poverty alleviation in Pakistan are encouraged to apply. To apply, please click here.
TVO Board meets after six years
Nov 18, 2019, The Board of Directors of Trust for Voluntary Organizations (TVO) has been constituted after six years and held its first meeting today. The TVO was created as an indigenous grantmaking organization in 1990 following an agreement between the Governments of Pakistan and the USA to establish a Special Development Fund, TVO was set up to tap the potential of NGOs. However, for the last six years, its Board had not been constituted, as a result of which, its operations were stalled. Earlier this year, the process of recruiting the Board was initialized in a transparent manner. TVO has been revitalized under Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division because it is envisaged to be one of the executing agencies which will execute the programmes under Ehsaas policy action number thirty-six that aims to serve the marginalized. Today, Dr. Sania Nishtar addressed the TVO Board to communicate to them, the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy of the Government.
Roll out of Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy and Observatory begins
Nov 15, 2019, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) today began the implementation of the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy, which was formally approved by the Cabinet and launched earlier this week. The purpose of the policy is to build systems that strongly discourage corruption, and to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability for results and compliance with the rules. Dr. Sania Nishtar convened a meeting attended by the Principal Accounting Officers and ancillary organizations of the PASSD namely BISP, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and Trust for Voluntary Organizations. The meeting discussed a roadmap for implementation of the new policy and addressed questions around making it as robust as possible.
Development partners, UN agencies and international organizations join forces for Ehsaas
Nov 15, 2019, Eminent intergovernmental agencies and international organizations have joined forces to support the roll-out of the Ehsaas poverty alleviation programme. The Ehsaas Development Partnership Group brought together 45 country heads and representatives from 25 development partners, UN agencies and international organizations working across Pakistan. Meeting today for the first time in Islamabad, the group discussed the terms of reference of their newly established group, the main objective of which is to provide integrated, coherent and aligned technical support and strategic advice to Government of Pakistan for the implementation of Ehsaas strategy. “Ehsaas aims to lift millions of people in Pakistan out of poverty, creating a welfare state in our country for the first time”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, who chaired the first meeting of the group.
Ehsaas leader champions women in the economy
Nov 14, 2019, Texas, USA – Pakistan will thrive as more women participate in the economy. That was the message behind a keynote speech delivered by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation at the U.S.-Pakistan Women in the Economy Symposium today. Hosted by the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in coordination with the US-Pakistan Women’s Council, the roundtable was focused on ambitious ideas to propel women in the economy forward. Dr. Nishtar joined the meeting, which took place in College Station, Texas, via video-link. During her speech she highlighted the multiple policies under the Ehsaas programme which are driving women’s fuller participation in both the economy and society.
New Innovative Financing Key to Tackling Extreme Poverty
Nov 12, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP was the keynote speaker at the roundtable on innovative financing for social impact. The roundtable was jointly organized by Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit in Islamabad. The event was attended by members of the Ehsaas programme committee who are developing innovative financing mechanisms through bilateral and multilateral collaboration with the corporate sector, philanthropists, INGOs, and UN agencies. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Nishtar stated: “It is imperative that Pakistan begin to adopt innovative financing models for the Ehsaas programme, so that it can maximize social impact and fulfill its mission to lift millions of people out of poverty. With a more strategic, collaborative and outcome focused approach to philanthropy and social investing, we can ensure that resources are deployed as effectively as possible to address key social challenges.”
Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Observatory and Policy Aims to Tackle Corruption
Nov 12, 2019, The Cabinet today approved the proposal of “Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Observatory” and “Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy”. Speaking to the press, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation said, “The policy is binding on the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) and its ancillary organizations, namely, the Benazir Income Support Programme, Bait-ul-Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and Trust for Voluntary Organizations and the observatory is meant to ensure tracking of compliance, and, since the key issue with policies is their implementation, that is why, the observatory and the policy have been launched together”. The purpose of the policy is to build systems that strongly discourage corruption, and to promote efficiency, transparency and accountability for results and compliance with rules. These measures are meant to make organizations involved in delivery of welfare, effective and responsive to the needs of those who they are meant to serve, and to ensure rule-based control on the use of public resources.
PM’s Inter-Ministerial Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council (PNNCC) convenes its maiden meeting under Ehsaas
Nov 8, 2019, The Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council (PNNCC) held its maiden meeting in Islamabad today. The creation of the council has been hailed internationally, since the Prime Minister chairs the council with six ministers as its members reflecting both a multisectoral construct as well as high political commitment to address malnutrition. The first meeting was convened by the Vice Chair of the council, Dr. Sania Nishtar and was attended by Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Systems, Regulations and Coordination and other members of the council. The discussion during the first meeting brought the light to myriad nutrition stakeholders working in a fragmented manner with no coordination and significant overlap and duplication. The council has been created to overcome that in coherence. The members of the council decided that mapping of nutrition stakeholders in digital observatory style documentation should be developed as a starting point.
PM announces 200,000 need based undergraduate scholarships under Ehsaas to uplift the unprivileged
November 4, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan has today launched the Ehsaas Scholarships Programme for undergraduate students from low-income backgrounds.Ehsaas has 134 policies, programmes and initiatives and this scheme, which is primarily aimed at enhancing access to higher education is key to building a new Pakistan that works for everyone. The Rs.20 billion need-based scheme is a key initiative of BISP and Higher Education Commission (HEC) under which 50,000 scholarships per year will be awarded to undergraduate students (50 percent girls) from underprivileged families and areas over the next four years. Past scholarship schemes focused on post-graduate degree programmes. However, the new Ehsaas initiative represents a major educational policy change with the focus on undergraduate degrees because they contribute the most to furthering income generation potential. Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister said, “This initiative will drive the country’s talented youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve academic excellence. People have no idea what a big change this programme will bring. Due to unemployment, the talented and intelligent youth of the country were developing intolerance and a tendency towards negative practices; however, this scholarship programme will help deserving students divert their energies towards positivity”. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP also spoke at the event. “Undergraduate Scholarships Programme is one of the best opportunities for students who cannot bear their academic expenses. It is an important element of the Ehsaas framework that aims to foster human capital development and shared prosperity through investing in education of the most deserving and needy, particularly girls”.
WB President visits BISP HQs
Nov 1, 2019, David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group during his visit to Pakistan visited headquarters of BISP. David Malpass was leading a delegation consisting of two regional vice presidents and other high-ranking officials from the Bank. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP Dr. Sania Nishtar together with Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination welcomed the World Bank’s President and his delegation and briefed them on the importance attached by the government to the uplift of the marginalized segments of the society and the positive contribution Ehsaas is making to address poverty and inequality in Pakistan. Dr. Nishtar informed the delegation on government’s multi-sectoral Ehsaas Program and stated that despite limited fiscal space, social protection has been placed high on the government’s agenda and significantly increased resources have been allocated for social protection. Dr. Nishtar also informed Malpass about on new payment model of Kifalat program, which will promote financial inclusion of women through one woman one bank account. During the briefing, Malpass was also apprised of the governance reforms undertaken at BISP to bring transparency and efficiency in operations. Dr. Nishtar also described the mother and child health and nutrition initiative of BISP, recently approved by the BISP Board. David Malpass also had an interactive session with the BISP beneficiaries who, as a part of BISP’s collaboration efforts with the private sector, had improved their livelihood potential and had started their small businesses. He heard the stories of the beneficiaries and asked them questions about the use they made of the cash transfers from the government and the ways in which they embarked on the journey of self-reliance.
High-level conference focuses on transforming poverty in Pakistan
October 30, 2019, Today the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) held its 3rd International Conference on Research and Learning, entitled ‘Beyond Action, Towards Transformation’. The conference focused on developing further dimensions in knowledge and assessed how PPAF’s interventions poor have transformed the lives and communities of the poor. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Dr. Sania Nishtar was a keynote speaker at the inaugural session of the conference. Addressing the audience on the occasion, she said, “I would like to congratulate PPAF on putting together the 3rd International Conference on Research and Learning which will help us navigate the impact of the Graduation Programme on a national scale. Through the Poverty Graduation Programme we aim to make the beneficiaries independent and self-reliant by providing the vulnerable segments of society with livelihoods and social protection. The government is committed to creating greater social and economic equality. Under the ambit of Ehsaas we envision to empower millions across Pakistan by laying greater emphasis on asset transfer.” Other notable speakers at the conference included Hubert Boirard, Country Programme Manager for Pakistan at the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Dr Imran Rasul, Professor of Economics at University College London, Mr. Ijaz Nabi, Mr. Rehan Rafay Jamil, Ms. Ruven Menikdiwela, Country Representative for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Pakistan and many others.
Oct 26, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation has termed the Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme as highly transformational, as it is the largest ever need-based scholarship programme to promote human capital investment. The formal launch of the Scheme by the Prime Minister is planned for next week. She was telephonically addressing the 26th Vice Chancellors Committee Meeting convened by Dr. Muhammad Ali, Chair of the VCs Committee to brief them about the Government’s upcoming Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme. The heads of public universities across the country attended the meeting, majority of them joined through video link from their campuses. She said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan is keen that this Scheme should benefit maximum number of students across the country, and that the Government will allocate more resources for it in the coming years. Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) gave a detailed briefing to the Vice Chancellors on the newly conceptualized scholarship scheme, entitled Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme.
Oct 25, 2019, The project steering committee met today to finalize policy guidelines for the final launch of Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme planned for next week. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman, HEC. Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Additional Secretary Finance, Executive Director HEC, DG – HEC and Convener VCs Committee also came to the table. The Scheme will award Ehsaas scholarships to low-income students enrolled in four and five-year undergraduate programmes. All students from low-income families studying in undergraduate programs in public sector universities are eligible to apply. Selection will be based on need-cum-merit, i.e., on the basis of the student’s GPA and family income (below a maximum threshold). The scholarship covers tuition fee and a living stipend. Fifty per cent of the scholarships will be awarded to female students, while students with special needs as well as those from remote and disadvantaged areas will also be encouraged to apply.
The multisectoral Ehsaas Value Chain Building Committee meets for the first time
Oct 24, 2019, Eight federal ministries and 4 provincial ministries were at the table when the multisectoral Ehsaas Value Chain Building Committee met for the first time at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Poverty in rural areas is deeply linked to agriculture and Pakistan is being faced with unique agriculture challenges particularly small landholdings, subsistence farming, exploitation by extractive Aarhtis (middlemen) and stress selling. Unless private sector investment is made in building rural value chains, it will be difficult to break away from the rural poverty cycle. Ehsaas’ multisectoral Ehsaas Value Chain Building Committee’s diverse perspectives will help to shape a value chain building policy to address these challenges. The Ehsaas Value Chain Building Committee was convened by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation.
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition lauds the constitution of Inter-ministerial Nutrition Taskforce under Ehsaas
Oct 22, 2019, The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, which is funded by the UK Department for International Development, invited Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation to join the Global Panel’s High Level Stakeholder Group (HLSG) meeting in Windsor, UK. Dr. Nishtar attended the meeting through video conferencing. The main objective of the meeting was to seek the critique of members on the Global Panel’s second foresight report on positioning food systems to deliver healthy and sustainable diets. Virtually addressing the meeting as a panel member, Dr. Nishtar elaborated the multisectoral approach of the government of Pakistan under the Ehsaas framework to address nutrition. “Tackling malnutrition is embedded in the strategy of Ehsaas,” she stated.
October 21, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to the meeting of the standing committee on Industries and Production. The standing committee was discussing performance issues of Utility Stores Corporation (USC) along with ways of reforming this organization. Several options came into discussion including tax exemptions, subsidies and low mark up on bank loans. One of the options discussed was routing BISP cash stipends to women beneficiaries through Utility Stores Corporation. The members of the standing committee strongly emphasized on the latter. They said that if BISP routes its cash transfers to women through USC and give rations instead of cash, then USC will become viable. Chairperson BISP, Dr. Nishtar explained that the government had taken the decision to transform the existing cash out operations of BISP into the Ehsaas Kifalat programme through which women will have access to bank accounts and mobile phones under the ‘one woman one bank account initiative’. ‘It was not possible to change the policy course, and in any case, it does not make any logical sense to make change in policy course in order to salvage another organization which should focus on overcoming its performance constraints’, she elaborated.
Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal and PPAF sign MoU to exploit synergy within Ehsaas for women empowerment
Oct 18, 2019, Under overarching Ehsaas framework, two of the executing agencies of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD)- Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), signed an MoU in Islamabad to capitalize on impactful synergies. This partnership based on collaboration and leveraging is primarily aimed at women’s economic empowerment and their uplifting in society. As part of the MoU- 25,000 women trained by Women Empowerment Centres (WECs) of PBM will be provided with interest free loans by PPAF, enabling them to become economically sustainable. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Shaista Sohail, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division witnessed the signing ceremony as Aon Abbas Bappi, Managing Director, PBM and Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO, PPAF inked the MoU. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Nishtar termed the new collaboration within Ehsaas, as a great initiative and hoped that it will benefit deserving women to graduate out of poverty.
Dr Sania receives D.Sc from Kings College London
Oct 16, 2019, Kings College, London has conferred the prestigious Doctorate of Science Honoris Causa on Dr. Sania Nishtar on October 16, in London. Dr. Sania Nishtar is a Kings alumna, and already has a Ph.D from Kings College.
This honour was conferred upon her for her work and contribution in global health and development. She is the only Pakistani woman with both a Ph.D and a D.Sc. According to the Rt. Hon the Lord Geidt, Chairman of Kings College, London “honorary degrees are conferred by Kings on persons of conspicuous merit and the highest distinction. Honorary Graduands have no formal duties as such, but may of course contribute to the life of the University by sharing experiences and expertise or engaging socially” Dr. Nishtar received her degree in person in London. Talking to the press she said “she is deeply humbled”.
Governor Sindh presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Nishtar at 11th Annual Ladies Fund Women’s Awards 2019
Oct 12, 2019, To acknowledge the contributions of women in various fields, Dawood Global Foundation held an award ceremony, 11th Annual Ladies Fund Women’s Awards for Pakistan 2019, at the Governor House in Karachi. Honorable Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail was the chief guest at the event. He presented lifetime achievement award to Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation. Dr. Nishtar also chairs the Benazir Income Support Program and the United Nations International Institute for Global Health’s Advisory Committee. Hundreds of the inspiring women attended the ceremony where people had gathered to celebrate the strength and empowerment of women and acknowledge their achievements of various categories.
Dr. Sania calls on Governor Sindh to explore Ehsaas collaborations
Oct 12, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation who was on a one -day visit to Karachi called on honourable Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail at Governor House in Karachi. Both agreed to explore collaboration around what Ehsaas can offer to Sindh and how can it partner with federal government and private sectors. The Governor termed Ehsaas as a key step of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to eliminate poverty.
BISP to massively revamp financial inclusion, education, nutrition and emergency relief packages under Ehsaas
Oct 10, 2019, Under the framework of Ehsaas, the Board of BISP approved the increase in the stipend amount for girls from Rs. 750 to Rs. 1,000 and the provision of emergency relief to the residents of villages along the Line of Control. The Board also approved the plan to extend the Conditional Cash Transfer programme for education to another 50 districts around the country to bring out of school children within the education system. The Board meeting was held here which was attended by Secretary BISP, Zafar Khan, Atif Bajwa, Khawar Mumtaz, Ashfaq Hassan Khan, Qazi Azmat Isa and representatives of various government departments. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP Dr. Sania Nishtar briefed the Board on the governance and transparency improvement measures introduced in the Programme. She termed the signing of the banking contracts as a step towards transparent payment mechanism and evidence that the present government continues to bring about significant governance improvements for creating a welfare state modeled on Riasat-e-Madina. In order to address stunting and malnutrition, already emphasized in Ehsaas, a pilot project to provide specialized nutritious food packets to poor mothers and their children was also approved. The project will be launched in one district of each province along with GB, AJK and merged districts of KP.
Dr. Sania Nishtar terms the new payment system a step towards good governance
Oct 10, 2019, BISP has signed a historic memorandum of understanding with Habib Bank Limited and Bank Alfalah Limited on a strategic partnership that will enable financial inclusion of millions of women as envisioned in Ehsaas programme under the one-woman-one-bank-account initiative. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection and Chairperson BISP, Dr. Sania Nishtar said that a series of policy initiatives and measures are being taken to turn BISP into a model of good governance. She said that the new biometric based payment solution developed by BISP through an open and consultative process was a great step to ensure good governance, transparency and efficiency in the payment mechanism for beneficiaries. Hiring of the new financial institutions through a transparent and open competitive bidding process was a significant development for improved service delivery and fraud prevention, she added. A competitive procurement process completed in eight months was carried out in most transparent manner with representation from all relevant ministries and organizations.
Dr. Sania engages with daily wage labourers in Islamabad
Oct 9, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation paid a surprise visit to Peshawar More, Islamabad to meet with daily wage labourers. She sat with the labourers and listened to their problems. Labourers informed Dr. Nishtar that those from low income backgrounds who apply for Government of Pakistan class-4 jobs over and over again have to pay PKR 500 with each application which is a massive cost for them. Speaking to the labourers, Dr. Nishtar said that most useful lessons for policy come through engagement on ground and she will relay their voice in the cabinet to address their concern.
Regular Ehsaas Communications Committee takes place at the PM Secretariat
Oct 9, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation chaired the regular Ehsaas Communications Committee meeting held at the PM Secretariat on Oct 9, 2019. During the meeting, the communications plan for the upcoming Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships scheme and the World Poverty Day was set up in a consultative manner. In addition, the committee focused on exploring ways to communicate more effectively to target those who could benefit from the government’s Ehsaas’ interventions, precisely those that are marginalized and the hardest to reach out. Secretary PASSD, Principal Information Officer, PIDPASSD and communications and media representatives from various stakeholders including MoIB, PID, Associated Press of Pakistan, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, PEMRA, PTV News, ATV, Provincial Social Welfare Department – Punjab, BISP, Pakistan Bait ul Mal and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund joined the meeting. Ehsaas Communications Committee is due to meet every Wednesday under the leadership of Dr. Nishtar.
The steering committee carrying out the Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships scheme came together for the second time in this month
Oct 8, 2019, The steering committee carrying out the forthcoming Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships scheme met for the second time in this month to set up modalities of the combined working. In the month of October 2019, the ‘Ehsaas’ Undergraduate Scholarship scheme, a collaborative project of the BISP and Higher Education Commission (HEC) will be launched. With the help of this scheme, the deserving students from marginalized families who qualify for the scheme will be able to access undergraduate education. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation.
Federal Government to run social protection programmes under public private partnership: Dr. Sania speaks to media at the press conference
Oct 7, 2019, Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar says the government has decided to run social protection programmes under public private partnership. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, she said social welfare programmes will be expanded through public private partnership model. Dr. Sania Nishtar said a Langar was opened in Islamabad today in collaboration with Saylani Welfare International Trust to provide free food to the needy. This langar scheme will be stretched out countrywide with 112 langar schemes under Ehsaas to be set up over 2 years period. These schemes will feed millions of deserving people. She said under the MoU signed with Saylani Trust, quality of food will be ensured. Further Dr. Sania outlined that once, clear Ehsaas Langar policy, brand book, one window app and governance framework are in place, the Langar scheme will ensure philanthropy by private sector reaches out deserving. The full press conference can be accessed here.
Ehsaas welcomes ADB’s $200 Million Additional Funding for Ongoing Social Protection Development Project in Pakistan
Oct 7, 2019, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $200 million loan as additional financing to help support the Government of Pakistan’s flagship social protection programme, Ehsaas under which BISP supports more than 5 million eligible families across the country through over $3.6 billion in total cash transfers disbursed so far. BISP is one of the largest executing agencies of Ehsaas which is primarily funded by the Government of Pakistan and it supports Ehsaas through cash transfers, poverty graduation programs, and a targeted social safety net. The ADB-financed Social Protection Development Project, has enabled the enrollment of over 855,000 women beneficiaries to BISP, or about 15% of the eligible beneficiaries. The $200 million additional financing for this project will continue to support cash transfers as well as help BISP implement institutional strengthening measures. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP stated, ‘Ehsaas welcomes ADB’s funding to Pakistan that will help the Government in implementing the social protection and poverty alleviation initiatives which foster human capital development’.
PM launches ‘Ehsaas Langar Scheme’ under a public private partnership
Oct 7, 2019, The Prime Minister launched the ‘Ehsaas Langar Scheme’ today in Islamabad. Under an agreement with the Saylani Welfare Trust, Ehsaas will open 112 Langars nationwide over a 2-year period in the public private partnership. The Langars are meant to serve meals to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the society, especially daily wage laborers. The first Langar was opened in Islamabad today, where at least 600 people will be provided free meals daily. The Ehsaas scheme will now be extended countrywide with as many as 112 Langar schemes being set up over the period of two years to feed millions of people lacking food. Talking to the people being served with food at the Langar site, the Prime Minister said, “Ehsaas Langar is a real step towards the creation of welfare state modelled on Riyasat e Madina. The Langar is aimed at feeding the poor and improving the lives of marginalized. This is our government’s top priority that nobody should sleep hungry in Pakistan’. Addressing all present at the occasion, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation thanked the Prime Minister for his supervision and guidance in making Langar scheme a reality. She then continued, ‘the recent Langar scheme is a continuation of our religious and cultural legacy as well and it will not only provide relief to those in need but will also add value to the lives of daily laborers and those earning low incomes’.
Dr. Sania Nishtar represents Federal Government in Mirpur
October 2, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was invited by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to represent the Federal Government at the event that took place in Mirpur to distribute cheques amongst the next of kin and legal heirs of the deceased due to earthquake last week. Chairman NDMA, SAPM on Information, Firdaus Ashiq Awan and members of the local administration were also present on the occasion. Speaking to the affectees, Dr. Nishtar extended her heartfelt condolences to them and said that Government of Pakistan will never leave them alone in these hard times. Later, Dr. Nishtar together with Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) paid a visit to the earthquake affected areas of Mirpur to inquire after the affecters. She expressed her grief over the loss of human lives and went to village Sahang Kikri to inquire after the affected families. ‘I can deeply feel the pain of the people who suffered losses and extend my greatest sympathies to them’, she added. Sympathizing the affectees, she assured them that the rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the earthquake-hit areas is the top priority of the government of Pakistan.
Ehsaas teams up with Saylani Welfare International Trust to feed the needy
Oct 2, 2019, Fully determined to reduce the burden of hunger for the poor, the Government of Pakistan’s multisectoral poverty alleviation programme, ‘Ehsaas’ is partnering with Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT) to open ‘Ehsaas Langar’ (soup kitchen) shortly in Islamabad. This joint initiative will later be extended countrywide to other cities as well to feed the poor and needy, in particular in Karachi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta and Peshawar. To mutually articulate the policy and operational modalities for launching and expanding Ehsaas Langar, Dr. Sania Nishtar had invited the leadership of SWIT at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in Islamabad yesterday. It was discussed that once the overarching policy and operational modalities have been finalized by the end of this week, it will be followed by memorandum of action that will be inked between Ehsaas and SWIT. During the course of meeting, the preliminary scale, breadth and diversity of the joint initiative were also framed out by both the parties. It was agreed that further deliberations will take place soon to build up on the agreed areas of collaboration including identification of Langar sites in different areas of Pakistan.
Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships to be launched this month
Oct 1, 2019, One of the important Ehsaas initiatives, the Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships scheme is to be launched soon. Ehsaas has over 130 policies and programmes and this is one of them. The Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships scheme is a key initiative of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Higher Education Commission (HEC). A memorandum of agreement has already been signed on September 20, 2019 and today the project steering committee met, to firm up modalities of the joint working. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman, HEC. Talking about the initiative, Dr. Nishtar said, “the Prime Minister has instructed that the undergraduate scheme should be launched as soon as possible. The Government realizes that deprivation to education is the highest contributor in Pakistan’s national multi-dimensional poverty index. Therefore, Ehsaas wishes to pay special attention to the education of undergraduate students especially women and girls from underprivileged families and areas’. Through this initiative, students qualifying for the project will have access to undergraduate education regardless of income, gender, or location. The number of scholarships will be determined based on the budget envelope.
Dr. Sania highlights economic reform agenda of Pakistan at Islamabad Literature Festival 2019
Sep 29, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation together with Dr. Hafeez A. Pasha, a renowned Pakistani economist, Jochen Hippler and Muhammad Ziauddin led an informative session on ‘Economic Reform agenda of Pakistan’ at 6th Islamabad Literature Festival 2019. During the session, Dr. Nishtar threw light on several economic challenges being faced by Pakistan. The session was organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is a private, German non-profit organization committed to the values of Social Democracy. She highly applauded the Islamabad Literature Festival and appreciated the manner in which it had succeeded in emphasizing Pakistani literature and culture.
Dr. Sania Nishtar presents Ehsaas at 74th session of the UN General Assembly
Sep 26, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar joined President of Costa Rica, Dr. Sabina Alkire & other ministers at the multidimensional poverty peer network meeting during 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74). Dr. Nishtar shared about how Ehsaas is using both income as well as multidimensional poverty index (MPI) metrics for policy design and targeting. She also highlighted 4 data-related aspects in Ehsaas framework including 1) evidence gathering on the local drivers of poverty for policy action; 2) launching of district development portal; 3) the national strategy for the development of statistics; and 4) the national socio-economic registry 2019. It was emphasized that since rigorous data is needed for good policies, the government of Pakistan uses district level disaggregations of the National MPI for policy design and targeting.
Ehsaas showcased at the SDG Action Zone 2019
Sep 26, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation together with Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined a lightning talk at the SDG Action Zone 2019 in New York. During the talk, Dr. Nishtar explained about what Ehsaas entails, its components, progress underway, its priorities, & partnership approach, challenges & opportunities and what success entails. Bill Gates outlined how digital & financial inclusion can be a force multiplier to address poverty. The SDG Action Zone has shown keen interest in partnering for poverty alleviation in Pakistan with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The SDG Action Zone is a space inside the United Nations grounds during General Assembly week (UNGA) where different actors can engage around the UN-high-level meetings and events in a meaningful and visible way.
PM convenes high-level meeting with Malaysian and Turkish leaders to discuss environmental stewardship as means of poverty alleviation
Sep 26, 2019, During 74th session of UN General Assembly in New York, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation joined Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohammad and ministers from Turkey and Malaysia to discuss the imperative of environmental stewardship for addressing poverty. During the meeting, it was emphasized to build synergies between climate action and the drive against poverty.
MoU focusing on poverty alleviation signed with Bill Gates Foundation
Sep 25,2019, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan for its Ehsaas initiative on poverty alleviation. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates, co-chair of the B&MGF, witnessed the signing ceremony as Special Assistant to PM on Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar and president of Global Development at B&MGF, Dr. Chris Elias inked the MoU. The B&MGF will assist the Pakistan government with a range of activities, including accelerating stunting reduction programmes, supporting financial inclusion initiatives and investing in public health systems to improve health and reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality. The foundation plans to spend about $200 million in Pakistan in 2020.
SUN Movement lead group lauds Ehsaas Nutrition Plan
Sep 25, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation shared Ehsaas Nutrition Plan at the SUN Movement lead group meeting in New York. The government of Pakistan’s resolve to use all government sectors to fight malnutrition was highly lauded. It was also urged that it is the hardest part of Ehsaas but also be the one that’s most rewarding in relation to human capital development.
Dr. Sania Nishtar represents Pakistan at WHO High level Summit
Sep 24, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar Pakistan at the WHO High level Summit on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in New York. She outlined details about the multi-pronged approach to UHC under Ehsaas. Further, she urged that beyond Bismarck and Beveridge, we need financing innovations to achieve financial risk protection in mixed health systems.
Dr. Nishtar champions women in business at launch of US-Pakistan Women’s Council mentoring campaign
24 September, 2019, Accelerating women’s economic empowerment is good for business and good for Pakistan, this is the message behind the launch of a new mentoring campaign by the US-Pakistan Women’s Council today. Attending the launch was honoured guest Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection. Dr. Nishtar elaborated on the myriad ways in which Ehsaas, Pakistan’s new equality centered initiative is mainstreaming the role of women in the economic sphere, through financial inclusion amongst other measures, creating livelihoods and jobs. The programme is called the Pakistan Million Women Mentors Initiative and it aims to connect a million women and girls in Pakistan with mentors over the next three years. “Women’s empowerment is absolutely critical to ending poverty and is a key principle of the Ehsaas. When women join the work force it benefits everyone in the country, and I am glad to support the US-Pakistan Women’s Council and the Pakistan Million Women Mentors Initiative,” said Dr. Nishtar following the event. “By connecting young women and girls from Pakistan with leaders in industry we can give them many more opportunities to thrive as the businesswomen and leaders of tomorrow.” Attending the event were dozens of talented Pakistani exchange students, who took part in a speed-mentoring event to launch the mentoring initiative.
IMF appreciates ongoing efforts of the government to protect the most vulnerables
Sep 19, 2019, During her meeting with IMF team, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson BISP apprised them about how the IMF’s Fund can help the ongoing efforts of the government of Pakistan to protect the most vulnerables. She informed the IMF team that the government has substantially increased the social protection spending under Ehsaas framework. ‘The Ehsaas’ poverty reduction strategy isarticulated in four pillars and it currently embodies 115 policy actions, which may be expanded as the process of consultations on the program, further widens. Thefour pillars include: addressing elite capture and making the government system work to create equality; safety nets for disadvantaged segments of the population;jobs and livelihoods; and human capital development’, she added. IMF team appreciated the multisectoral approach of the government of Pakistan under Ehsaas.
Landmark Ehsaas Strategy document unveiled for feedback
Sep 16, 2019, The Ehsaas strategy has been released to the public for feedback today at pass.gov.pk. The strategy elaborates on the Prime Minister’s vision of a welfare state. This is a landmark document because of the quality, clarity and comprehensiveness of the Strategy presented. It is the first time in the history of the country that a strategy document of the government has been shared with government departments and the public at the same time. “By putting the strategy out for public consultation, we are introducing a new culture of openness and transparency that will enable the government to work in collaboration with the best and brightest brains in the country” Sania Nishtar tweeted @SaniaNishtar while releasing the strategy, seeking inputs on email@example.com. The Strategy document is on the website of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division. According to the new strategy document, it “outlines the Government’s vision, which is the bedrock on which Ehsaas has been built; the Principles, which drive Ehsaas; the context in which it has been shaped; the Theory of Change, which underpins its conceptualization; and the four pillars under which its goals, pillars, objectives, policies, programs and initiatives are organized. The Strategy document also outlines details about the manner in which 21st century tools and approaches are envisaged to build a welfare state.”
Punjab Cabinet welcomes Ehsaas Programme to forge the Federal -Punjab partnership
September 11, 2019, Chief Minister Punjab, Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired the Punjab Cabinet meeting today in Lahore. Dr. Sania Nishtar Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection was invited to brief the Punjab Cabinet about the Federal Government’s Ehsaas program. This is the third provincial briefing on Ehsaas, following briefings in Sindh and Balochistan in the last ten days. All Provincial Ministers of Punjab, the Advisors to the Chief Minister Punjab, the Chief Secretary Cabinet Punjab, the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Punjab, the Secretaries from the Government of Punjab Finance Department, Information and Culture and Law Department, Chairman Planning and Development Board Punjab, the Senior Member Board of Revenue Punjab and Inspector General of Punjab Police were also present at the occasion together with Federal Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division. Dr. Nishtar emphasized the commitment of the Prime Minister of Pakistan towards welfare of the disadvantaged, and reiterated that Ehsaas is one of the important vehicles through which this would be achieved. The Cabinet expressed keen interest to strengthen existing collaboration between Federal Ehsaas and Punjab.
Dr. Sania Unites Health Leaders Around Action on Biggest Killers and Impoverishing Diseases
Sep 9, 2019, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) thanked Dr Sania Nishtar today for her outstanding work in leading the WHO Independent High-level Global Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). The announcement came at the final meeting of the Commission held on 9 September 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Commission, is co-chaired by President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay; President Sauli Niinistö of Finland; President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka; Minister Veronika Skvortsova of Russia and Dr. Sania Nishtar, federal minister, government of Pakistan. Prominent global health leaders are on the commission, which was established in October 2017. The commission’s aim was to identify innovative ways to curb the world’s biggest causes of death and extend life expectancy for millions of people. “We need leaders to unite and take action to tackle the biggest killers of people. NCDs are the leading cause of medical impoverishment. They lead to catastrophic health expenditures and many who can’t afford forego healthcare” said Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection. “Progress is possible and if we don’t take action we’re going to see already fragile health systems across the world collapse.”
Dr. Sania Nishtar congratulates awardees of ‘Champions of Change Awards’ for women from KP
Sep 4, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited by Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries Peshawar and GIZ Pakistan to congratulate winners of ‘Champions of Change Awards’ for Women from KP. Speaking to awardees at the occasion, she reiterated that Government of Pakistan’s Ehsaas programme is centered on socio-economic empowerment of women. The first lady of Pakistan, Ms. Samina Alvi and Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting were also present at the occasion.
Weekly Ehsaas Implementation Committee Meeting
Sep 4, 2019, Weekly Ehsaas Implementation Committee meeting was held today with BISP, Pakistan Bait ul Mal, PPAF, Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Centre for Rural Economy. These meetings have now been institutionalized under Ehsaas guide safety net institutions engaged in execution of Ehsaas programme to work together in a well-coordinated way.
Ehsaas extends hand of collaboration to Balochistan
Sep 1-2, 2019, The Balochistan Cabinet was briefed today about the Ehsaas Program of the federal government. The Cabinet Meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan. The briefing was given by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation who was on a two-day visit to Quetta to raise awareness about Ehsaas and forge partnership with the provincial government. The Cabinet took keen interest in Ehsaas programme and had several questions about the new national socio-economic registry survey which is underway to identify the poor. Dr. Nishtar briefed the Cabinet about Prime Minister’s priority programme ‘One Window Ehsaas’ and outlined many initiatives including Kifalat, Tahafuz, National Poverty Graduation Initiative, and online free resources that will be extended to provinces. She emphasized that the new programme will benefit all provinces. Earlier in the day, Dr. Nishtar met with CM Balochistan who briefed him about the innovations in PSDP process that Balochistan had spearheaded and the new instruments of social protection. Dr. Nishtar appreciated the initiative and vision of the CM. Both agreed to explore collaboration in the area of Balochistan’s Awami Endowment Fund and ‘Ehsaas Tahafuz’, as well as in the area of provincial finance commission which is Ehsaas policy area number 8 (PM’s Ehsaas Policy Statement dated March 27, 2019). Dr. Nishtar also called on Governor Balochistan, Amanullah Yaseenzai in Quetta on Sunday. She briefed the Governor about Ehsaas programme and its upcoming strategy. “The Ehsaas’ premise is primarily grounded in the importance of fostering federal provincial cooperation, strengthening institutions, transparency and good governance”, Dr. Nishtar added. Honorable Governor Balochistan, lauded the federal government’s efforts to benefit and uplift marginalized and deprived segments of the society through Ehsaas framework.
Balochistan Stakeholders Meeting on Ehsaas
Sep 1, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar conducted stakeholder meeting with local dignitaries and civil society from Balochistan. Dr. Nishtar gave them a comprehensive presentation on Ehsaas framework that is whole of the government programme aimed to reduce inequality, invest in people, and lift lagging districts. The stakeholders from Balochistan were apprised that Ehsaas currently embodies 134 policy actions whose implementation is the responsibility of 34 federal ministries, divisions and agencies in close coordination with provincial governments. These policy actions may be expanded as the process of consultations on the program, further widens. Dr. Nishtar mainly talked about Prime Minister’s vision on which Ehsaas has been based. “The Government envisages Pakistan to be a ‘welfare state’ based on the principles of Islamic ideology similar to those put in place by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Madina. Our commitment is to form a welfare state where rule of law, meritocracy, transparency and accountability in governance are guaranteed, where equal opportunity exists for all and where social welfare is provided to all those who need it”, Dr. Nishtar added. Further, she said that Prime Minister of Pakistan in each of the cabinet meetings lays special emphasis on welfare of the marginalized and asks each of the cabinet members about measures that have been done by their Ministries for the welfare of people.
Sania Nishtar visits BISP offices in Quetta and Pishin
Sep 1, 2019, During her visit to Quetta, Dr. Sania Nishtar visited the regional office of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in Quetta and district office in Pishin to oversee the provincial progress and operations of BISP in Balochistan. She also met with the beneficiaries and guided them about the revamped BISP process and reform to make transactions more transparent. She shared that her focus is to build a strong system and to have preventive measures in place so there are no loopholes for corruption and other wrongdoings across safety net programmes. She will be conducting more visits to Balochistan in future. “When we make policies sitting in offices, there is a chance that we’re not getting it right. It adds significance in the policy-making when you go in the field and meet people on your own”, she added.
Sania Nishtar visits Saylani Welfare International Trust in Quetta
Sep 1, 2019, On Sunday evening in Quetta, Dr. Sania Nishtar together with Shaista Sohail, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, paid a visit to Saylani Welfare International Trust in Quetta to explore options to collaborate under ‘Ehsaas’.’ Saylani Langar’ (soup kitchen) that runs thrice daily to feed thousands of poor and distressed is an exemplary engine. They have built transparent and accountable systems for scale. Ehsaas looks forward to exploring avenues of cooperation. Saylani Welfare Trust provides the charity services in areas including food, education, medical and social welfare free of cost to the marginalized people.
Sania Nishtar visits provincial capitals for Ehsaas partnerships
Aug 31, 2019, Addressing a session hosted by Governor Sindh and presided over by President Dr. Arif Alvi at the Governor House in Karachi, Dr. Nishtar apprised Sindh Cabinet members and parliamentarians about the government of Pakistan’s flagship programme ‘Ehsaas’. Nasir Ali Shah, Sindh Cabinet Minister, Mustafa Wahab, advisor to the PM, Waseem Akhtar, Mayor Karachi, and Naheed Shah, Chair of the Planning Development Department of Sindh were present at the meeting. She gave a detailed presentation on Ehsaas. Prominent members of the philanthropic community were also present. During her presentation, Dr. Nishtar elaborated on what Ehsaas can offer to Sindh, and how it can partner with Government and Non-governmental sector; she invited all public and private representatives from Sindh to work together with Ehsaas programme for the uplifting of people. She stressed that Ehsaas is a nation-wide program. It offers many things to the provinces—the Ehsaas one window programmes (Kifalat, Tahafuz, National Poverty Graduation Initiative, online free resources) will all be nation-wide. The New Socio Economic Survey currently being carried out of BISP is also country wide. And, the Solutions Innovation Challenge which Ehsaas will be launching for livelihood creation and social protection will also impact the entire country. Later in the Governor House, Dr. Nishtar held a detailed meeting with members of the press and responded to their questions about Ehsaas programme, clarifying the scale, breadth and diversity of Ehsaas.
Dr. Sania Nishtar visits Saylani Welfare International Trust in Karachi to explore avenues of partnership under Ehsaas
Aug 31, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar together with Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Shaista Sohail visited the Saylani Welfare International Trust, which is a Pakistani charity focusing on social welfare of the poor and distressed. Here, she spent a long time inspecting each of Saylani’s departments. She took keen interest in the food distribution system of Saylani Trust. “We will be discussing ways of opening ‘Joint Langars’, beginning in the city of Islamabad”, said Dr. Nishtar. Saylani Welfare Trust endeavors to provide the quality services in areas including food, education, medical and social welfare free of cost to the marginalized people. With over 60 different sectors, they primarily feed thousands of hungry people each day, hundreds more are given the hope of life through medical health care, many are educated to become leaders of tomorrow and several are given the opportunity to stand on their feet financially. Their physical presence extends throughout Pakistan with a vast network of 125 branches operating in major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad and Faisalabad.
Third Ehsaas Communications Committee Meeting takes place at PM Secretariat
The third Ehsaas Communications Committee meeting took place today at PM Secretariat. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation chaired the meeting. During the course of meeting, the communications plan for the upcoming Ehsaas strategy was discussed in detail with Secretary PASSD, Secretary MOIB, Additional Secretary PASSD and communications and media representatives from various stakeholders including Press Information Department, Associated Press of Pakistan, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, PEMRA, PTV News, ATV, Provincial Social Welfare Department – KP, Provincial Social Welfare Department – Punjab, Benazir Income Support Programme, Pakistan Bait ul Mal and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. Ehsaas Communications Committee is due to meet every Wednesday under the leadership of Dr. Nishtar.
Dr. Sania virtually addresses opening plenary of 19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Lisbon
Aug 22, 2019, In her capacity as a Co-chair of the WHO’s High-Level Commission (HCL) on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to join the opening plenary of 19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Lisbon, Portugal. The World Congress was convened between Aug 21-24, 2019 to discuss how psychiatry can impact some of the most important social challenges facing communities across the globe. Virtually addressing the amazing gathering of 4,000 psychiatric community and mental health experts from 119 countries across the globe, Dr. Nishtar said that WHO’s HCL on NCDs strongly believes that mental health and NCDs are inextricably linked. They share common determinants each of which predisposes and exacerbate one other. She continued, ‘It is a dilemma that people with severe mental illness die 10-20 years early because of NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and unmanaged cancer. This is mainly because of their vulnerability to higher NCD risks such as physical inactivity, smoking, unhealthy diet and harmful use of alcohol’. The full footage of Dr. Nishtar’s address can be accessed here
Dr. Sania Nishtar launches the first Women in Global Health Chapter in South Asia
Aug 20, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Federal Minister and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, launched the first Women in Global Health (WGH) Chapter in South Asia in an inauguration ceremony at the federal capital. During the launch she stated that women are 70 percent of global health workforce. But they hold only 25 percent of senior and leadership roles. The percentage is even less in Pakistan and there is a recognized need for introducing gender sensitive workplace policies for attracting and retaining female health workforce in the labor market. Dr. Nishtar also revealed that government is introducing a number of initiatives under the Ehsaas that are aimed at promoting gender mainstreaming and empowering women.
PM Imran launches health plan for people with disabilities
Aug 17, 2019, In line with his vision of universal health coverage, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday launched Sehat Sahulat Programme for persons with disabilities and their families in Pakistan and said his government’s vision was based on the principles of lifting the conditions of the downtrodden and weaker segments of society. Special Assistant to the PM on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza and Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar were also present at the launch ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sania Nishtar announced 5 of the priority goals of Ehsaas, which are part of the Ehsaas Strategy. These include: Safety net for at least 10 million families, Livelihood opportunities for 5 million individuals (50% women); financial access to healthcare through Insaf card for 10 million families; scholarships and education incentives for more than 5 million students (more than 50% girls); and through the Kifalat program, financial inclusion and access to mobile phones for 6 million women and 500 digital hubs for them to access internet. These goals will be explained in the Ehsaas strategy, which will be released soon. Dr. Sania also elaborated on the other disability related policies in the Ehsaas framework.
Sania visits welfare homes on Eid day
Aug 12, 2019, On Eid day, Dr Sania Nishtar visited the Government of Punjab’s Child Protection home in Rawalpindi and the Edhi home in Islamabad. During both visits she interacted with resident children and women and social welfare workers firsthand over several hours and was briefed about the activities of both welfare homes. Their heartbreaking stories provided rich insights for Ehsaas policy actions on social safety of vulnerables particularly women & children.
Ehsaas Communications Committee to meet every week
Aug 9, 2019, The first meeting of Ehsaas Communications Committee was held in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat to discuss the communications strategic planning process, identify communications needs and priorities for Ehsaas Program and define key respective areas of execution for different organizations involved in the implementation of Ehsaas Program under the umbrella of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD). Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation chaired the meeting. In its first meeting, participants discussed the key elements of the Ehsaas communications strategy that is in its final stages of being developed. “The core objective of the strategy is to apprise potential beneficiaries about ways of accessing benefits”, Dr. Nishtar emphasized.
Dr. Nishtar joins Strategic Leadership Retreat for Ethiopian women Ministers
Aug 4-5, 2019, Dr. Nishtar joined Strategic Leadership Retreat for Ethiopian women Ministers as part of the expert adjunct faculty along with distinguished women leaders from around the world. Ethiopian President H.E. Sahle-Work Zewdie and first African woman president from Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also joined the Leadership Retreat and motivated Women Ministers.The retreat was organized in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.The primary goal of the Leadership Retreat was to equip the new cohort of 10 Ethiopian women Ministers with tools to help them navigate effectively in a historically patriarchal political system, and to achieve their priority policy goals. The retreat was organized in three main parts: Legacy, Leadership and Delivery.Dr. Nishtar helped, led and informed discussions throughout the retreat. She mentored the Ethiopian Ministers along with other women leaders from around the world to map personal plans for their tenure in office.
Dr. Sania Nishtar’s Dialogue with Youth from Newly Merged Districts of North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Khyber
Aug 1, 2019, The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant( Federal Minister) for Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation/Chairperson BISP, Dr. Sania Nishtar held an intensive dialogue with youth from the newly merged districts of North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Khyber to discuss development issues and poverty alleviation, and youth’s participation in these efforts , at the Human Resource Center of Sarhad Rural Support Programme at Peshawar.Dr. Nishtar said that Ehsaas would like to learn from the grass root experience of the youth for poverty alleviation.
SAPM speaks at 5th CPA Pakistan 2019 Asia Regional Conference in Islamabad
July 30, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar was a keynote speaker at the 5th CPA Pakistan 2019 Asia Regional Conference held in Islamabad. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Nishtar stated that Ehsaas is biggest pro-poor & whole-of-government multisectoral program, not only for poor but for poverty-stricken areas as well. The conference was attended by Speaker of Ugandan Parliament and incumbent President, Member of British Parliament Lord Purvis of Tweed Jeremy Purvis, Member Malaysian Parliament Dr. Noraini Binti Ahmad, Chairperson CPA Executive Committee Emilia Lifaka, Secretary General CPA Akbar Khan, Speaker Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly Fida Muhammad Nashad, Speaker Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly Shah Ghulam Qadir and other national and international personalities of prominence, members of parliament and observers.
Multisectoral collaborations under Ehsaas
July 29, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, was a keynote speaker at the inaugural session of the 4-day training program, ‘accelerating progress towards health related SDGs in Pakistan under the 2030 Agenda’, organized by WHO in collaboration with Imperial College London and Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Pakistan. Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Dr. Shabnam Sarfraz, Member- Social Sector and Devolution were also present at the occasion along with WHO representatives. In her keynote address, Dr. Nishtar stated that Ehsaas is the most widely ranging, multisectoral -the whole of government program with multiple end points centered at equality and equity. It has four pillars and currently embodies 115 policy actions. Under the Ehsaas framework, multisectoral collaboration is a policy priority which is one of the unique illustrations of how multisectoral objectives can holistically drive the program towards equality.
The Ehsaas Labour Expert Group meets for the 8th time in three months
July 25, 2019, Under the framework of the Ehsaas, the Labour Expert Group was constituted in May 2019 to develop recommendations to bring informal workers in social safety nets. Since its constitution, the group has met eight times and has put together an unprecedented effort. At the recent meeting, the phase of presentations by experts of Labour Expert Group has been concluded. At the conclusion, Dr. Sania Nisht constituted a writing committee to furnish a report on urgent basis so that practical steps can be taken to commence registration of informal workers.
BISP implementation research platform will be established soon under Ehsaas
July 24, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired a research meeting at the Marriott today where findings of research conducted by Oxford Policy Management Group (OPM) were presented. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sani Nishtar said that “BISP was undergoing a multi-pronged process of reform and that the process was heavily being guided by evidence. She said that the reforms embodied creation of a new payment system, a new national census level Socio-Economic Survey, a new communications strategy and new program windows, especially configuring BISP’s operations around Kifalat and Tahafuz”.
PASSD Ehsaas Implementation Group agrees on future road map
July 23, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar today chaired the first meeting of the Ehsaas Implementation Group. Representatives from all ancillary organizations of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) agreed a future road map with a special focus ongovernance and cross-organizational collaboration. Dr. Nishtar stressed the importance of efficiency, stating that “To avoid duplication among the implementing organizations, an online portal would be set up to provide one comprehensiveplatform of all social safety and poverty alleviation interventions being carried out under Ehsaas.”BISP is being mandated to run cash transfers, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal’s role is to be responsible for demand side social protection whereas the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation has the responsibility for poverty graduation.
Dr. Nishtar visits Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF)
July 19, 2019,As the present government’s fight against poverty picks pace, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation had detailed deliberations with the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund’s senior team at the latter’s offices to discuss its plan of action in reducing poverty under the Government of Pakistan’s flagship Ehsaas Programme. The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is the lead implementing agency for the government’s National Poverty Graduation Initiative – NPGI, launched two weeks earlier by the Prime Minister, under “Ehsaas Programme; and NPGI is an important component of Pillar II of Ehsaas. The programme aims to provide the vulnerable segments of society livelihoods and social protection.
Dr .Nishtar meets with top business leaders to discuss Ehsaas partnerships
July 17, 2019, At a meeting with a high-powered delegation of the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, Dr. Sania Nishtar today briefed delegates on the importance of public-private partnerships in the Ehsaas Program. Dr Mehmood Khan, Chairman of the Council, led the delegation of over a dozen leading businesspeople.
Ehsaas joins with private firms to eliminate Viral Hepatitis
July 17, 2019, Today, Gilead Sciences announced that it had partnered with 12 companies in Pakistan as part of the Corporate Coalition for Viral Hepatitis Elimination in Pakistan (CCVHEP). The announcement was made at a press conference attended by Dr. Sania Nishtar and senior officials from the Ministry of National Health Services. The coalition is led by a partnership between Gilead Sciences and Pakistani partner Ferozsons, with the founding members.In her keynote address, Dr. Nishtar stated that within the government system, Ehsaas is Prime Minister’s flagship program on social protection and poverty alleviation. This is first whole of government program in which implementation of 115 policy actions will be the responsibility of 28 federal ministries, agencies and divisions.
Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy
July 14, 2019, The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) of the Ehsaas Program has today adopted a comprehensive set of policy parameters aimed at ensuring that money reaches those in need by promoting transparency and accountability across all its projects. Commenting on the announcement, Dr Sania Nishtar said, “The primary goal of the new set of policies is to limit opportunities for corruption, while promoting efficiency, transparency and accountability for results.” It has been made mandatory for all ancillary organizations of PASSD to convene board meetings and board committee meetings regularly. Read More:
World Economic Forum
July 11, 2019, On a visit to Pakistan, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF) BørgeBrende said that Pakistan overcame problems of power blackouts and security, and should now focus on skill acceleration, required to cater to the needs of young people, who make up 60 percent of the population. Dr. Sania Nishtar was a keynote speaker at the meeting and praised the role that WEF was playing to connect thought leaders in Pakistan. She appreciated Mr. Brende for visiting Pakistan at a very opportune time when Pakistan is moving forward with transformative development agenda as the Prime Minister’s top priority. She elaborated on Ehsaas, as one such transformative agenda.
World Population Day marked by Pakistan poverty lead
July 11, World Population Day was marked today at an event in Islamabad. Speakers included Dr. Sania Nishtar, State Minister of Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza and UNFPA representatives. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Mirza said the governmentis striving hard to make reproductive health and family planning services available to every household in the country under the broad-based approach. Dr. Nishtar said the Prime Minister has strongly hinged the entire agenda of the Ehsaas Program on women’s economic empowerment, which is critical for better population outcomes.
Ehsaas calls for ‘thought partnerships’ on poverty alleviation
July 10, 2019, The President of Pakistan and Dr. Sania Nishtar were both special guests at a seminar today held by the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad. The day-long event was titled ‘Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Learning from Success Stories’ and brought together intellectual and academic leaders from across the country.Dr. Nishtar said that knowledge and thought partnerships’ are very crucial for results-based implementation of Ehsaas framework and that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when the capacity already exists within the government and state system. Hence, Ehsaas wishes to draw on these prevailing knowledge competences, she said.
Provincial and Regional governments collaborate on Ehsaas strategy
July 8, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation in a drive towards the inclusive implementation of Ehsaas Program at the National level held a series of consultative meetings with Prime Minister AJK, Raja Farooq Haider Khan, CM KP Mehmood Khan & CM Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman, Chief Secretary Sindh and Secretary Finance, Government of Balochistan. These officials were present in the capital for the first steering committee meeting of Ehsaas, Chaired by the Prime Minister, Imran Khan. The objective for these interactions was to create national harmony and building consensus in implementation of Ehsaas Program.
Prime Minister launches groundbreaking National Poverty Graduation Initiative
July 5, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan today launched the National Poverty Graduation Initiative.Part of the Ehsaas Program to help the poor uplift their living standard, this new initiativerecognisesthe urgent need to provide better opportunities for our youth, who make up the largest segment of society.Speaking at a ceremony here, the prime minister said that every ministry in the country will have a role to play. “Sixty percent of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30. This is the future and they will elevate the status of our country. They must be provided education, hospitals and opportunities,” he added.
Dr. Nishtar joins Akhuwat’s IFL Cheque Distribution Ceremony
July 5, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited as a chief guest at Interest Free Loan Cheque Distribution Ceremony organized by Akhuwat Foundation at a local mosque in Islamabad. This ceremony was part of the PM’s National Poverty Graduation Initiative under which 82,121 people received loans worth 3.02 billion PKR today. Overall, 391 ceremonies were held today in 76 districts across Pakistan. Under the initiative, as many as 80,000 interest free loans will be given to the deserving every month for the next 4 years. At the occasion, Dr. Amjad Saqib, CEO/Founder Akhuwat Foundation, Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO, PPAF and Shaista Sohail, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) were also present.
Around 80,000 interest free loans will be monthly disbursed nationwide under the Ehsaas National Poverty Graduation Initiative, Dr. Nishtar talks to media at the Press Conference
July 6, 2019, Dr. Nishtar briefed the media about the National Poverty Graduation Initiative (NPGI) under the government’s flagship Poverty Alleviation Program ‘Ehsaas’. She said that the program will provide relief to the masses through interest-free loans, vocational and skills trainings, and asset transfers.Government of Pakistan has launched the poverty graduation initiative as a part of the Ehsaas strategy and aims to graduate the poorest households out of poverty to set them on a course of economic and social prosperity. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is the leading implementing agency for NPGI. During the next four years, every month around 80,000 interest free loans will be disbursed nationwide. The range of the interest free loans is Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 75,000. As many as 3.8 million interest free loans will be provided to 2.28 million households. In total, 14.7 million people will benefit from this component. Interest free loans are accessible through 1,110 existing loan centers operated by partnering organizations. View the full footage:
Dr. Nishtar briefs Prime Minister on new poverty-fighting scheme
July 3, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan was given a briefing today about the planned launch of the National Poverty Graduation Initiative. Scheduled for launch on Friday, July 5th, the initiative aims to give loans and training to the poorest Pakistanis to enable them to start businesses and gain skills which will help end the cycle of poverty. The initiative will impact 16.28 million people over a four-year period.
Dr Nishtar inspires next generation of Pakistani graduates at LUMS
July 2, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, was the chief guest and keynote speaker at the ceremony, which saw a record 1,034 students graduate at the Lahore University of Management Studies (LUMS) Convocation 2019. Drawing on personal experience gained throughout her illustrious career, Dr. Nishtar inspired the graduates,“You are the academic dream of this country. You are the ones who will be picked up by companies, the corporate sector and government within the next three months. It is essential you develop the attributes, which will allow you to succeed in life.”
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and BISP Chairperson Sania Nishtar has gone undercover to overlook operations at various BISP Centres.
June 2019, Dr. Nishtar stood in queue with women waiting to receive money allocated by the government under the programme to BISP card holders. She directed the staffers at the centres not to make women stand in long queues to avail the facility. She also wants better internet facilities. Dr. Nishtar sat with waiting applicants on the ground and heard their complaints and assured a swift response and resolution to their troubles. Dr. Nishtar also guided them about the process. She further added that these surprise visits help her with policy-making and she will be conducting more visits in future. She concluded that her focus is to build a strong system and to have preventive measures in place so there are no loopholes for corruption and other wrongdoings.
Dr. Nishtar and Bill Gates discuss ending poverty in Pakistan
June 16, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Bill Gates, founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation met today to discuss pressing health and development needs in Pakistan.The Gates Foundation is a major supporter of global health and development around the world. In Pakistan, much of the foundation’s work to-date has been focused on eradicating polio, new vaccines introduction and immunization strengthening.In the meeting, Dr Sania Nishtar and Bill Gates discussed key foundation partnerships in Pakistan including the polio eradication program, routine immunization and improving access to digital financial services for the poor.
June 16, 2019, Regional security and stability were the key topics of the CICA summit in Tajikistan today, at which Dr Sania Nishtar led the Pakistani delegation. Represented at the summit were 27 member states, which cover over 90% of the Asian continent. Dr. Nishtar engaged with world leaders including Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to discuss regional cooperation and opportunities. CICA, whose secretariat is located in Kazakhstan, seeks to strengthen contacts and ties with the UN, regional and international organizations to support its efforts to strengthen peace, security and economic development in Asia.
Differently abled persons to be provided health coverage, free assistive decices through Ehsaas
June 8, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar briefed the media about the Ehsaas measures that the government plans to implement in order to facilitate differently abled people across the country. Under the Ehsasprogramme, which was launched in March this year, the government will provide SehatInsaf cards to differently-abled people who are registered with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) so that they can get free medical treatment from hospitals that are registered under the health cards, Nishtar announced. Furthermore, government hospitals have been directed to issue certificates to differently-abled people as per United Nations classifications so that free assistive devices, such as canes, wheelchairs etc., can be provided accordingly. View the full footage:
Social protection budget to be doubled
June 2, 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar today gave a passionate explanation of the Ehsaas Program to the media. Explaining how important it is to end poverty and bring marginalised groups and regions into the mainstream, Dr. Nishtar said the program was developed on the principles of the State of Medina. She highlighted a number of policies that will be introduced under the program, including mobile phones and bank accounts for poor women and interest free loans to enable people to start their own businesses. Dr Nishtar confirmed that the amount allocated in the budget for social protection will be doubled in the next budget. View full footage:
Prime Minister confirms upcoming launch of Ehsaas Qarz I Hasna Scheme
May 28, 2019, Speaking from his office in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan today confirmed the upcoming rollout of the Ehsaas Qarz I Hasna Scheme. Chairing a meeting to review progress on the Ehsaas Program, the Prime Minister spoke passionately about the forthcoming policy that will distribute over 80,000 loans to women and young people across the country, enabling them to start their own businesses and freeing them from the cycle of poverty. Dr. Nishtar also updated the Prime Minister on the current status of the Ehsaas Program.
Gender equality is front and center of Oxfam Pakistan’s new campaign launched by Dr. Nishtar
May 24, 2019, Today, Dr. Sania Nishtar was the special guest of Oxfam Pakistan at the launch of its new campaign on women’s empowerment. Funded in large part by the Canadian government, the Women’s Voice and Leadership campaign aims to promote gender equality and protect human rights by supporting the capacity and activities of local and regional women’s organizations. Dr Nishtar spoke alongside Canadian High Commissioner Wendy Gilmore and Khawar Mumtaz, a renowned Pakistani academic and women’s rights activist.
Dr Nishtar gains inspiration from visit to Anjuman Faiz ul Islam, Pakistan’s Leading Charitable Organization
May 20, 2019, To commemorate World Orphans Day 2019, Dr. Sania Nishtar visited Anjuman Faiz ul Islam, one of the country’s leading charitable organizations. Known for their work supporting orphans and young people living in poverty, Anjuman Faiz ul Islam was founded in 1943 and has helped thousands of vulnerable young children over the last seven decades. Speaking after the visit, Dr Nishtar said she was “truly moved” by the experience. She went on to say she “learnt many policy lessons” that will help guide the national roll out of the Ehsaas Program, which will include specific measures to help orphans and street children across the country.
Dr. Sania Nishtar steps down from executive responsibilities at Heartfile
May 14, 2019, Following her appointment as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation with the status of Federal Minister, Dr. Sania has stepped down from all her executive roles in Heartfile. She will continue to be on the board of Heartfile.
Special assistant for social protection and poverty alleviation appointment
May 14, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar has been appointed as a special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan for social protection and poverty alleviation in addition to the chairing Benazir Income Support Program (BISP ) and Ehsaas program.
Report on the Future of Healthcare launched
May 9, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar, along with Dr. Andre Goy chaired the World Economic Forum Global Future Council (GFC) on the Future of Health and Healthcare over a two year period (2016-2018). GFC comprises expert stakeholders representing the public and private healthcare sectors. For the 2016-2018 mandate, members of the GFC worked together to provide insights on how the evolution of global health and healthcare will affect us all in the decades to come, including through the implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Report which was launched this week can be accessed here
Keynote Brenner/Dirks lecture at the international conference on Nephrology
April 12, 2019: The international conference on Nephology was held in Melbourne. At its opening ceremony, Dr. Sania Nishtar delivered the Brenner/Dirks lecture on global health and non-communicable diseases. She spoke about the risking burden of NCDs and the three-pronged response needed to bridge a public health gap. The text of her speech can be accessed here.
Third Meeting of the High-Level Commission on NCDs
April 2-3, 2019: Third Meeting of the WHO High-Level Commission on NCDs was held in Geneva on April 2nd and 3rd. The Commission worked in three sub-groups and deliberated on the way forward for its second phase. The commission’s second report is expected to be released in October 31, 2019, which is when the Commission will sunset. Dr Sania Nishtar chaired the meeting of the Commission.
Global Consultation on Agriculture and Food Systems
March 28, 2019: The Benazir Income Support Program and the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food systems for Nutrition co-hosed a joint high-level dialogue on food systems in Islamabad on March 28. An outcome of the event is a statement of intent in which ministers, experts and other stakeholders agreed on specific, actionable policy options within their spheres of influence to support the provision of safe, affordable, accessible and healthy diets. The statement of intent is available at glopan.org/Pakistan-nutrition-statement.The meeting was chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar. Speakers included Tom Arnold and Prof Sandy Thomas, Director, Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.
Launch of the Ehsaas program by the Prime Minister
March 27, 2019: The largest ever poverty-eradication focused program in Pakistan, called Ehsaas (feeling for the poor) was launched on March 27. At the launch event at the convention center in Islamabad, Dr. Sania Nishtar, who has designed the program, gave an overview of the program, following which Prime Minister Imran Khan formally announced the program and outlined his commitment to its policy goals. In order to facilitate Pakistan’s transition towards a welfare state, the Government is striving to play a more effective role in eliminating disparities between the have and have-nots. This strategic framework, therefore, aims to target poverty, vulnerability, malnutrition, and deprivation so that the fundamental rights of all citizens can be ensured. Ehsaas will reach out to all those now excluded, with a special emphasis on those parts of the country where development is lagging and where poverty is higher.The launching ceremony can be watched here
PACC meetings and process
January-March, 2019: Following the notification of the Poverty Alleviation Coordination Council, on January 9, 2019 by the Government of Pakistan, Dr. Sania Nishtar convened more than 23 Stakeholder consultations in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat over a two month duration to develop a plan for addressing the issue of ‘inequality’ and poor ‘human capital development’ in the country. Some details about these consultations were posed on twitter #PovertyCouncilPak
Meeting of the Advisory Board of the UNU IIGH
March 18, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired the meeting of the Advisory Board of the United Nations’ Institute of Global Health Advisory Committee meeting in Kuala Lumper on March 18. The institute is currently in the early stage of implementing a new strategic plan, the development of which has been shepherded by the Advisory Committee. At this meeting, the advisory committee took stock of progress and next steps.
NCD Commission stakeholder hearing
March 4-5, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar attended a stakeholder hearing of working group 3 of the High-Level Commission on NCDs in New York on March 4-5. The meeting was convened by the World Economic Forum, and the Governments of USA and Kenya.
Hosting the high-level consultation on Nutrition
February 27, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired a high-level international consultation convened by the Benazir Income Support Program, which was convened to solicit input to develop a new strategy for the government of Pakistan to address the double burden of malnutrition in Pakistan. The consultation was well attended by national and international experts.
Prince Mahidol Award Conference
February 1, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the Prime Prince Mahidol Award Conference and joined the plenary panel on “The Political Economy of the Determinants of NCDs”. The plenary session was intended to set the stage for several parallel sessions that followed that day. The purpose was to discuss thestrategies for tackling major NCD risk factors (unhealthy diets, tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and environmental pollution) and the underlying determinants, focusing on the implementation of the cost-effective interventions to achieve SDG3.4 and other NCD-related targets; to share and learn from national, regional and global experiences in addressing the main risk factors of NCDs and their social, economic, commercial and political determinants and to discuss how to translate these experiences to other contexts; and to identify knowledge gaps and strategies to address them.
Annual meeting of the Economic Forum, Davos
January 23, 2019: At the 2019 Annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dr Sania Nishtar joined a plenary panel alongwith Bill Gates, Tedros Adanhom, DG WHO, the Chair of GAVI’s board and Executive Director of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria to discuss financial innovation in global health. The panel discussion can be accessed here
January 9, 2019: Dr. Sania Nishtar has been appointed as the Chair of the Poverty Alleviation Coordination Council by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Council has a wide-ranging mandate, ranging from coordination of the fragmented social safety net arrangements in the country and planning to catalyzing research and policy support to various entities.
Dr. Sania Nishtar’s statement about BISP
Dec 2018, After a month in office as Chairperson BISP, Dr. Sania Nishtar has issued a statement about her priorities, which emphasize the importance of reform, building institutional systems for integrity, effectiveness and transparency and the move towards digital precision safety nets. The statement can be accessed here.
Keynote Speech at the Raffles Dialogue
November 28, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar delivered a Keynote Speech at the Third Raffles Dialogue in Singaporeon the Future of Human Well-Being and Security. She outlined the nature of global challenges and prospects for quantum change. She paid rich tribute to Singapore: “a country on top of the world’s human capital rankings, with the lowermost child mortality, a country that has eradiated extreme poverty and made massive strides to counter NCDs, the global leader in the disability transition and champion of the whole of government approach”. She said that in order to address global challenges “what we need to change are institutional behaviours—and to change behaviours we must change is the design of institutions and the incentive structures”. She further added“I believe you [Singapore] are well positioned to facilitate development of new rules of the game, and more broadly respect for international rules and the multilateral system”. The text of her speech can be accessed here
Keynote Speech at the Ministerial Conference on Diabetes
November 26, 2018: Delivering the keynote speech at the ministerial conference on diabetes in her capacity as Co-Chair of WHO High-level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases, Dr. Sania Nishtar termed diabetes as “the biggest epidemic of the 21st century”. The meeting was hosted by the government of Singapore. The keynote speech session was attended by the Deputy Prime MinisterShanmugaratnam, Minister of Health of Singapore, Gan Kim Young, and 11 health ministers of the Asia Pacific region. In her keynote speech she emphasized that “NCDs are forcing us to think very differently. They compel us to think about how to organize a new international response, and who to engage; NCDs are carving out a place in a future health ecosystem and are flagging important normative implications in this regard; and they are driving the needle on health at a very different level, domestically”. The text of the speech can be accessed here. On The same day Dr. Nishtar appeared in an interview with Singapore minister of Health Dr. Amy Khor in the program Singapore Tonight, exchanging views on diabetes epidemic. The Interview can be watched here
Global Agenda Council on the Future of Healthcare
November 11-12, 2018: The annual meeting of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the global gathering of thinks tanks was held in Dubai this week. Dr Sania Nishtar has been a member of the health and wellbeing-related Global Agenda Councils since their initiation 11 years ago and also attended this year’s meetings. Council members leverage networks to cross-pollinate thinking in pursuit of a systemic approaches to solutions. The Council on the Future of Health and Healthcare is comprised of expert stakeholders representing the public and private healthcare sectors and working together to provide insights on how the evolution of global Health and Healthcare will affect us all in the decades to come including through the implementation of the Fourth industrial revolution. Dr. Nishtar was chair of the Council from 2016-2018 and has now handed over the chairing role to Helen Clark.
Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs
November 6, 2018: The Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs’ General Meeting of its participants was held in Geneva from 5 to 6 November 2018 and was hosted by the Government of Switzerland. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the closing speaker. In her speech she emphasized that “the future of health and societies appears to have a deep interplay with NCDs—but transformations are happening both outside of the health sector and largely in the private sector”. She further added that “The future of health can be about the future of NCDs, but many governance imperatives are emerging, in relation to norms and standards and ethical, patient safety, regulatory and human resource capacity issues. There is a need to explore how we will overcome the financial access barriers which will deepen and ensure access to medicines for all”. Her speech can be viewed here
Second meeting of the IAB on Global Health of the government of Germany
November 5, 2018: The International Advisory Board (IAB) on Global Health of the Federal Government of Germany held its second meeting in Berlin on November 5-6. Dr Sania Nishtar participated in her capacity as a member of the IAB. The IAB is providing inputs towards the process of development of Germany’s Global Health Strategy and, as part of that process, was briefed at the German Ministry of health and the ministry of Education and Research. The Board also met the Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn.
World Oncology Forum Task Force
November 1, 2018: The first meeting of the of the World Oncology Forum Task Force was held in Villa Veronesi in Milan from November 1-3. Since Dr. Sania Nishtar was unable to participate in person, she delivered her opening address via a virtual link. She outlined how cancer and management of cancer was at the heart of most of the innovations in therapeutics today and what this was heralding for healthcare patters and health systems. She outlined the imperative for the establishment of new norms, capacities and regulatory systems. The World Oncology Forum has previously been very visible in relation to Cancer advocacy—their best-known campaigns appeals include: “Stop Cancer now!”“Treat the treatable” “Prevent the preventable” and “From Research to Policy”.
Dr. Sania Nishtar invited to chair the board of BISP, Pakistan acclaimed safety net institution
October 30, 2018: According to a press release issued by the Government of Pakistan, Dr. Sania Nishtar has bee invited to chair the board of BISP, Pakistan acclaimed safety net institution. Following her acceptance, she has been appointed today. the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is the Government of Pakistan’s National Cash Transfer Programme and its premier safety net institution, which currently runs a targeted USD 1.15 billion national-level cash transfer program for 5.5 million poor and marginalized women. The immediate objective of the Programme consumption smoothing and cushioning the negative effects of slow economic growth.Its long-term objectives are to meet the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate extreme and chronic poverty and empowerment of women.The Programmewas established through an Act of Parliament and works under the executive patronage of Prime Minister.
The Global Conference on Primary Health Care
October 26, 2918: The Global Conference on Primary Health Care was convened in Kazakhstan on the occasion of the 40thP anniversary of the Declaration of Alma Atafrom 25-26 October 2018. The conference was hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, in joint coordination with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, at the Palace of Independence in Astana. The conference aimed to renew political commitment to placing primary health care (PHC) at the heart of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Charing and moderating the session on NCDs at the event, Dr. Sania Nishtar said “there can be no UHC without attention to NCDs—the world’s biggest killers”. Several country representatives also spoke on the panel, including Anda Caska, Minister of Health of Latvia, Deputy Minister Pinovich of Belarus and representatives of Cuba and the host country.
Keynote address at the opening of Precision Public Health Asia, 2018
October 19, 2018: Dr Sania Nishtar was the keynote presenter at a symposium hosted by Western Australia—Precision Public Health Asia (PPH Asia 2018). With the theme ‘Discover, Share, Identify and Influence’, PPH Asia 2018 brought together a core group of visionaries and innovators to explore the current state of precision public health and consider the impact recent technological advancements are having to improve health outcomes. Her video-relayed presentation can viewed below. The event was hosted by the University of Western Australia and the Department of Health of Western Australia.
Keynote address at the opening of the symposium in Liverpool
October 9, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the symposium “Engaging with Private Providers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries” during the fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) in Liverpool, UK. HSR is a 2-yearly conference organized by Health Systems Global—a consortium of international organizations and many other leading actors in global health. Dr. Sania talked about the importance of strengthening quality of care, effective regulation, and the imperative of harnessing the outreach of informal health providers.
Keynote address at the Policy Forum on Hypertension and Cardiometabolic Risk in Colombo
October 2, 2018: Organizers of the multi-country south Asian trial (Control of Blood Pressure & Risk Attenuation trial [COBRA]) recently held a ‘Policy Forum on Hypertension and Cardiometabolic Risk’ in Colombo. The trial is undergoing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka and is supported by the Welcome Trust. Dr. Sania Nishtar, delivered the keynote address. She underscored the need for Universal Health Coverage to include hypertension and diabetes care for all segments of the population “Countries are crying out desperately for help. This is evidenced by data from WHO’s Country Cooperation Strategies in more than 150 countries. We could end up undermining the economic viability of Universal Health Coverage if plans failed to address the world’s leading killer”, she said.
Keynote address at the World Cancer Congress
October 2, 2018: The World Cancer Congress (WCC) is a major event in the global cancer control agenda. It is arecognized international conference “which encourages effective knowledge transfer and best practices exchange amongst 3,500 cancer control and public health experts from 150 countries”. It aims to strengthen the participants’ action and impact on national, regional and international scales through a multidisciplinary program that features the latest successful interventions in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the opening plenary of the conference; her talk, delivered through a video link can be accessed below.
Event hosted by the High-Level commission on NCDs at the at the United Nations
27 September 2018: The High-Level commission on NCDs hosted an event at the United Nations in New York on September 27. Co-chairs of the commission, Dr. Tabare Vasquez, President of Uruguay and Dr. Sania Nishtar co-chaired the meeting. The status of progress of the commission and its scope of work for its next phase were discussed by the co-chairs and other commissioners who were present.
Third high level summit on NCDs at the United Nations General Assembly
27 September 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar delivered an impassioned address at the 3rd High-Level Meeting on NCDs at then United Nations. She outlined the importance of many developments by the private sector, which are paving the way for health systems to become more choric care centric and reiterated the need for stepping up public roles—norm setting, bolstering regulatory capacity and the need to address financial access barriers. Her co-panelists at the session included President Edgar Lungu of Zambia, The Honorable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, and Zoleka Mandela. The text of Sania Nishtar’s speech can be accessed here.
Keynote speech at the United Nations on Childhood Obesity
26 September 2018, 6 pm: Dr. Nishtar ended the day by delivering the closing keynote back at the United Nations event on Addressing Childhood Obesity. In her remarks, Dr. Nishtar underscored the importance of data-driven solutions. Without data, we cannot ensure that our policies benefit the who need it most. By expanding and standardizing data collection, we can begin to tackle childhood obesity.The text of Sania Nishtar’s talk can be accessed here. The event was organized by the Government of Portugal and was chaired by Adalberto Campos Fernandes, Minister of Health of Portugal and Fernando Araujo, Secretary of State for health of Portugal. James Chau moderated the event. Dr. Sania Nishtar has previously served as the Chair of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood obesity, the recommendations of which are currently being implemented, globally.
Panels by Devex and the World Economic Forum
26 September 2018, 11 am: Dr. Sania Nishtar joined the Devex/World Economic Forum discussion on the importance of early detection and diagnosis. By highlighting the remarkable potential, the technologies and innovations pose for the NCD world, Dr. Nishtar highlighted the imperative that these benefits be equitably distributed to those most in need.Dr. Nishtar continued and participated in the Sustainable Development Impact Summit, discussing the role of public-private partnerships in addressing the burden of NCDs.
SUN Lead Group meeting
26 September 2018, 8 am: In the week of the 73rd UNGA, Dr. Sania Nishtar started the day at the SUN Group meeting. Dr. Nishtar stressed the importance of networking out of silos, creating platforms for shared experience, and strong governance in order to address malnutrition in all its forms. “To make meaningful change, we must institutionalize this at the country level”, she said.
Keynote address at the UNGA side event organized by Access Accelerated
September 25, 2018, 6 pm: On September 25th, Dr. Sania Nishtar made the fourth keynote speech of the day on sessions associated with the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. She finished the day giving both the opening keynote and speaking on the panel organized by Access Accelerated and the World Bank on Collaborating to Overcome Barriers to Decisive Global and Local Action on NCDs. “With a clear strategy, dedicated funding, and institutional partnerships, we can work together to translate words into actions. It is important that this agenda by set by those on the ground”, she said.
Keynote address at theHigh-Level side event on Food Systems
25 September 2018, 4 pm: Dr. Sania Nishtar delivered the closing keynote for EAT’s high-level event on “Food Systems Approaches to the Prevention of NCDs” at the United Nations headquarters in New York.The meeting was hosted by the Governments of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Indonesia, C40, EAT, WHO, the SUN Movement and the Nordic Council of Ministers.Dr. Nishtar highlighted the dual burden of malnutrition—both over- and under-nutrition—as contributors to NCDs. By partnering with public and private organizations, we can use a myriad of interventions and regulations to ensure that food promotes health rather than disease.The of Sania Nishtar’sstatement can be accessed here.
Opening keynote at the NCD care continuum event on the sidelines of UNGA
25 September 2018, 10 am: Dr. Sania Nishtar kicked-off the Teva-Intel-IAPO multi-sectorial talk with her keynote distillation of the NCD burden as borne by individual patients. Although patients may bear sixteen or more chronic diseases, they often do not fit the “classic” image of a non-communicable disease patient. “People do not come neatly packaged into silos; neither should our solutions”, she said.
Keynote address at the event organized by Partners in Health, Harvard University
25 September 2018, 9 am: Dr. Sania Nishtar gave a keynote address at the opening session of an event organized by NCD Synergies Project at Partners in Health, the Program in Global NCDs and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust in support of The Lancet Commission on Reframing NCDs and injuries for the Poorest Billion. This meeting was held in New York on the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA. Sania outlined how the global community can better address the burden borne by the world’s poorest and neediest due to NCDs and injuries. Dr. Nishtar pushed for an evolution beyond the traditional 4×4 approach to NCDs, impressing the importance of systems-level interventions to meet the real-world needs on the ground.
Keynote speech at the launch of the DEFEAT NCD partnership
September 24, 2018: Dr Sania Nishtar was the closing keynote speaker at the launch of the Defeat-NCD Partnership, a new global public-private partnership established to progress sustained actions against non-communicable diseases towards achieving SDG 3 by 2030. The launch took place at the United Nations General Assembly. Other speakers included Ulla Tornaes, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark; Dr The Honorable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis; Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk; Grete Faremo, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UNOPS; and Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Commentary in JAMA
August 31, 2018: Donald Berwick and Sania Nishtar publish a commentary today, in JAMA titled “Crossing the Global Health Care Quality Chasm: A Key Component of Universal Health Coverage: the commentary can be accessed here
Keynote speech at the EMRO ministerial meeting on Universal Health Coverage
September 3, 2018: Dr Sania Nishtar gave the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the ministerial meeting on Universal Health Coverage for the Eastern Mediterranean region in Salalah, Oman on September 3. She talked about the importance of integrating non-communicable diseases into universal health coverage plans and emphasized that it would be a tragic missed opportunity if countries failed to address the world’s leading killers whilst they planned to cover their populations for health.
Crossing the Global Quality Chasm: Improving Healthcare Worldwide
August 29, 2018: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) of the United States released it report “Crossing the Global Quality Chasm: Improving Healthcare Worldwide”, today. The report and details about its launch can be accessed here. Co-chairs of the NASEM Committee which was responsible for producing this report, Donald Berwick and Sania Nishtar concluded by stating that the “the global status of healthcare quality is shockingly poor & worrisome”
Second meeting of the high-level commission on NCDs
August 23, 2018: Dr Sania Nishtar chaired the second face to face meeting of the high level commission on NCDs in Geneva where plans for the second phase of the commission’s work were drawn up. These will be posted online shortly for public consultation.
NCD experts meeting in Moscow
July 25, 2018: The World Health Organization hosted a meeting on NCDs in Moscow from July 23-25. The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Health of Russia and its objective was to review plans underway in preparation for the 3rd High Level Summit on NCDs on September 27, 2018. Co-chairs of the high-level commission on NCDS Dr. Veronica Skortsova, Minister of health of Russia and Dr. Sania Nishtar met with the WHO NCDs directors to explore how to exploit synergy in relation to the work of the Commission.
Keynote address at the NCDs workshop in Chennai
July 14, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar gave the keynote address at the NCDs event in Chennai organized by the Public Health Foundation of India, DIWWAAAS and HRIDAY. The event focused on Girls, Women and Diabetes and was held on July 14-15, 2018. The aim of the workshop was to share and learn about the challenges and potential solutions on diabetes prevention and control especially employing a gender lens, within the overall ambit of prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases.
NCDs event at the United Nations’ General Assembly
July 5, 2018: President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, invited Dr Sania Nishtar to speak in the opening segment of the interactive hearing organised as part of the preparatory process of the third UN high-level meeting on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. The interactive hearing was held on Thursday, 5 July 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The text of the speech can be accessed here.
Advisory Board of the Government of Germany’s on Global Health
Dr. Sania Nishtar joins the International Advisory Board of the Federal Government of Germany’s on Global Health and attended its first meeting in Berlin from July 1-3. This board advises on current challenges and trends in global health and makes suggestions how Germany could further develop its engagement in the international community as the leading government, globally to promote global health.
EAT Stockholm food forum
June 11, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar and Johan Rockström gave the State of the Union address at the opening of the 5th EAT EAT Stockholm Food Forum in Stockholm. The address can be viewed here and press coverage about the event can be accessed here.
Launch of the report of the commission on NCDs
June 1, 2018: The report of the High-Level Commission on NCDs, was released in Geneva on June 1, 2018. The Report was released by co-chairs of the Commission, President Tabare Vasquez, President of Uruguay and Dr. Sania Nishtar, President of Heartfile. The Report was handed over to Director General of WHO, Dr. Tedros. The Report was published in The Lancet on the same day. The WHO monograph can be accessed and the event webcast can be viewed here.
Dr. Sania Nishtar at the 71st World Health Assembly sessions
May 25, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar spoke at several sessions accompanying the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva this week. She was the opening speaker for both the Scaling up Nutrition side events on the 22nd and the 23rd of May. She was a panelist on a session on NCDs alongside President Michele Bachelet organized by the NCD alliance and in addition also spoke on a panel organized by the government of Netherlands, Colombia, and Norwary. In these sessions she spoke alongside the Ministers of Health of Jamaica, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, DR Congo, and Norway and other health experts. Dr. Sania also chaired a meeting of the High-Level Commission on NCDs this week at the Palais de Nations. She keynoted the breakfast townhall event of NCD Child and also gave opening remarks at the G4 Surgical Alliance event this week.
BMJ blog on NCDs and UHC
May 22, 2017: SaniaNishtar’scommentary explaining how to integrate Non-communicable diseases with Universal Health Coverage has been published on the British Medical Journal blog and can be accessed here: “Opportunities exist to negotiate policy space for NCDs in each health systems’ six building blocks, and therefore in UHC plans”, she says.
Sania Nishtar: Acting with intent
May 16, 2018: The British Medical Journal has published Sania Nishtar’s interview in BMJ Confidential, an informal space in which they quiz doctors about their hopes, fears, worst mistakes, biggest inspirations, and numerous other matters. The interviewcan be accessed here
Sania Nishtar Chairs the National Academy of Sciences meeting in Washington
May 16, 2018: the fourth and the final in-person meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s committee on “Improving the Quality of Healthcare,Globally” was held in Washington on May 14 and 15. Dr Sania Nishtar and Dr. Donald Berwick, Committee co-chairs, chaired the meeting. The committee is expected to publish its report in September 2018.
Gender parity in global health
May 8, 2018: Dr Sania Nishtar and Helen Clark write about the importance of gender parity in global health in a Project Syndicate comment which can be accessed here:
Sania Nishtar Chairs meeting of the High-Level Commission on NCDs
May 7, 2018: The third meeting of the WHO High Level Commission on NCDs and (the first one that was held in person) was held in Geneva on May 7, 2018 at the WHO headquarters. A large number of commissioners were present at the meeting. Deliberations focused on the first report of the Commission, which is meant to be released on June 1, 2018.
May 1, 2018: the Oped titled More provinces? by Sania Nishtar, published in The News can be accessed here.
Fight Against Cervical Cancer
April 17, 2018: Dr Sania Nishtar’s Op-ed in Gulf News titled “Fight against cervical cancer picks momentum” can be accessed here.
April 13, 2018: the Oped titled The E-voting Challenge by Sania Nishtar, published in The News can be accessed here.
NCD Financing Meeting in Copenhagen
April 9, 2018: the WHO Global Dialogue on Partnerships for Sustainable Financing of Noncommunicable Disease Prevention and Control was held in Copenhagen from 9-11 April. Dr. Sania Nishtar spoke at the closing plenary about the need for a three pronged approach to NCDs—domestic integration of NCDs into exiting systems, need for long term domestic foresight and catalytic role of the international system.Her speech can be viewed here.
Chief Guest at the Launch of a study on the volume of illicit Cigarette Brands in Pakistan
April 4, 2018: The Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) and the Human Development Foundation (HDF) launched the “Study to Assess the Volume of Illicit Cigarette Brands in Pakistan” The study was carried out under the technical guidance of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Knowledge Hub, Economics of Tobacco Control Project and assessed the volume of sale of illicit cigarette brands in ten cities and their adjoining rural areas across Pakistan. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the chief guest at the event. Read More.
Pakistan: how to tap the silver lining
April 3, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar was a featured speaker at the Center for Peace, Security and Developmental Studies Institute Seminar on “Pakistan: how to tap the silver lining” where she spoke about the importance of transparency and governance reform.
Op-Ed on Universal Health Coverage on World Health Day 2018
April 7, 2018: Project Syndicate, one of the world’s opinion pages, publishes Dr. Sania Nishtar’s Op-Ed outlining how corruption impedes Universal Health Coverage on World Health Day 2018. Read here
Oped on the Future of Government
March 17, 2018: Dr. Sania writes about the importance of human capital development for national growth and progress. Read more.
Op-Ed with Helen Clark on International Women’s Day
March 8, 2018: In an Op-Ed in The NEWs International Sania Nishtar and Helen Clark are aiming to inspire a Women’s health movement. Read here
Op-Ed with Lord Nigel Crisp at the launching of Nursing Now
March 1, 2018: Lord Nigel Crisp, co-chairs of UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health and an advocate for Nursing Now and Dr Sania Nishtar write about how important it is to accord attention to the potential of nurses in this Oped. Read here.
Oped on the importance of human capital development
February 21, 2018: Dr. Sania writes about the importance of human capital development for national growth and progress. Read the oped here.
Chief Guest at the Third Amateur Ladies Golf Championship
March 18, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to be the Chief Guest at the Third Pakistan Golf Association Amateur Ladies Golf Championship in Islamabad. She gave away trophies and in her keynote speech she said “golf has taught me many things in life. The importance of visioning, problem solving, practice, persistence, graciousness and respect”. She said it is critical for women to have equal participation in physical activity and sport, since that is a double-edged advantage both for women’s empowerment as well as has health benefits. Dr. Sania awarded the trophy to the winning team from Thailand.
Chief Guest at the AIOU International Conference on Environment and Health
March 21, 2018: It is now well established that most of the determinants of health lie outside of thecontrol of the healthcare system—these also includemany environmentaldeterminants” said Dr. Sania Nishtar at the opening of the International Conference on Environment and Health at the Allama Iqbal Open University here in Islamabad. Dr. Sania, who was invited to be the chief guest at the opening of the conference paid tribute to the organizers of the meeting for taking health “out of the silo” for the discourse at the conference.
Keynote Speech at the Human Development Forum
February 13, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited as chief of honor in the Punjab Human Development Forum, Pakistan. During her speech Dr. Sania Nishtar stated that Human capital will be the single most important determinant of economic stability of any country. The event took place in Lahore.
Keynote Speech at the Foundation University
February 2, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar speak as a keynote speaker at the 1st Interdisciplinary Conference on the theme of “Action Plan for Physical Rehabilitation- RoadMap for Pakistan”. Foundation International University in Islamabad organized the conference.
Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2018
February 1, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar participated as a panelist in one of the key session “Making the World Safe from the Threats of Emerging Infectious Diseases” at PRINCE MAHIDOL AWARD CONFERENCE commenced during 29 January to 3 February 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Keynote speech at the SUN nutrition event
January 30,2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar gave the Key Note Speech at SUNAR National Nutrition Research Conference 2018. The event was organized SUN Academia & Research Network Pakistan in Islamabad.
World Economic Forum at DAVOS
January 23-26, 2018:The 48thAnnual Meetingof World economic forum, was kicked off under the theme, ‘’creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’’, with the aim of identifying ways for humanity to work collectively once more in the face of urgent global and regional challenges.Dr. Sania Nishtar boldly expressed her views as a panelist in the important sessions “South Asia Outlook” & “Asia Game Changers” held on 24th January. The former session can be viewed here.
WHO NCDs Commission Meeting
January 16-17, 2018: Regional and Geneva-based NCD Directors and WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs Co-chair Dr. Sania Nishtar gathered in Geneva for WHO Internal Planning Meeting to discuss the progress and next steps for WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs.
Keynote speech at the Air University LIFECON conference
January 15, 2018:Dr. Sania Nishtar in her Key Note Speech at LIFECON 2018 highlighted the importance of multidisciplinary & Interdisciplinary Approach in Health Sciences. Air University Islamabad organized the conference.
Second meeting of the National Academies Global Study on the Quality of Healthcare in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
December 18-19, 2017: Dr Sania Nishtar co-chaired—along with Don Berwick—the second committee meeting of the Global Study on the Quality of Healthcare in Low- and Middle-Income Countries on December 18-19 in Nairobi. The study has been organized by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
December 9, 2017 Dr. Sania Nishtar gave the keynote address at the NCD Forum in Sharjah on December 9. Th video of the keynote can be accessed here.
Keynote speech at the 8th Public Health Conference, Pakistan
December 6, 2017: Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the 8th public health conference in Islamabad and spoke about the future of healthcare.
Heartfile Financing session at the 8th Public Health Conference
December 6, 2017: Heartfile held a special session on Heartfile Health Financing at8th Public Health Conference held at the Health Services Academy in Islamabad. Heartfile Health Financing Stakeholders—donors, doctors, and operational staff—deliberated at the event about scale up modalities.
Rethinking the Global System for Health in Agenda 2030
November 20, 2017: Sania Nishtar joined Helen Clark and others at University College London for a Chatham house style event hosted by Kent Buse and Sarah Hawkes to brainstorm about the future of Health
Keynote speech at ICTD 2017
November 18, 2017: Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the Information Technology for Development Conference in Lahore on November 18, 2017. Her talk was focused on the application of ICTD for improvinghealth outcomes and the manner in which ICT breakthroughs are creating new opportunities.
World Diabetes Day
November 14, 2017: Read Dr. Sania Nishtar’sOped “Diabetes is a serious women’s issue” in Diabetes Voice on the occasion of World Diabetes Day https://goo.gl/sPkQiT
World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council
November 12: The World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils—the world’s foremost interdisciplinary knowledge network dedicated to promoting innovative thinking on the future—met in Dubai on November 11-12, 2017. This initiative comprises 35 Councils, which focus on challenges that are global in nature. The uture of Health and Healthcare is one of the Future Councils and is co-chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar, along with Dr. Andre Goy. Both the co-chairs convened a meeting of their council in Madinat Jumeriah conference centre over the two days.
keynote speech at the Harvard Symposium on women in the workforce
October 23, 2017: On Monday, October 23,2017, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Women and HealthInitiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, hosted a symposium on gender and the global health workforce to kick off the first-ever celebration of Harvard Worldwide Week in Boston. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the symposium. The text of her speech can be accessed here.
Dr. Sania Nishtar and President Tabaré Vázquez named NCD Commission co-chairs
October 20, 2017: President Dr. Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay and Dr. Sania Nishtar have been named as co-chairs of the newly established WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs. Both the co-chairs met on the sidelines of the Global Conference on NCDs to discuss initial modalities of the commission.
WHO Global Conference on NCDs in Uruguay
October 20, 2017: The WHO Global Conference on NCDs was recently held in Montevideo, Uruguay from 18-20 October 2017. The conference aimed to highlight the critical links between reducing premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases, promoting mental health and well-being and enhancing policy coherence across areas that impact the governance, prevention, management and surveillance of NCDs. Dr. Sania Nishtar was one of the speakers in the final plenary on “The Way Forward” and spoke about the imperative innovative approaches to accelerate the response to NCDs in view of the upcoming high-level summit on NCDs in 2018.
The National Academies Global Study on the Quality of Healthcare in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
October 18, 2017: In light of the call in the Sustainable Development Goals for achieving Universal Health Coverage, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has convened a Committee on Improving Global Quality of Healthcare. The committee will be co-chaired by Don Berwick, former United States Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Dr. Sania Nishtar. Updates about the public component of the committee can be accessed here
Vision talk at Stanford Women Leaders Conference
October 12, 2017: The inaugural Women Leaders in Global Health conference was held at Stanford University on Oct. 12. The conference was attended by over 400 women and men – representing more than 250 organizations and from 68 countries – and watched live by another 400 viewers joining in from homes and workplaces around the world. Dr. Sania Nishtar gave one of the two Vision Talks at the Conference in an interview format. She was interviewed by Susan Chira, gender editor of New York Times. Footage of the event can be viewed here https://t.co/ZKHMwMWxqG
September 20, 2017: Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the advisory board meeting of EAT in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd UNGA. An initiative of the Stordalen Foundation and the Stockholm resilience center, EAT is focused is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: providing the growing global population a healthy and nutritious diet within safe environmental limits.
Impact Summit of the World Economic Forum
September 19, 2017: On the occasion of the Sustainable Development Impact Summit, the World Economic Forum held a session on “Public and Private Collaboration to Close the Gap on Financing for NCDs”. The session gathered business leaders, government, academia and civil society to share examples on how innovators have successfully deployed resources and capital towards impact on the NCD agenda, around the world. Sania Nishtar was one of the panelists and shared the manner in which Heartfile Health Financing is helping save lives in Pakistan.
Sun Lead group meeting in New York
September 18, 2017: Dr. Sania Nishtar is a member of the SUN Lead Group and attended the Lead Group meeting in New York at the UNICEF headquarters on September 19, 2017. SUN is a global movement to end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The SUN Movement Lead Group has the overall responsibility for the Movements progress towards achieving its objectives.
Keynote speech at the Launch of the Access to Treatment for NCDs Alliance
September 18, 2017: the global NGO Path in collaboration with a number of partners from the public and private worlds is leading the establishment of a new alliance aiming to promote “Access to Treatment for NCDs”. The alliance was launched by Sir George Alleyne in a Ceremony in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. In her keynote speech at the event, Dr. Sania Nishtar underscores the importance of access to treatment both in financial and geographic access terms and drew on personal experiences, calling for higher visibility to be accorded to international NCD initiatives.
European Public Health Alliance’s (EPHA) 8th annual conference
September 7, 2017: The European Public Health Alliance hosted its 8th annual meeting in Brussels this year on September 7, placing a key question at the heart of the deliberations: How to spark change for chronic disease prevention? Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the event and presented a number of policy recommendations to break the deadlock on chronic diseases. The conference deliberations will soon be posted on https://epha.org/
Keynote address at the Circulatory Summit in Singapore
July 13, 2017: Dr. Sania Nishtar was the closing keynote speaker at the 2nd Global Summit on Circulatory Health held in Singapore this week. The meeting was hosted by the World Heart Federation. Sania Nishtar spoke about her recent experience as nominee for WHO Director General and drew on her insights after having met with ministers of health and high-level delegations from over 190 countries. She dilated on the need for mainstreaming NCD prevention and control in country health systems planning and elaborated on the huge need to do so, which was highlighted during her interactions with country delegations.
Great applause for Sania Nishtar’s WHO DG election campaign
May 23, 2017: After an intensive 18 month election campaign for the position of WHO Director General, Dr Sania Nishtar was defeated by Tedros Adanhom of Ethiopia in the final election which was held at the World Health Assembly on May 23rd, 2017.
In a dignified final campaign newsletter, Sania Nishtar accepts defeat gracefully. She conveys here deepest gratitude to all those who supported her, wished the new WHO DG all the best and referred to her candidacy and her nomination as an “extraordinary privilege”. Sania Nishtar draws attention to her efforts aimed at having initialized an international movement for change in drawing attention to some of the root causes facing the UN system as outlined in her final Op-Ed in the campaign and reiterated in her final speech at the World Health Assembly. She also recalled her efforts to promote “new deal” for WHO, one where she envisaged institutionalizing transparency and accountability as central tenets to delivering institutional reform, and hoped that these efforts would help catalyze a movement within WHO.
Her candidacy was widely hailed both internationally and in Paksitan as is evidenced by the EndorsementsandNewsletters
May 23, 2017: all the three nominees for the position of Director-General of WHO, Sania Nishtar, David Nabarro, Tedros Adanhom,were invited to speak at the World Health Assembly, addressing delegations and ministers of health from 194-member state countries. The text of Sania Nishtar’s speech can be accessed here.
Article in BMJ about the WHO DG election process
May 19, 2017: In her final op-ed before the vote for WHO DG, published in the BMJ, Sania Nishtar discusses her approach to the campaign, which will have an important bearing on implementing her vision for a new WHO, if elected a week from now. Fingers crossed!
WHO DG candidate’s event in Fiji
April 25, 2017: Sania Nishtar spoke at a candidates’ event organized by the government of Fiji and the Pacific Islands forum during the Pacific Heads of Health meeting which was held on April 25. This event was organized for candidates of WHO DG. She also met with volunteers and government officials, got to wear a traditional dress and learnt about the challenges facing Fiji and the Pacific region.
WHO DG candidate’s event in Quito
March 31, 2017: At the beautiful UNASUR headquarters in Ecuador on March 31, Sania Nishtar met Member States from the South America region and put forward her vision for accelerating reform within the WHO. Along with the other two finalists for WHO DG, David Nabarro and TedrosAdanhom, she spoke at a press conference and a panel discussion for WHO DG nominees.
Fifth Newsletter of Sania Nishtar’s WHO DG Campaign
Second Newsletter of Sania Nishtar’sWHO Director-General Election Campaign
April 19: This week Sania Nishtar is touring Asia and the Pacific. Robert Beaglehole and Ruth Bonita one of the most respected health experts who have formerly worked at WHO at leadership positions have come forward to endorse her candidature. Sir Trevor Hassel, Sir Cary Cooper, and one of the former WHO Assistant Director-Generals, Abedi Jama have also reiterated their strong support for her candidacy. Prof. Fareed Minhas from Pakistan has explained why she is the best choice. Read the second newsletter here.
First Newsletter of Sania Nishtar’sWHO Director-General Election Campaign
April 10, 2017: The first campaign newsletter has just been launched and can be accessed here. As Sania Nishtar tours Latin America and the Caribbean meeting heads of state and ministers of health and foreign affairs to promote her candidature, experts and respected personalities from across the region come forward to support her campaign, including the Sir George Alleyne, Darwin Labarthe, Beatriz Champagne and many others.
Political leadership for global health
March 6. 2017: I her capacity as nominee for Director General of WHO, Dr. Sania Nishtar participated in an event at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, with a focus on Political leadership for global health. The footage of the event can be accessed. Video
DG WHO Nominees at Science Po in Paris
February 10: on February 10 the three WHO DG nominees, Dr Sania Nishtar, Dr Tedros Adhanom and Dr David Nabarro were invited to Science Po in Paris to interact with students, faculty and members of the civil society. Science Po is France’s prestigious 150 year-old international research university. The nominees were asked to speak about the future of health and the role of WHO. Dr Jean-Marie Le Guen, France’s Minister of State for Development and Francophonie of France, closed the meeting with his closing speech, reaffirming France’s commitment to global health.
Prince Mahidhol Award Conference
February 3, 2017: In her capacity as one of the three nominees for Director-General of the World Health Organization, Sania Nishtar joined the two other nominees for a dinner discussion at the opening dinner of the Prince Mahidhol Award Conference in Bangkok on February 3, 2017.
Nominated for WHO DG
January 25, 2017: Dr. Sania Nishtar is one of the three candidates who have been nominated for Director-General of the World Health Organization by the Executive Board of the organization.
January 22, 2017: Minister of Health of Pakistan, Saira Afzal Tarar, and Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Tehmina Janjua hosted a reception at Pakistan house in honor of the Ministers and WHO Executive Board Members attending the WHO Executive Board meeting, a day ahead of the WHO DG Election. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Pakistan’s Candidate spoke at the event about her vision for a new WHO.
Sania Nishtar at Davos
January 19, 2017: Dr. Sania Nishtar moderated the session on the Future of Health and Healthcare at the 2017 Annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The first morning session on the first day of the meeting kicked off an exciting series of discussions on the future of health and healthcare at Davos. During the meeting, she also participated in a number of other events.
World Innovation Summit for Health 2016, Doha, Qatar
November 30, 2016: The 2016 World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) was held in Doha from November 29 to 30, 2016. The invitation only event was attended by experts from all around the world. The conference is now recognised as a major international event in global health. Dr. Sania Nishtar participated in the conference as a panellist in the plenary session “Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation”. The Panel was moderated by Mishal Husain. H.E. Minister of Health of Oman, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Obaid Al Saidi, was also one of the panelists.
Shanghai Global Conference on health promotion
November 25, 2016: The 9th Global Conference on health promotion was held in Shanghai from November 21-24. Dr. Sania Nishtar, was part of the Pakistan delegation to this invitation-only meeting. Along with the Minister of Health of Pakistan, H.E. Saira Afzal Tarar, Dr. Nishtar held several meetings on the margins of the conference to create awareness about her candidature for Director-General of the World Health Organization.
World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils
November 14, 2016: The World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils—the world’s foremost interdisciplinary knowledge network dedicated to promoting innovative thinking on the future—met in Dubai on November 13-14, 2016. This initiative comprises 35 Councils, which focus on challenges that are global in nature. The Future of Health and Healthcare is one of the Future Councils and is co-chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar, along with Dr. Andre Goy, a celebrated US based oncologist. Both the co-chairs convened a meeting of their council in Madinat Jumeriah conference centre over the two days and chalked a plan for the way forward.
Chatham House Candidates’ event, London
November 3, 2016: The Chatham House in London, held a Forum on November 3, 2016 where candidates for Director-General of the World Health Organization had the opportunity to respond to non-governmental stakeholders, medical professionals, academics, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Framed as “Question Time: Electing the Next Director-General of the World Health Organization”, the event was moderated by Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet and was co-chaired by David Heymann, Head and Senior Fellow, Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House and Suerie Moon, Director of Research, Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of Geneva. The event can be accessed here: https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/question-time-electing-next-director-general-world-health-organization#sthash.zVw9LaT2.dpuf
Sania Nishtar at the United Nations Guild event in Geneva
November 1, 2016: Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the United Nations Women’s guild morning event at the Palais de Nations in Geneva held on November 1, 2016. The event was hosted by Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative in Geneva. Dr. Nishtar spoke about the role of women in Pakistan and the importance of women’s empowerment more broadly.
WHO Director-General election: Candidates’ Forum
November 2, 2016: As part of the process to elect a new Director-General, WHO in Geneva at its headquarters held a Candidates Forum where candidates for Director-General were interviewed and presented their visions. Dr. Sania Nishtar participated in the forum as one of the six candidates. Footage from the event can be accessed here:
Gulf Cooperation Council Health Ministers meeting in Riyadh
On October 13, 2016, Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the 80thGulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Health Ministers meeting in Riyadh to present her candidature for Director-General of the World Health Organization. She also discussed matters of global health with six ministers of health from the GCC region.
WHO WPRO Regional Committee meeting, Manila, Philippines
October 13, 2016: Pakistan Embassy in Manila hosted a breakfast event on the occasion of the WHO Western-Pacific Region (WPRO), Regional Committee meeting on October 12, 2016 to promote the candidature of Dr. Sania Nishtar for WHO Director-General. The event was well attended by a large number of ministers from the WPRO region and especially from the pacific region. Dr. Sania also attended the WPRO Regional Committee meeting and held bilateral meetings with a number of ministers and visiting delegations.
WHO EMRO Regional Committee meeting, Cairo, Egypt
October 6, 2016: Pakistan’s Minister of Health H.E. Saira Afzal Tarar hosted a reception on the occasion of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) Regional Committee meeting in Cairo on October 4, 2016, aimed at promoting the candidature of Dr. Sania Nishtar for WHO Director-General. Dr Sania also attended the EMRO Regional Committee meeting and held bilateral meetings with a number of ministers and visiting delegations.
WHO PAHO Regional Committee meeting, Washington
September 28, 2016: Dr. Sania Nishtar attended theWHO PAHO Regional Committee meeting fromSeptember 24-28 in Washington to create awareness about her candidacy for WHO Director-General. She also met a number of ministers of health from the WHO Americas region and members of visiting delegations from countries and apprised them about her candidacy. On the margins of the meeting, the Pakistan Embassy in Washington hosted a lunch event where Dr Sania Nishtar presentedher vision for WHO and the 10 Pledges for Action. The event was very well attended by minsters and senior leaders.
WHO EURO Regional Committee meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark
September 15, 2016: The Pakistan Embassy in Copenhagen hosted a breakfast event on the margins of theWHO European Region (EURO), Regional Committee meeting in Copenhagen on September 13, 2016 where Dr Sania Nishtarunveiled“A New Vision for WHO” and the associated 10 Pledges for Action. The event was well attended by ministers of health and members of the delegations attending the WHO EURO meeting. Dr Sania also met a number of ministers of health and members of the visiting delegations from European countries and apprised them about her candidacy.
WHO SEARO Regional Committee meeting, Colombo, Sri Lanka
September 10, 2016: In her capacity as candidate for Director-General, World Health Organization, Dr. Sania Nishtar participated in the WHO South-East Asian Region (SEARO) Regional Committee meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka from September 5-8, 2016. During the meeting, she had the opportunity to present her candidacy to Ministers of Health from the WHO SEARO region and other delegates attending the meeting.
WHO AFRO Regional Committee meeting, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
August 28, 2016: In her capacity as candidate for Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Sania Nishtar participated in the WHO African Region Regional Committee (AFRO) meeting from August 19-23, 2016. During the meeting, she had the opportunity to present her candidacy to ministers of health from the WHOAfrican region and other delegates attending the meeting.
World Economic Forum’s GAC on Mental Health
World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Mental Health (2014-2016) has recently released a guide for Workplace Mental Health; the guide can be accessed here. Sania Nishtar served as Vice chair of the Council and promotes these seven actions towards a mentally healthy organization.
Disseminating research findings: Heartfile and IDRC
June 2, 2016: Heartfile hosted an event in collaboration with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) to disseminate preliminary findings of the evaluation of Heartfile Health Financing. The eventwas attended by a wide range of audience from academia, government of Pakistan, developing partners, health sector and civil society. Dr. Sania Nishtar, President Heartfilechaired. Mr. Werner Leipach, Country Director Asian Developing Bank highlighted issues around financial risk protection and innovative health financing initiatives being imperative in progressing towards Universal Health Coverage.
World Congress of Cardiology in Mexico
June 4, 2016: The Global Summit on Cardiovascular Health was recently held at the World Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Health (WCC 2016) on June 4, 2016. Dr. Sania Nishtar was one of the featured speakers at the event and her talk, relayed through the video, can be accessed here.
Second meeting of the IAP in Geneva
May 27, 2016: The Independent Accountability Panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General, chaired by Dr. Sania Nishtar met on May 27th in Geneva for their second meeting to deliberate on its first report. The meeting was attended by all the IAP members. The IAP is tasked to produce an annual comprehensive synthesis report on the state of the health of women, children and adolescents. The IAP is to provide the global community with the best available evidence on progress towards achieving the objectives of the Global Strategy and the relevant Sustainable Development Goals, and to make recommendations on overcoming barriers to progress.
ECHO side event during the World Health Assembly
May 26, 2016: On the occasion of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the World Health Organization hosted a side event at the Palais de Nations on Ending Childhood Obesity. Titled, “Securing the Future of our Children”, the session was organized by the Permanent Missions of Ghana, Malaysia and Mexico and was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of New Zealand and Zambia. Co-chairs of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Sir Peter Gluckman gave the introductory presentations. The event was chaired by Professor Fiona Bull. In addition to the Co-Chairs, speakers at the event included the Minister of health of Malaysia, and the Vice Minister of Health of Mexico.
Announcement of Dr. Sania Nishtar’s candidacy in Geneva
May 25, 2016: On May 25th, the Minister of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar and Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, hosted a reception at the Palais de Nations to formally announce the candidacy of Dr. Sania Nishtar for the post of Director General, World Health Organization at the occasion of the World Health Assembly.
Dr. Sania Nishtar at Women Deliver
May 17, 2016: In her capacity as Chair of the Independent Accountability Panel, Dr. Sania Nishtar participated virtually in a ‘hearing style session’ at the Women Deliver conference, which was held in Copenhagen,to elicit views and recommendations from the audience on the work of the panel.Her message was read out by Carmen Barosa, also a member of the IAP.This hearing style session was aimed at sharing information on the work of the Independent Accountability Panel.
Candidacy for WHO DG: Announcement in Pakistan
May 10, 2016: The Advisor to the Prime Minster on Foreign Affairs, H.E. Sartaj Aziz and the Minister of Health, H.E. Saira Afzal Tarar, co-hosted a reception on May 10, 2016 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan to formally announce the candidacy of Dr. Sania Nishtar for the post of Director General, World Health Organization. The event was well attended by a large number of Ambassadors from all over the world serving in Pakistan.
Industry Encouraged to Participate in Sustainable Value Creation
April 27, 2016: Food Industry Asia hosted its 6th Annual General Meeting on 27 Apr 2016, in Singapore. Dr Sania Nishtar was a key note speaker on this occasion. Her talk relayed through video conference can be accessed here.
The first IAP meeting
March 1, 2016: Only three weeks after being appointed, Sania Nishtar convened the first face-to-face meeting of the Independent Accountability Panel in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 1st and 2nd of March.
The overarching objective of the IAP is to provide an independent and transparent review of progress on the implementation of the 2016-30 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health (the Strategy) and to identify and advocate the necessary actions to ensure achievement of the Strategy’s goals. The IAP is a key institution in the Strategy’s Unified Accountability Framework (UAF). details about IAP will be posted on their website soon
Sania Nishtar’s video message at the CSW side event on nutrition
March 21, 2016: At the 60th Annual Commission on the Status of Women, WHO, FAO and UNICEF hosted a side event to highlight why good nutrition for all, and women in particular, is essential to achieve the SDGs. By showcasing specific examples of effective nutrition interventions, the event demonstrated how societies can become healthier, smarter, more sustainable and more equal by investing in women’s nutrition. Speakers at the event included H.E. Mrs. Esther Lungu, First Lady of Zambia; permanent representatives of the mission of Brazil and Senegal in New York and officials from WHO, FAO and UNICEF. Dr. Sania Nishtar’s video message was relayed at the event which focused on “Investing in women’s nutrition for healthy, smart and more sustainable societies”.
Dr Sania Nishtar to chair a UN international accountability panel
February 16, 2016: We are pleased to announce that our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar has been selected to chair the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel (IAP), which is part of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, launched in September last year to help further the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda. The strategy builds on 15 years of progress under the Millennium Development Goals and is the most influential global movement today, on women, children and adolescents’ health. Since the new framework of the SDGs now demands results and real action, “accountability” is the pulse of the any new SDGs’ linked initiative. It is here that the Independent Accountability Panel assumes great importance as it is mandated and “empowered to command attention from the global community” and to “to monitor, review and act” in the interest of women, children and adolescents’ health, globally. Other members of the IAP include Alicia Eli Yamin (Harvard University, USA) Jaime Sepulveda (Mexico), Carmen Barroso (Brazil), Pali Lehohla (South Africa), Elizabeth Mason (UK), Vinod K. Paul (India), Giorgi Pkhakadze (Ukraine), and Dakshitha Wickremarathne (Sri Lanka).
Co-Chairs of the World Health Organization Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and our President Dr. Sania Nishtar have presented the Commission’s final report to the Director General of the World Health Organization on January 25 in Geneva. Together the two of them led a two-year process, which involved face-to-face meetings with more than a hundred countries in six continents, two online consultations, hearings with non-state actors and four meetings of the Commission itself to provide a report, details of which were featured by Time, Newsweek, the Guardian and many other international news avenues in late January. The consensus on the difficult and multi-dimensional issue of childhood obesity achieved through this report and the consultative process that preceded it, now paves the way for global action to address the alarming levels of childhood obesity and overweight globally. The report can be accessed here
The Emerging Markets Symposium at Oxford University
Every year, for the last seven years, the Green Templeton College in Oxford hosts the Emerging Markets Symposium to promote solutions to high priority problems of human welfare in emerging market countries. The symposium “brings together authoritative and influential leaders from governments, the public and private sectors and academe to address critical sectoral issues”. Previous Symposia have focused on Health and Healthcare (2009); Urbanisation, Health and Human Security (2011), Tertiary Education (2012) Gender Inequality (2013), Maternal and Child Health (2014) and Ageing (2015). The 2016 symposium held from Jan 7 to 10 focused on the Future of Young People in the Emerging Markets. Our president, Sania Nishtar attended the symposium, both in her capacity as member of the Steering Committee of the initiative as well as a participant.
The Emerging Markets Symposium at Oxford University
Partnership Building for NCDs at World Health Organization
December 9, 2015: The World Health Organization Dialogue on Strengthening International Cooperation for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control was held in Geneva on November 30, and December 1, 2015. Our President Sania Nishtar was one of the keynote speakers at the event and spoke about the imperative of linking demand for resources (financial technical and human resources) to available supply in order to support national responses to Non-Communicable diseases, prevention and control. Further details about the meeting can be accessedhere
Our President Sania Nishtar, as one of the keynote speakers at the The World Health Organization Dialogue on Strengthening International Cooperation for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control held in Geneva.
The Fourth ECHO Commission Meeting
December 8, 2015: The fourth and final meeting of the World Health Organization’s Ending Childhood Obesity Commission was held in Geneva on November 30, to December 1, 2015. Our President attended the two-day meeting in her capacity as co-chair of the commission. Further details about the commission can be accessed here.
Our President, Sania Nishtar in Geneva at the fourth and final meeting of the World Health Organization’s Ending Childhood Obesity Commission
The Fourth Climate and Health Summit 2015
December 7, 2015: The fourth Climate and Health Summit was held on December 5, 2015, on the middle weekend of the 21st Conference of Parties negotiations in Paris. Focused on best practice sharing and emphasizing the need for investment in communities and health systems, the meeting concluded with a set of declarations.
Our President Sania Nishtar was a speaker at the concluding session of the conference and spoke about the role of public policy in shaping the post 2015 landscape.
Our President Sania Nishtar was a speaker at the concluding session of the fourth Climate and Health Summit.
Keynote at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit
November 25, 2015: The World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, an annual high level convening hosted by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) was held in Istanbul on November 18, 2015. The meeting “provides an important forum to secure a coordinated, multileveled global response to address the spiraling cancer epidemic”. UICC is a Geneva based apex body with a membership of 900 organizations across 155 countries.
Since the summit was held immediately after the UN’s pronouncement of the Sustainable Development Goals with their focus on partnerships as a key lever of delivery, its theme centered on international collaboration.
Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker alongside the Minister of Health of Turkey at the event. Her talk focused on conflict of interest management, which she explained in an interview “is the bedrock on which partnerships need to be framed”. Her detailed views on the subject can be accessed here: http://goo.gl/NzEbQM
Dr. Sania as the keynote speaker at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit
Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity: the European Regional Consultation
October 29, 2015: The Ending Childhood Obesity Commission recently held its European regional consultation in Malta on October 29 and 30. The meeting was organized by the World Health Organization EURO regional office and the Government of Malta and was attended by countries from the region. This consultation is the last in a series of regional consultations, the Commission is holding globally to seek regional perspectives on the issue. The meeting was chaired by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar, who co-chairs the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity along with Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian
October 6, 2015: Our President, Sania Nishtar recently moderated two events at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian. Panelists at the session on The Future of Healthcare included Minister Subramaniam of Malaysia, Daljit Singh of Fortis Healthcare in India, Prof. Thomas Insel from the National Institute of Mental Health, USA and Ron Gutman from Healthtap. Dr.Sania Nishtar was also the facilitator at another session on “Gender parity”. Both these sessions are part of the World Economic Forum’s global transformation and challenge stream of work.
Dr. Sania Nishtar was also the facilitator at another session on “Gender parity”. Both these sessions are part of the World Economic Forum’s global transformation and challenge stream of work. Her views as a moderator can be accessed here: http://www.heartfile.org/blog/4199
Our President Sania Nishtar recently moderated two events at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian
Global premier of the documentary ‘Choked Pipes’
September 29, 2015: The global premier of the documentary based on Sania Nishtar’s book, “Choked Pipes” and her work subsequent to that in Pakistan, was held in New York on September 22 as a side session of the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly. The event was hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation and was oversubscribed. The screening of the documentary was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Michael Myers, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation. Panelists included Prof. Linda Fried, Dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; Nata Manabde, Executive Director of the WHO office at the UN headquarters in New York; Director of the film, Randall Wright and Sania Nishtar. The documentary highlights an alternative third health systems model, which along with the existing Beveridge and Bismarck systems can help achieve Universal Health Coverage in Mixed Health Systems. Prof. Fried referred to the model as a ‘stealth reform’ in terms of its ability, both to provide universal health coverage as well as overcome existing distortions of mixed health systems. Complete Documentary video link
The global premier of the documentary based on Sania Nishtar’s book, “Choked Pipes” and her work subsequent to that in Pakistan, was held in New York on September 22 as a side session of the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly
Dr Sania Nishtar resumes her role at Heartfile
Pandemic Financing Stakeholders Meeting
September 28, 2015: The World Bank hosted the Pandemic Financing Stakeholders Meeting in Washington on September 21 and 22, 2015. The meeting was convened “to examine options for strengthening global financing for pandemics to help countries and global partners respond more effectively to disease outbreaks”. The meeting considered a range of existing and new instruments for financing pandemic response and its discussions are meant to feed into the UNSG’s High-Level Panel and other ongoing reviews of the global pandemic financing and response. Our President, Dr Sania Nishtar gave the opening speech on the “Current State of Global Financing for Pandemic Response – Overview and Gaps” at the event.
Dr Sania Nishtar gave the opening speech on the “Current State of Global Financing for Pandemic Response – Overview and Gaps” at the Pandemic Financing Stakeholders Meeting in Washington hosted by The World Bank on September 21 and 22, 2015.
Choked Pipes documentary: sneak preview
September 18, 2015: A sneak preview of the documentary based on our President, Sania Nishtar’s Oxford University Press-published book Choked Pipes, was held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on September 11, 2015. The ‘sneak preview’ was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Andrew Jack from Financial Times. The panel included Prof. Sir Andy Haines, Prof. Martin McKee of European Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Joseph Kutzin, Co-ordinator of Health Systems Financing, and our President Dr.Sania Nishtar of Heartfile. As described by Rockhopper TV, the creators of the documentary, “In this landmark documentary, Dr Sania Nishtar—one of the leaders of a new movement in Global Health proposing the reform of entire health systems—leads award-winning director Randall Wright on a journey through the health system of her native Pakistan, where 73% of the population have no financial health coverage”. The documentary has been made by Rockhopper TV, who have been involved in making award-winning broadcast documentaries, for TV channels as diverse as the BBC, PBS, Showtime, ITV, Discovery, National Geographic and national broadcasters around the world.Click here to view the Trailer
A sneak preview of the documentary based on our President, Sania Nishtar’s Oxford University Press-published book Choked Pipes
ECHO regional consultation in Mexico
August 28, 2015: The Ending Childhood Obesity Commission recently held its PAHO regional consultation in Mexico on August 26 and 27. The meeting was organized by the World Health Organization PAHO regional office and was attended by countries from the region. This consultation is the third in a series of regional consultations, the Commission is holding globally to seek regional perspectives on the issue. The meeting was chaired by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar, who co-chairs the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.
Planetary Health Commission Report launched in Islamabad
July 31, 2015: The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health released its seminal report on June 16 in New York. The report, Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch, provides the “first ever comprehensive examination of evidence showing how the health and well-being of future generations is being jeopardised by the unprecedented degradation of the planet’s natural resources and ecological systems”. It calls for “immediate global action to protect the health of human civilization and the natural systems on which it depends”. Subsequent to the global launch, other launches were held in Los Angeles and South Africa while still others are planned in Chile, China, Kenya, Australia, Abu Dhabi and Malaysia, each hosted by a respective commissioner. The Pakistan launch was held in Islamabad on July 24 and was hosted by Dr. Sania Nishtar, one of the 15 commissioners on the Planetary Health Commission. Details about the launch can be accessed here.
Planetary Health Commission Report
July 17, 2015: The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, launched its report Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch, in New York on July 16, 2015. The Report provides the first ever comprehensive examination of evidence showing how the health and well-being of future generations is being jeopardised by the unprecedented degradation of the planet’s natural resources and ecological systems. It calls for immediate, global action to protect the health of human civilization and the natural systems on which it depends. The report was written by a Commission of 15 leading academics and policymakers and was chaired by Sir Andy Haines. Our President, Sania Nishtar was one of the 15 Commissioners. The Report will also be launched in Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Islamabad, Kuala Lumpur, Nairobi, Melbourne, Beijing, Santiago and London. The Islamabad launch is planned for July 24.
ECHO – EMRO Regional Consultation
July 07, 2015: The Ending Childhood Obesity Commission recently held its regional consultation in Cairo on July 2. The meeting was organised by the World Health Organisation Eastern Mediterranean region office and was attended by countries from the region. This consultation is the second in a series of regional consultations, the Commission is holding globally to seek regional perspectives on the issue. The meeting was chaired by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar, who co-chairs the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.
WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity
June 25, 2015: The third meeting of WHO’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity was held in Hong Kong on June 22 and 23rd. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar co-chaired the commission meeting along with co-chair Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
To Save Humanity: What matters most for healthy future
June 9, 2015: Edited by Julio Frenk and Steven Hoffman, “To Save Humanity: What matters most for healthy future” is a compilation of thought-provoking essays authored by global leaders in health. The book includes 100 short essays on today’s most pressing topics. Contributors include luminaries, former presidents, and celebrated dignitaries from all sectors of society, including Margaret Chan, Bill Clinton, Jim Yong Kim, Michael Bloomberg and several others including our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar. Together, they urge the case for humanity and focus attention on the issues that will impact global health and development the most. Our President’s chapter in the book is on “Fusion Fund for Health” making a strong call for the need to protect people from catastrophic expenditures on healthcare. The book , preview here, is an important input into the post-2015 global agenda.
To Save Humanity: What matters most for healthy future
Women Leader’s summit
May 23, 2015: “I am a staunch believer of the importance of effectively functioning institutions and good governance and have a habit of circling every issue back to that point…Many of us are convinced that the problems of inequality in relation to women’s participation in economic life are rooted in our patriarchal culture and feudal norms, and I do not disagree with that. But I do want to emphasize that in the worksite setting, there are systematic barriers to the participation and growth of women in the workforce…and that institutional enablers can play a very significantly role in making women’s talents mainstream”. This is an excerpt from our president Sania Nishtar’s keynote speech at a recent Women’s Leadership Summit. The full text of her speech can be accessed here.
Collective disease security
May 09, 2015: “The Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa was unprecedented in both its scale and impact”. This is the opening statement of a recent article in The Lancet authored by many global health leaders, including David L Heymann, Lincoln Chen, Keizo Takemi, Thomas R Frieden, our president, Sania Nishtar and others. Titled “Global health security: the wider lessons from the west African Ebola virus disease epidemic” the paper, which calls for stronger health systems, can be accessed here.
Seminar on UHC at ADB’s Annual meeting in Baku
May 05, 2015: The Seminar series alongside the Asian Development Bank Board meeting in Baku featured a session on Universal Health Coverage: “Revealing the financial solutions for UHC”. The seminar aimed to explore ways in which developing countries in Asia and the Pacific could achieve financially sustainable universal health coverage. Participants discussed new tools for increasing financing for health services and ways in which a finance ministry could navigate the political minefield associated with raising and allocating taxes. The Heartfile health financing model was discussed as one of the options for overcoming the financial access barrier for the poor in the realm of UHC. A The Seminar was moderated by Stephen P Groff, Asian Development Bank Vice president for Operations. Panelists included Kiyoshi Modera, Vice President, Japan International Cooperation Agency; George Gotsadze, Director, Curatio International Foundation, Georgia; Rajiv Mehrishi, Secretary Finance, India; and Sania Nishtar, President Heartfile, Pakistan.
Global Philanthropy Forum
April 24, 2015: The Global Philanthropy Forum was held in Washington from April 21-23. Hosted by Jane Wales, the Forum focused on “Disruptors and Decision makers” this year. With a focus on business, philanthropy and government, the forum brought together leaders from all three constituencies to deliberate on solutions to daunting problems at the intersection of public, private and social sector work. Challenges as a result of “broken, and malign, systems” were at the core of the discussion. the session on Non-Communicable diseases centred on innovative approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Sania Nishtar and Rajesh Punjabi from Liberia were the two session experts, who led the discussion in a problem-solving format.
WHO GCM dialogue on NCDs
April 23, 2015: The World Health Organisation hosted the meeting of the Global Coordinating Mechanism on NCDs from April 20-21 in Geneva. The dialogue focused on ways “to encourage the inclusion of the Non-Communicable diseases in development cooperation agendas and initiatives, internationally agreed development goals, economic development polices, sustainable development frameworks and poverty reduction strategies”. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the opening Keynote Speaker at the event and talked about the “Global Burden of NCDs—realising the commitments to include NCDs in development cooperation agendas and initiatives”.
18th Amendment article
April 12, 2015: Five years on, learning from the implementation of the 18th amendment are still needed to guide the reform process. Our recent opinion can be accessed here.
The 2015 Harvard Pakistan Forum
March 30, 2015: The Harvard Pakistan forum was held in Boston on March 28 and 29. The title of the meeting “rediscovering a nation” and the guiding principles of “Unity, faith and discipline” were inspirational. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was one of the three keynote speakers, alongside Ishrat Hussain and Hussain Dawood. Her talk focused on Health and Governance.
The 2015 Harvard Pakistan Forum
The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity
March 27, 2015: The World Health Organization’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity has commenced its regional consultations and hearings. The first in the series, the Western Pacific Region Consultation was held in Manila on March 24. Our President, Sania Nishtar, Co-chair of the Commission led the consultation. The commission has recently opened its Interim report for an online consultation. An accompanying Commentary in The Lancet authored by co-chairs, Sir Peter Gluckman and Sania Nishtar along with Timothy Armstrong from the WHO Secretariat highlights the global burden of childhood obesity and underscores the need for effective strategies to tackle childhood and adolescent obesity in different contexts around the world.
Heartfile Retreat 2015
February 4, 2015: Heartfile’s annual retreat took place on 3rd February at Monal, Islamabad. The annual organizational plan for 2015 was discussed, followed by an award ceremony where our President Dr. Sania Nishtar distributed shields and cash prizes to high performers of 2014. The organization staff later went on an excursion on hiking trails of the Margalla hills.
WHO Commission on ending Childhood Obesity
January 19, 2015: The second meeting of the WHO Commission on ending Childhood Obesity was held in Geneva on Jan 13 and 14, 2015. Our President Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the meeting as Co-Chair of the Commission.
Planetary Health Commission
January 15, 2015: The Lancet-Rockefeller Planetary health Commission held a peer review meeting in New York on January 14-16. The Commission is mandated to analyze evidence of the impact of environmental changes on human health and to improve understanding of these challenges and potential policy responses. Our president Dr. Sania Nishtar, attended the peer view meeting in her capacity as a Commissioner of the Lancet-Rockefeller Planetary Health Commission.
Heartfile Health Financing support event in Karachi
January 9, 2015: Karachi-based supporters of Heartfile Financing, Haamid Jaffer, Saeed Allawalla and Haroon Qasim held an event in Karachi on January 8, featuring a talk by our president Sania Nishtar about Heartfile Financing to mobilize support for the initiative. The link to the documentary shown at the event can be accessed here.
Dr. Sania Nishtar at an international seminar in Mexico
December 09, 2014: An International Seminar on Public Policies Against Childhood Obesity and Overweight was recently held in Mexico City. The event was hosted by the School of Public Administration of Mexico City (EAPDF) and the Regional Center for the Americas of the METROPOLIS International Training Institute (MITI). Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was the Keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was relayed through a video link and was simultaneously translated in Spanish. The video relay can be viewed here.
ICN2 in Rome
November 21, 2014: Hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Second International Conference on Nutrition, an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition, was held in Rome from November 19-21. The two main outcome documents of the conference are the Rome Declaration on Nutrition: a political commitment document, and the Framework for Action: a technical guide for implementation. Ministers from 193 countries met in Rome for the first time in 22 years to look at ways to tackle malnutrition.
The meeting was held not only to evaluate the progress made following the first international conference in 1992 but mainly to formulate member countries’ political commitment to addressing malnutrition and other crucial issues related to food, agriculture and health care. Post-2015 and Non-communicable diseases (NCD) featured on discussions as well. Our President was invited as a special guest to speak about NCDs in the post 2015 development agenda in the Roundtable session. The text of her statement can be viewed here
World Economic Forum in Dubai
November 13, 2014: The Summit on the Global Agenda 2015 was held in Dubai from November 9-11. The event is the world’s largest brainstorming event, which annually convenes over 1000 thought leaders from around the world for the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, which are comprised of more than 80 groups of experts from around the world. Experts explored the latest developments in business, society and technology, to provide a better understanding of the fundamental transformations impacting our world. They collaborated in interactive workshops to provide innovative recommendations on some of the most pressing global challenges. Our president, Dr Sania Nishtar attended the Summit as a member of one of the health councils. Her Oped in The News with reflections on the Summit with regard to Pakistan can be accessed here
Nossal Institutes 10th Annual Global Health Forum
October 22, 2014: The Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne’s 10th Annual Global Health Forum is underway today. The theme of the forum is “Health security and economic growth in Asia-Pacific – challenges for Australian aid?” The forum is being held at an opportune time since the Australian aid agency, AusAID has recently integrated with Australia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event featured a special video presentation by our President, Sania Nishtar, who spoke about four strategic areas that need consideration in discussions on foreign assistance in a context where priorities are likely to shift post-2015, when the MDGs come to term and a new era for development partnerships, dawns. The video presentation can be viewed here.
Nossal Institutes 10th Annual Global Health Forum
Keynote at the Pakistan Innovation Conference
October 17, 2014: Pakistan Innovation Foundation’s first National Conference on Innovation was held on Oct 16th, 2014 at Serena Hotel in Islamabad. Pakistan Innovation Forum was a by-invitation-only conference, which brought together leaders from the industry, business, academic, and government sectors, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs. The foundation has recently floated a number of innovation challenges and is recognized as a reputed innovation-focused civil society agency in the country. Our President, Sania Nishtar gave the keynote address at the conference and talked about the policy and institutional challenges of innovation, referring particularly to her insights as former Federal Minister of Science and Technology, the national stewardship agency responsible for S&T and innovation.
Childhood Obesity Commission Hearings with non-state actors
October 15, 2014: The World Health Organization’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity held its first set of hearings with the private sector and non-governmental organizations in Geneva on October 13 and 14. of Our President Sania Nishtar the Commission co-chair attended the meetings on both days. The hearings are part of the ECHO commission process. Details can be accessed at the World Health Organization website.
A toast to Universal Health Coverage
September 29, 2014: Management Sciences for Health hosted a unique reception in honour of Universal health coverage on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week. The reception was part of series of events, which were held throughout the week to advocate for the inclusion of UHC targets in the Sustainable Development Goals framework. A group of global health thinkers offered a “toast to UHC”, at the Riverpark on Wednesday, September 24. Amongst the toasters were Ariel Pablos Mendez, Michael Myers, Laurie Garriett, Tim Evans, Jeff Sturchio, Minister of Health of Rwanda, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and our president Sania Nishtar. It was remarked that the “event was UNGA week’s most entertaining global health event.
A toast to Universal Health Coverage
Global Access to Pain Control and Palliative Care
September 26, 2014: The Harvard Global Equity Initiative-Lancet Commission on Global Access to Pain Control and Palliative Care (GAPPCP) held its first meeting in New York on September 23rd on the side-lines of the UN general assembly. Commissioners including Felicia Knaul, Julio Frenk, Richard Horton, Dean Jamison, Rifat Atun and our president, Sania Nishtar attended the first commission meeting. The Commission aim to identify opportunities for incorporating pain control and palliative care within health reforms to strengthen health systems and achieve effective universal health coverage and propose health systems strategies that harness national and global platforms.
Universal Health Coverage: from the health worker lens
September 25, 2014: This year’s opening meetings of the UN General Assembly marked a pivotal moment in global health, as formal negotiations began on the post-2015 development framework. Ensuring the place of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the post-2015 health agenda requires on-going advocacy from the many stakeholders. Within this context a high level event was hosted by Columbia University in New York on September 23rd. Invited speakers included Jim Campbell, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Minister of Health of Zambia, Michael Myers, and our President Sania Nishtar. Experiences were shared from around the world about converge and entitlements in UHC from the health worker lens and the manner in which progress is being made in different parts of the world in expanding coverage through modifications in the outreach and mandate of health workers.
Delivering on UHC: why the time is now
September 24, 2014: The Rockefeller Foundation hosted a UN general assembly side session on Universal health coverage on September 22 in New York to reiterate the importance of investing in UHC. Recalling that 1 billion people have never received basic healthcare and that 150 million suffer from financial catastrophe in the process of paying for healthcare, the need for urgent action was reiterated. H.E. Fumio Kishida, H.E. Annick Girardin, H.E Phuangketow, Seth Berkley, Richard Horton, Ties Boerma, Tim Evans and our president Sania Nishtar spoke at the event.
Dr. Sania Nishtar’s Keynote at the First National Conference on Social Franchising
August 29, 2014: Pakistan played a pioneering role in Social Franchising back in the 1990s with the application of social franchising approaches in family planning. Therefore, the First National Conference on Social Franchising, which was hosted by Marie Stopes Society in Bhurban this week, had much to reflect on with regard to leveraging past experiences to scale up this model as a way of reaching out to Pakistan’s underserved population. Our President, Sania Nishtar was invited as keynote speaker to talk about the broader health systems and reform perspective of social franchising. Aptly, she termed population explosion a human security threat. The daily Express Tribune, highlighted her quote “Security agencies have to become the biggest stakeholders to resolve the problem of population explosion [in Pakistan]”. At the meeting she mooted the idea of a Declaration, which got shaped as the Bhurban Declaration.
Youth ASK Leadership Conclave
August 13, 2014: ‘The Youth Ask Leadership Conclave 2014,’ concluded on Sunday, August 10, 2014 in Islamabad. The conclave was organized by Rutgers WPF, Pakistan, under the programme ‘Access, Services and Knowledge,’ funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its purpose was to provide young people with a common platform through which they can acquire knowledge for community leadership. The event led to a Charter of Demand, which was shared with the media. Out president, Dr. Sania Nishtar gave the keynote speech at the opening of the event. More information about the event can be accessed here.
Understanding why it was critical to establish Pakistan Ministry of Health
August 12, 2014: “Sometimes, the rationale of a policy decision becomes apparent long after the actual decision itself. The imperatives created by the polio travel conditionality will help us understand why it was critical to reestablish Pakistan’s Ministry of Health”. This was the opening statement of an Op-ed, which recently appeared in the News International. The author, our President Sania Nishtar explains, using the Polio travel conditionally as an example, why she established Pakistan’s Ministry of Health during her tenure as Federal Minister in 2013. More details about the establishment of the ministry can be accessed on Page 49 in her enclosed Handover Papers.
The WHO ECHO Commission
July 22, 2014: The WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, which was announced at the World Health Assembly earlier in May held its first meeting in Geneva on July 17-18, 2014. Our President Sania Nishtar, co-chairs the Commission with Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. The Commission has been requested by WHO to produce a consensus report specifying which approaches are likely to be most effective in different contexts around the world to overcome the global obesity epidemic, where numbers are climbing fastest in developing countries.
The Future of Planetary Health
July 21, 2014: At a jointly hosted meeting at the Bellagio Centre in Lombardy, Italy, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Lancet convened a select group of thought leaders “to identify critical strategies and innovative inventions, drawing energy from the recognition that the heath of planets, people, cities, ecosystems and businesses are intricately intervened”. The meeting focused on the critical intersection of human and planetary well-being. Our President, Sania Nishtar was one of the invited thought leaders.
NCDs Alliance Event on NCDs and post-2015
July 18, 2014: On July 11, the NCD Alliance, Government of Sweden and CARICOM hosted a panel discussion on the sidelines of the UN high level review on NCDs in New York at the UN Headquarters. The theme of the event was “delivering solutions, accountability and results” on July 11, 2014. The panel included Dr. Howard Koh, Dr Margaret Chan, Sir George Alleyne, Anders Nordstorm, and James Hospedalis. Our President, Sania Nishtar moderated the session.
NCDs review at the UN Headquarters
July 16, 2014: The President of the United Nations General Assembly John W Ashe, convened a high level meeting to review progress achieved in the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases since the 2011 Political Declaration on NCDs. The frame of reference was post-2015 and the focus was on scaling up multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder response to NCDs. Our president, Sania Nishtar joined Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Sectary of State, US Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Lochen Naido, President UNODC and Mario Ottilgo of IFPMA for the roundtable on partnerships. Her comment on the Heartfile blog about the meeting can be viewed here. The webcast of the event can be accessed here.
Ministerial Health Leaders Forum
June 27, 2014: The Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School jointly organized the Ministerial Health Leaders Forum from June 1-5 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Forum is the flagship component of the Ministerial Leadership in Health Program, co-hosted by both the schools. 11 serving ministers of health from all over the world participated in the program as the 2014 leaders. Our president, Sania Nishtar was amongst the select group of experts who were invited to participate in the meeting as resource persons alongside the Harvard faculty.
Pakistan’s Runaway Urbanization: What Can Be Done?
June 5, 2014: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has developed a strong brand for publications on Pakistan. As part of their Asia Program and Comparative Urban Studies Project in collaboration with the Fellowship Fund for Pakistan, their latest publication, titled ‘Pakistan’s Runaway urbanization: What can be done?’ provides readers with insights into the challenges of Pakistan’s rapid urbanization and the policy imperatives which emerge in that context. Edited by Michael Kugleman, the Publication features an array of chapters by Pakistani experts, including a Chapter on Health authored by a group of Heartfile authors. The publication can be accessed here.
Dr. Sania Nishtar at the EAT Stockholm Forum
May 27, 2014: The EAT Stockholm Forum was held on 26-27 of May, 2014 with opening remarks by HRH Prince Charles and Keynote address by President Bill Clinton. First in its series of conventions, the EAT Forum presented lectures, talks and inter-disciplinary panel discussions where global leaders of science, politics and business shared and discussed challenges and opportunities in linking food, health and sustainability. In a panel, “Who are the new change makers”, moderated by Anthony Costello, our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was joined by Sunita Narain, Helena Helmersson, Vandana Shiva and Dr. Corinna Hawkes to lead the discussions.
Harvard Health Leaders’ Ministerial Roundtable
May 26, 2014: Last week our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar participated in the Harvard Health Leaders’ Ministerial Roundtable, which was held in Geneva on May 18. The Forum convened the 2012 and 2013 alumni of the Ministerial Leadership in Health Program and hosted a facilitated discussion on the achievements and challenges of ministerial leadership in implementing health policy priorities. Sania Nishtar gave the keynote remarks after a presentation by Harvard Professor Bill Hsiao on the comparative international experiences in the implementation of Universal Health Coverage.
Sania Nishtar to co-chair a WHO commission
May 20, 2014: It is with great pleasure that we refer to World Health Organization’s announcement, yesterday at the World Health Assembly in Geneva about the establishment of a new high-level Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. Our President, Dr Sania Nishtar, has been appointed to co-Chair the new Commission along with Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Among the Commissioners are global experts and distinguished opinion leaders. The Commission and its working groups will meet several times over the year and is expected to produce a report in early 2015 outlining a plan of action and accountability to address global childhood obesity. WHO’ press release on the subject can be accessed here. For further details are posted on the WHO commission website.
Editorial in the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal
March 12, 2014: Project Syndicate has posted today, our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar’s Viewpoint, related to the key message of the Emerging Market’s Symposium, which was held in Oxford, UK earlier in January this year. The 2014 Symposium focused on maternal and child health and nutrition. Your comments and views are welcome through the Heartfile eForum, where it has been cross posted.
Governance: going granular
February 14, 2014: Discussions on the empirics of governance and corruption are limited in conveying the real impact of poor governance at the granular level—a level, which can indicate the quantum of human suffering as a result of poor governance and corruption. The health sector is deeply impacted as a result of entrenched corruption. This week we post a true story of a family afflicted by corruption on our eForum Blog with a view to raising awareness about four key entry points to anti-corruption reform in Pakistan. These have been cross posted in The News International and the Huffington Post.
2014 World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos
January 27, 2014: Each year, world leaders and academics from across the globe congregate in Davos at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to deliberate on global issues. This year, the forum was themed, “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business”. Our President Sania Nishtar was also amongst the participants. In particular she was amongst the 60 global leaders who were invited to attend the “Health and Economic Growth Summit ”, also attended by Prime Minister of Norway, and the President of Estonia, President of Finland and Ministers of health and finance from many countries. Sania Nishtar was also a discussion leader along with Omar Ishrak, CEO of Medtronic on the session on “Health Systems Leapfrogging in the Emerging Economies ”.
2014 World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos
Sudan’s International Conference: Roadmap to Universal Health Coverage
January 27, 2014: The Government of Sudan is adopting different modalities for providing health coverage for its citizens. Within this context, the World Health Organization, Sudan Office, National Health Insurance Fund, the European Union and their partners this year co-hosted the International Conference on Roadmap to Universal Health Coverage from 25-26 January, 2014 in Sudan. Our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar connected via a videolink to talk about innovations in financing critical to achieving universal health coverage in mixed health systems. The title of her talk was “Beyond Bismarck and Beveridge: financial innovations to achieve UHC”.
The Emerging Markets Symposium at Oxford University
January 21, 2014: The annual Emerging Markets Symposium, a distinctive tradition of the Green Templeton College of the Oxford University, themed on Maternal and Child health and Nutrition this year, was held from January 9-12 at Egrove Park, Oxford UK. Each year, the Symposium brings together authoritative and influential leaders in public and private sectors from all around the world to reflect on different issues in the Emerging Markets. This intensive three-day meeting concluded with actionable recommendations in the penultimate session of the symposium, “What Should be Done”. This session was chaired by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar along with Suman Bery, Tsung-Mei Cheng, and Serra Kirdar-Meliti. Dr. Sania Nishtar was also a plenary speaker with Dr. Rifat Atun, Peter Bourne and Uwe Reinhardt, chaired by David levy.
Dr Sania Nishtar listed in the top twenty Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World
January 20, 2014: The Muslim-Science.Com is an online journal, dedicated to “the revival of scientific, and science-based innovation and entrepreneurial culture in the Islamic World”. In 2014, it has launched its first list of ‘Top-20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World’ which encompasses 20 women from all over the world for their outstanding achievements as Pioneers, Shapers and Emerging Champions. In recognition of Dr. Sania Nishtar’s policy advocacy contributions to the development of science and innovation of the Islamic World, she has been listed as the Shaper amongst the top 20. More details can be viewed here.
Governance in Pakistan, 2014
January 10, 2014: With the new year, come new hopes and new challenges for governance of the country. One way to ensure excellence in leadership performance is through transparency and accountability in decision-making. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar urges on this singular prerequisite through her recent article simultaneously published in The News International and in Huffington Post. Your comments and views are welcome through Heartfile eForum.
International Anti-corruption Day
December 10, 2013: On the occasion of its third annual Anticorruption Day Celebrations, the Asian Development Bank Governance and Public Management Community of Practice planned week-long events to raise awareness about the importance of integrity and anti-corruption amongst staff and stakeholders. The events culminated with the main event on December 9 at the ADB headquarter in Manila, Philippines. The event was focused on ADB’s internal anticorruption campaign, “iACT: I fight corruption”. Our President, Dr Sania Nishtar was invited as the keynote speaker along with President of the Asian Development Bank, Takehiko Nakao and Philippine Congresswoman Leni Robredo. The text of her speech can be viewed here.
International Anti-corruption Day
Regional Meeting on accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage
November 28, 2013: The Summit on the Global Agenda is the world’s largest brainstorming event, which annually convenes over 900 thought leaders from globally recognized expert communities for the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils. This year, council members, including our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar met at the Global Agenda Summit in Abu Dhabi from November 18-20. The summit was hosted by the World Economic Forum in partnership with the Government of the United Arab Emirates. In recognition of the transformations that businesses, economies and societies are facing, members at this year’s Summit focused on ways of transforming new models into sustained processes in order to develop solutions for a greener and more socially inclusive world.
November 27, 2013 The GAVI Alliance held its Board meeting in Cambodia on November 21-22, 2013 to identify the new vaccines to be added to the organization’s portfolio of support. The GAVI Alliance Board is intended to provide a platform for strategic direction and policy-making that will oversee the operations of the Alliance and monitor program implementation. At the occasion, our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar presented the Committee Chair Report as the Evaluation Advisory Committee Chair. The Board Meeting this year was featured by Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, representatives from donor and developing countries, civil society organizations, vaccine manufacturers and other stakeholders in global immunization. The minutes can be accessed here.
Pakistan’s Galloping Urbanization
November 13, 2013: Over the years, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has developed a strong brand for publications on Pakistan. On November 6th, 2013, through its Asia Program and Comparative Urban Studies Project and the Fellowship Fund for Pakistan, the Center held its latest conference, Pakistan’s Galloping Urbanization in Washington DC. Hosted by Robert Hathaway and Michael Kugleman, the seminar invited eminent Pakistani scholars including our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar who presented her paper on Urbanization and Public Health. The Center will publish her findings in its subsequent volume on urbanization in Pakistan, which will be a compendium of research contributions by the scholars present at the conference, including Mohammad Qadeer, Tasneem Siddiqui, Murtaza Haider, Nadeem Ul Haque, Ahsan Iqbal, Aun Rahman and Nadeem Hussain.
NCDs: Closing the gap
November 12, 2013: The disease burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is exceptionally high in the developing world with 80% of deaths caused by NCDs occurring in low and middle income countries alone. Within that context, the John Hopkins University press has recently released a new book, titled Noncommunicable Diseases in the Developing World: Closing the gap. Edited by Jeffrey L. Sturchio and Louis Galambos, the book features several chapters by NCD experts that seek to provide the reader with recommendations and actions based on the authors’ experiences and their review of the NCD situation in the developing world. One of these chapters, “Sectoral Cooperation for the Prevention and Control of NCDs” was co-authored by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Sir George Alleyne.
Thought leaders talk at UNICEF
October 3, 2013: Our President Sania Nishtar was at UNICEF headquarters in New York last week for a “Conversation with Thought Leaders” in their Series. The objective of the Conversations event is to convey, through discussions with leading thinkers a better understanding of global trends shaping the contemporary world and its future. The Conversations foster a debate with UNICEF staff and beyond, and help position its work within this broader context.
Healthy Planet, Healthy People:Building Synergies for Sustainable Development
September 26, 2013: The United States Government, Permanent Missions of CARICOM to the United Nations, the NCD Alliance and the NCD Roundtable jointly hosted a side event in New York, on the margins of the UN Special Event on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) early this week. This high-profile multi-stakeholder dialogue – Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Building Synergies for Sustainable Development was opened by HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan and featured a vibrant panel discussion on bridging health, NCDs and sustainable development. Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet moderated this full and dynamic panel, where our president, Sania Nishtar joined Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, Sir George Alleyne, Marie-Paul Kieny, Sarah England and Lisa MacCallum for discussion on the exiting next steps towards the post-2015 global health agenda, where NCDs are likely to be featured more prominently than they have been in global health priorities.
September 2, 2013: healthcare quality regulation has been an orphan area in Pakistan’s public policy. In our recent Oped, and blog-post, the suffering of an unfortunate woman have been highlighted to make a case for urgent policy action.
Best Investments for Health Promotion
August 27, 2013: The 21st IUHPE World Conference on health promotion commenced in Pattaya, Thailand on August 25. Jointly hosted by the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and Thaihealth, the four day conference focuses on “The best investments in health promotion”. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar, gave the keynote speech at the opening of the event. Michael Sparks, President of the IUHPE, termed the keynote speech as “the perfect start to a conference on investing well in health: clear and inspiring“. The text of this speech can be accessed here.
Global Handbook on Non-communicable Diseases and Health Promotion
July 31, 2013: The Global Handbook on Non-communicable Diseases and Health Promotion has just been published by Springer. Edited by David V. McQueen, the book has a long list of contributors with expertise in various aspects of NCD global policy and practice. The Chapter on “NCDs and Civil Society: A History and a Roadmap” has been authored by our President, Sania Nishtar with Johanna Ralston of the World Heart Federation. Further details can be viewed here.
ECOSOC High-level Segment in Geneva
July 30, 2013: Our president, Sania Nishtar joined the UN ECOSOC High-level Segment 2013 Panel Discussion on Universal Health Coverage, earlier this month through a videolink. The event video can be viewed on UN Web TV with her comments accessible here.
ECOSOC High-level Segment in Geneva
9th World Congress of the International Health Economics Association
July 24, 2013: iHEA Congresses are well established fora, which convene global experts in health economics each year. This year, the Congress was themed Celebrating Health Economics. It was held in Sydney, Australia on July 7-13, 2013. Heartfile participated in two sessions at the event. In the session “What can we learn from public sector based approaches to the challenge of universal health coverage in Asia and Africa?”, organized by Barbara McPake, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Dr. Faraz Khalid, Heartfile presented “The purpose, design and impact of Health Equity Funds: health financing mechanisms to protect the poor and pave the way to universal coverage”. In the other session “Beyond Bismark and Beveridge: innovative financing mechanism for UHC” Dr. Sania Nishtar participated through video message, which can be viewed here.
9th World Congress of the International Health Economics Association
Turkey Ministerial Conference on Universal Health Coverage
July 18, 2013: With the increasing global traction for Universal Health Coverage, the Ministry of Health, Turkey collaborated with the Imperial College London, The Lancet and Istanbul Medipol University to launch the Lancet Series on Turkey at the Turkey Ministerial Conference on Universal Health Coverage on June 27-28, 2013. The meeting featured major stakeholders from OECD, World Bank and the World Health Organization. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar moderated the Ministerial panel on Managing Emergencies in the Context of Universal Health Coverage. Other panelists included Dr. Ala Alwan, WHO RD for the EMRO region and the Ministers and Secretaries of Health of Turkey, Romania and Indonesia. Podcast of the panel is available here.
Turkey Ministerial Conference on Universal Health Coverage
Eight Global Conference on Health Promotion, Helsinki, Finland
June 24, 2013: The World Health Organization in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland hosted the Eighth Global Conference on Health promotion: Health in All Policies on June 12, 2013. This high level meeting of experts and policy makers was held to support Member States in developing and strengthening policies across sectors while taking into account the health implications of decisions and actions. Our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired a plenary panel. Webcast can be viewed here and the Conference Statement can be viewed here.
Eighth Global Conference on Health Promotion
Ministers and Accountability
June 21, 2013: We practice what we preach. Our president, Sania Nishtar voluntarily submits her decisions and actions during her tenure as Federal Minister for accountability and transparency. Her latest Op-Ed on the subject can be accessed here.
Dr Sania Nishtar resumes her role at Heartfile
June 19, 2013: After a successful stint as Federal Minister in Pakistan’s Caretaker government, Sania Nishtar has resumed responsibilities as President Heartfile. While in office she had charge of four ministerial portfolios, Education, Science and Technology, Information Technology and Health. One of her main achievements was to re-establish Pakistan’s Health Ministry. Her Handover Papers to the next government, in her own words “provide the underlying rationale for the decisions I took while in office, and are meant to be a measure of how I performed. Through the Handover Papers I am holding myself accountable to the people”. We are delighted to have her back in office. She has also shared a key reflection in a wallpaper message to all government functionaries when she left office.
66th World Health Assembly
June 3, 2013: Dr. Sania Nishtar, in her capacity as the Federal Minister with three portfolios and the government’s focal person on health headed Pakistan’s delegation to the annual 66th World Health Assembly, hosted by the World Health organization in Geneva, Switzerland from May 20-28, 2013. The World Health Assembly, which is the supreme decision-making WHO body, drew on Ministers and officials from 194 Member states that congregated to undertake annual review of the activities of WHO and set new set priorities for the future. The Health Assembly this year focused on discussing specific health topics like non-communicable diseases, universal health coverage, women and children’s health, as well as the programme budget, administration, reform and management matters of WHO. More details can be viewed in the press release here and the video can be accessed here
Pakistan Lancet Series launch
May 21, 2013: As Pakistan begins its voyage in reforming its healthcare infrastructure, Heartfile and Aga Khan University jointly hosted the launch of the Pakistan Lancet Series at Comstech Auditorium in Islamabad on May 17, 2013. The series titled Health Transitions in Pakistan was revealed by Dr. Richard Horton, Chief-in-Editor of the Lancet. The Series Editors, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Federal Minister, Government of Pakistan and Prof. Zulfiqar Bhutta, the founding director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University were joined at the panel by Dr. Richard Horton, Prof. Tazeen Jaffar of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore and Dr. Abdul Ghaffar, Executive Director of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO, Geneva. The meeting opened with a video message by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO who praised the formation of the health division in Pakistan. The four papers published were then presented by the panelists.
Pakistan Lancet Series launch
Heartfile endorses the Cervical Cancer Global Crisis Card Launch in Pakistan
May 13, 2013: Cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women every year and 500,000 new cases are reported worldwide. Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition, a US-based research and advocacy group released their first Cervical Cancer Global Crisis Card globally on Friday, May 10, 2013. According to this report, Pakistan was ranked seventh in cervical cancer death statistics. The press release for the cervical cancer global crisis card upon its Pakistan launch can be viewed here which quotes Dr. Sania Nishtar’s concerns profusely who calls for an immediate intervention post elections.
Friends of Heartfile Leaders’ Network
March 19, 2013: Pakistanis are renowned for their zealous generosity and their charitable contributions towards humanitarian causes. Rana Allawala and Saeed Allawala, both friends of the Heartfile Leaders’ Network, hosted a fundraiser for Heartfile Health Financing in Karachi on March 3, 2013. Justice (R) Nasir Aslam Zahid was the chief guest at the event, and our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker. The event called on a selected gathering of Karachi’s eminent movers and shakers willing to lend support to Heartfile Health Financing, our social protection program, which protects the poorest of the poor from medical impoverishment.
Post 2015 dialogue
March 15, 2013: The High Level Dialogue on Health in the Post 2015 Development Agenda was hosted by the governments of Botswana and Sweden in collaboration with WHO and UNICEF on March 4-6 in Gabarone, Botswana. The convening culminated the six month long global thematic consultation on health in the post-2015 development agenda. Our president, Sania Nishtar was one of the 47 delegates invited to the High Level Dialogue on Health. Her views on the subject can be viewed here on the Heartfile blog.
Post 2015 dialogue
Third Meeting of WHO ICG NCD Expert
February 27, 2013: The World Health Organization hosted a meeting of the Informal Consultation Group (ICG) of Experts on NCD on February 11-12 in the WHO Headquarter in Geneva. The meeting was held to review progress made in global initiatives for NCD prevention and control, to solicit inputs on WHO’s draft global action plan for NCD prevention and control 2013-20, and to discuss the possibilities and opportunities of NCD integration into the post-2015 UN development agenda. Our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar participated the meeting as a member of the ICG group of experts.
Lancet Series on Non-Communicable Diseases
February 19, 2013: World’s renowned experts, eminent scientists and academics have contributed towards the latest series of the Lancet, Series 4 on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), launched on February 11, 2013. The Series builds on the High Level Meeting on NCDs convened by the United Nations in 2011 and on its previous series in 2010, 2007 and 2005. The Series, coordinated by Robert Beaglehole, aims to bring more evidence in the public domain, as the post-2015 agenda planning is underway. It also proposes cost-effective interventions to accelerate progress to avert millions of deaths, worldwide, by 2025. In this Series, our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar co-authored a viewpoint, ‘Improving responsiveness of health systems to non-communicable diseases with Prof. Rifat Atun of Imperial College, London as the lead author. This paper focuses on developing health systems in response to non-communicable diseases in the midst of challenges incurred by them.
Sania Nishtar in Davos
January 29, 2013: Our President Sania Nishtar attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013 in Davos from January 22 to 26. Amongst other things, she was a panellist in the session “Religion and Politics” and spoke about the impact of religion on development. She was also the official Rapporteur for the session on “the Future of Health”. Official rapporteurs was a new role introduced by WEF at their annual meeting this year to capture select sessions, building upon high-level topic expertise of the rapporteur. Her insights on the session and conversation with the session moderator webcast by WEF can be viewed here. Additionally, she was a discussion leader on another event at the Forum which focused on human capital.
The Emerging Markets Symposium at Oxford University
January 18, 2013: The Emerging Markets Symposium this year was themed Gender Inequality in Emerging Markets, held on January 11-13, 2013 at the Egrove Park, Oxford UK. It was hosted by Green Templeton College. Each year, the Symposium brings together authoritative and influential leaders in public and private sectors from all around the world. This intensive three-day meeting concluded with actionable recommendations. With 49 participants, a number of sessions were held, one of which was on Women’s Leadership, chaired by Madeline Kunin. Speakers at this session included Baroness Goudie, Serra Kirdar Meliti, Mona Lena Krook and our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar.
Global Burden of Disease Study
December 31, 2012: The Lancet and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington co-hosted the launch of the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 on December 14, 2012. The meeting featured a series of panel discussions on the subject. The fourth session of the launch, centered around comparative risk assessments was chaired by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar. Panelists included Prof. Srinath Reddy, Sir Richard Peto, Prof. David Leon, Stephen Lim and Majid Ezzati. The podcast of the full meeting can be viewed here and for highlights of the session, you can visit the Heartfile eForum.
November 27, 2012: The British-Pakistan Foundation held a Roadshow on November 16th, 2012, to raise awareness within the UK Pakistani Diaspora about the ‘third sector’ activity in Pakistan in terms of civil society contribution towards the development agenda in Pakistan and to present successful health sector examples to the diasporas. Asif Rangoonwala, Chairman BPF made the opening remarks for the panel, which was moderated by Suniya Qureshi, BPF Executive Director. The panel included Mr. Shoaib Sultan Khan, Representative RSPN; Saquib Hameed, Executive Director LRBT; Moazzam Malik, Director West Asia DFID; Dr. Mohammed Iqbal, Representative APPSUK, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Representative Medic Liverpool FC and our president Sania Nishtar, who showcased the work of Heartfile.
World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council Summit
November 14, 2012: The Summit on the Global Agenda is an annual global brainstorming that brings together members of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils. In its fifth session this year, over 700 expert members of the Network of Global Agenda gathered at the Summit to address over 70 areas of global interest. The webcast of the Summit can be accessed here and the executive summary can be viewed here. Our President, Sania Nishtar attended the meeting as a member of the Council on Wellbeing and Mental Health.
International action on counterfeit medicines
November 14, 2012: The paper titled “How to achieve international action on falsified and substandard medicines” published today (November 14th, 2012) in the British Medical Journal calls for a treaty on falsified medicine. Amir Attaran, Associate Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at the University of Ottawa was the lead author of this paper. One of the key attributes of this paper was the scale of international consensus it garnered amongst international development, public health and legal experts. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was one of the co-authors.
World Economic Forum: Health Collaboration as a Bridge
November 12, 2012: The World Economic Forum on India 2012 was held from November 7-8, 2012 in New Delhi where leaders were invited to share their ideas on India’s development. One of the sessions “Health Collaboration as a Bridge”, looked at nurturing cross-border relationship through health and building partnerships. Panelists from the Indian side included Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman, Global Health Private, India; Prof. K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), India and Pretha C. Reddy, Executive Chairman, Apollo Hospital Enterprise. Our president, Sania Nishtar, and Jahangir Khan Tareen, Former Minister of Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan were the panelists from the Pakistan side. The synopsis can be accessed here.
Our president Sania Nishtar attended the World Economic Forum on India 2012 which was held from November 7-8 2012
World Economic Forum: Health Collaboration as a Bridge
Heartfile Financing Satellite Event in Beijing
November 11, 2012: Heartfile and International Development Research Centre (IDRC) jointly hosted a Satellite event on the occasion of the 2nd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing on November 3, 2012 at the Beijing International Conference Centre. The event was organized as a consultation, with the purpose of soliciting peer views on Heartfile Health Financing’s evaluation strategy. Panelists included Sharmila Mhatre (IDRC), Dr Abdul Ghaffar (WHO), Dr. Johanthan Quick (MSH), Dr. Babak Pourbohloul in addition to Dr Faraz Khalid and Dr. Sania Nishtar, from Heartfile.
Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing
November 11, 2012: The Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research was held from October 31st till November 3rd, 2012 in Beijing which was attended by over 1,700 representatives from more than 100 countries and 760 institutions. The final Plenary on Post-2015 development goals: Framing the issues, prioritizing health and using the evidence was chaired by Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet and the plenary speakers included Joseph Kasonde, Minister of Health of Zambia; Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden; Bob Emery from USAID; Toomas Palu, from the World Bank and our president, Sania Nishtar. The Webcast for which can be accessed here.
Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing
The New Wings of Development
November 05, 2012: Our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar recently published her views on Development and how Pakistan fits into the post-2015, Millennium Development Goals agenda. Her article has been published in the Huffington Post on October 31st, 2012 and in The News on November 5, 2012.
World Health Summit, 2012
October 29, 2012: This year, the 4th World Health Summit was held on October 21-24 in Berlin, Germany. The 2012 Summit was themed “Research for Health and Sustainable Development,” and focused on finding innovative solutions for NCDs and conditions of global concerns, including unhealthy lifestyles. The three-day interactive event featured a number of “multi-stakeholder panels” under patronage of Angela Markel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was a panelist at the session on “Governance for a Healthy Planet: Are we building new silos? How to combine the priority health agendas? MDGs, NCDs, SDH”. The session was chaired by Ilona Kickbusch and Anders Nordström. Other panelists included Kate Gilmore, Bjorn Oddens, and Marleen Temmermann.
Webcast of the Tokyo session on ‘The Case for Investing in Health’
October 16, 2012: This year, Program of Seminars at the 2012 World BANK/ IMF Annual Meetings in Tokyo featured a Global Health Session on “Making the Case for Investing in Health, Again!”. The session was moderated by Andrew Jack of the Financial Times and opening comments were made by Akihiko Tanaka (President, JICA). Panelists included Maria Kiwanuka (Minister of Finance, Uganda), Christopher Murray (Director, Institute for Health metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington), Haruo Naito (President & CEO, Eisai Co.) and our President, Sania Nishtar. The webcast of this seminar can be viewed here.
Webcast of the Tokyo session on ‘The Case for Investing in Health’
Bellagio Meeting on Complex Health Systems Analysis
October 9, 2012: The application of complex systems modeling has progressed dramatically over the past decade and there has been a growing interest in utilizing these methods to evaluate existing public health measures or design new intervention/control programs. Despite these advances, these models have not been fully employed in the broader context of health systems research. Recently our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar co-hosted the captioned retreat with Dr. Babak Pourbohloul in Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy on September 25-28, 2012, where two groups of experts: health systems experts and mathematicians were brought together to explore a new interface bridging disciplines. The meeting concluded with a statement, which can be accessed here.
Bellagio Meeting on Complex Health Systems Analysis
Planning Commission’s Exploratory Session on Heartfile Health Financing
September 24, 2012: The Planning Commission held a meeting to explore the prospect of collaborating with Heartfile Health Financing (HHF)—Heartfile’s innovative social protection program, which aims to help the poorest of the poor in Pakistan from catastrophic shocks. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Chairman, Mr. Nadeem Ul Haq. Participants included stakeholders representing various ministries of the Government of Pakistan in addition to a number of development partners and expert. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar gave a presentation on the HHF system which stirred an interest in its potential for up-scaling and its potential for collaborations. The Planning Commission has devised to form a Working Group to follow up on this consultation.
EMRO High Level Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases
September 14, 2012: The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health and the WHO East Mediterranean Regional Office jointly organized an International Conference in Riyadh September 10-12. Participants including government and non-government stakeholders in the region had the opportunity to re-assess their commitment for prevention and control of NCDs. The Conference issued a “Riyadh Commitment” which emphasized on the participants’ desire to making the UN General Assembly Political Declaration on NCD Control and Prevention a success story in the EM Region. Our President, Sania Nishtar was a plenary speaker and gave a global overview of NCDs.
EMRO High Level Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases
Physicians for peace in Hiroshima
September 7, 2012. The 20th IPPNW World Congress was recently held in Hiroshima, Japan. The host organization, the “International Physicians for Preventing Nuclear War” is the Nobel Peace Prize-winner union of physicians around the world. The congress themed this year, “From Hiroshima to Future Generations” supported its commitment towards global peace building. Dr. Sania Nishtar was a plenary speaker in the session titled “World without Structural Violence and Human Security”. Her talk centered on the intersections between human security and peace.
Sania Nishtar speaking at a peace conference in Hiroshma
Global Health Policy Summit
August 23, 2012: The Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and the Qatar Foundation hosted this year’s Global Health Policy Summit on August 1, 2012 in London. The Summit was held at the Guild Hall; leaders from all over the world with a common aim of creating an active global community of health innovators and reformers were presented with an opportunity to collaborate to tackle the challenges facing healthcare systems. Dr. Sania Nishtar was a panel speaker at the summit’s Innovative Delivery Models session at the Summit.
Global Health Policy Summit
Learning from HIV experience: An NCDs and health systems perspective
August 07, 2012: The World Health Organization and UNAIDS organized a joint high level satellite meeting, the International AIDS Conference on July, 22nd 2012 in Washington, D.C. The session focused on the health systems’ challenges related to the management of chronic conditions with a particular focus on HIV and NCDs. Among others, Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO participated in the session, moderated by Richard Horton. Dr. Sania Nishtar made the opening presentation at the session.
Learning from HIV experience: An NCDs and health systems perspective
Interview with The Entrepreneurs
August 02, 2012: Dr. Sania Nishtar was interviewed by a premium media brand, monocle 24 for their radio show, The Entrepreneurs which has up to 50,000 listeners per episode. In her interview, Dr. Nishtar spoke about the unique Heartfile Health Financing program which allows healthcare access to the “poorest of the poor” through its technology interfaced health financing program. To listen to the full interview, click here and skip to 19 minutes 53 seconds.
The London Launch of the Heartfile Leaders’ Network
July 27, 2012: After a successful June 11 launch in Washington the Heartfile Leaders’ Network has also been launched in London at a reception at the House of Lords on July 11. Dr. Peter Bourne, Former Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations and former special assistant to Jimmy Carter, spoke at the reception to mark the London launch; Prof. Sir Eldryd Parry, Prof. Rifat Atun, Richard Blewitt and many prominent members of the Pakistani diaspora joined the reception and pledged their support for Heartfile.
The London Launch of the Heartfile Leaders’ Network
Event at the House of Lords in London
July 26, 2012: Pakistan was in the spotlight at the House of Lords in London on July 11. The seminar, “Innovative Financing for the Poor: Pakistan at the Cutting Edge” featured a discussion on the Heartfile Health Financing program. The event was hosted by Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, and was moderated by Dr. Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker, alongside panelists Prof. Sir Eldryd Parry, Prof. Rifat Atun and Richard Blewitt of HelpAge International. The event was succeeded by a reception in the Attlee Room at the Lords where the London Launch of the Heartfile Leaders’ Network took place.
Event at the House of Lords in London
Polio in Pakistan: Who’s to blame?
July 23, 2012: Jennifer Brookland profusley quoted Dr. Sania Nishtar’s insights in her article “Polio in Pakistan: Who’s to blame?”, published on a popular International Development web-portal, DEVEX. Pakistan along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, remains one of the three countries world-wide where Polio is still an endemic. Read here.
High level meeting on Child Survival: a Call to Action
June 29, 2012: The captioned meeting was convened in Washington, DC on June 14-15 by the Governments of the United States, India and Ethiopia. It was organized in close collaboration with UNICEF in order to bring together decision makers and thought-leaders to identify the smart investments to collectively end preventable child deaths. Our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar was a panelist in the session on “How to Reach Every Child with Essential Services: Coverage with quality and equity” and talked about ways of getting everyone on board, and engaging private health care providers in child survival.
High level meeting on Child Survival: a Call to Action
Aspen Institute event for Heartfile
June 22, 2012: Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) hosted the Washington launch of the Heartfile Leaders Network on June 11, 2012. The Network is being established to support the work of Heartfile Health Financing and the Sania Nishtar Health Fund. Event details can be viewed here.
Partners for a New Beginning is a network operating in ten countries around the world where local projects and priorities are identified by local chapters. The Secretariat strategically matches these projects with US and international partners. The Aspen Institute in Washington serves as the Secretariat for Partners for a New Beginning. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar is a member of the PNB Pakistan Chapter.
Aspen Institute event for Heartfile
WHO health systems research strategy
June 14, 2012: The 2nd Meeting of the Advisory Group of the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy for Health Systems Research was held in Boston at the Harvard Inn on June 11-12. The meeting was hosted by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the meeting as a member of the Advisory Committee.
GAVI’s 2012 Washington Board meeting
June 13, 2012: Our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar recently attended the Board Meeting of the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) in her capacity as the Chair of the Evaluation Advisory Committee of GAVI and presented the committee update
Rockefeller Foundations centennial
June 12, 2012: View a recently released video, which features the work of our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar. The video was shot during the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2011 innovation forum. Click here to view.
May 05, 2012: Heartfile hosted the Pakistan Lancet Series Stakeholders’ Consultation in Islamabad on April 20. The meeting was hosted by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta. Dr. Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet and Dr. Pamela Das, Series Editor joined through a video link. The objective of the Pakistan Lancet Series is to identify evidence-based critical actions, which can be institutionalized as a priority to reform Pakistan’s health system within the context of the opportunity created by the devolution reform and against the backdrop of the prevailing macro-economic, geo-strategic and capacity constraints the country is facing.
Forum 2012 in Cape Town
May 01, 2012: Forum 2012, the new order in Global Forum for Health Research meetings, was recently held in Cape Town from 24 to 26 April 2012. The meeting was hosted by the Geneva based COHRED Group under the theme of “Beyond Aid: Research and Innovation as key drivers for Health, Equity and Development”. Our President, Sania Nishtar was a panelist in two sessions on “Innovative Models of Healthcare Delivery” and “Women and Science and Technology” and chaired the session on “Strengthening Networks and Partnerships in Research Innovation”. The webcast can be viewed here.
Forum 2012 in Cape Town
GAVI’s Board retreat in Oslo
April 30, 2012: The Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) is a global public-private partnership focused on saving children’s lives and protecting people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries. The Alliance Board recently had a retreat in Oslo on April 16-17, which was attended by our President Dr. Sania Nishtar, who chairs GAVI’s global Evaluation Advisory Committee.
April Meetings on Wellbeing in New York
April 13, 2012: The recent ‘twin’ high level meetings on Wellbeing and Happiness, in New York, the first hosted by Jeffery Sachs on April 1 at the Columbia University and the second by Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley of Bhutan at the UN General Assembly on April 2 were important initial steps in the global response to the challenge of elaborating measurements of happiness and wellbeing. Beyond that they served as an important step on the path to new sustainable development goals, which will hopefully include measurement of wellbeing after the 2015 end-date of the MDGs. Our president, Sania Nishtar attended both the events. The webcasts of the events will be available shortly.
April Meetings on Wellbeing in New York
HIGH-LEVEL EXPERT MEETING ON HEALTH PRIORITIES
March 09, 2012: The new Regional Director of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of the World Health Organization convened a high level expert meeting on health priorities in Cairo on March 1-2 just after assuming office. Heartfile President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was amongst the select group of experts invited to reflect on the WHO reform process and priorities for its scope of work in the future.
March 06, 2012: 125 deaths were recently reported in Pakistan as a result of fatal bone-marrow suppression subsequent to contaminated substandard drug intake. These drugs were available to the poor free of cost from a public cardiology pharmacy. Our analysis of the situation has just been published in The Lancet and in the News International.
NCDS OPED IN THE UN MAGAZINE
February 24, 2012: Our recent co-authored comment in UNA-UK’s New World magazine titled “The global push against non-communicable diseases” can be accessed here.
BMJ HIGHLIGHTS THE PAKISTAN DRUG DEATH ISSUE
Februray 17, 2012: The British Medical Health Journal (BMJ) recently highlighted the issue of contaminated drugs in Pakistan that led to the deaths of 120 people. In a statement to the journal, our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar commented that this should be a wake up call. “There are only a handful of testing laboratories in the country” and that “…while the standard operating procedures for quality testing may have been articulated, the infrastructure to implement them does not exist”.
THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S LEVERAGE IN HEALTH
February 07, 2012: Read about our recent comment in the Huffington Post about the World Economic Forum’s niche as a convening space for health sector stakeholder engagement. This is a much needed capacity in the current global economic environment where global solutions can best be achieved by exploiting public-private synergy.
WOMEN IN THE WORLD FOUNDATION
February 06, 2012: The Women in the World Foundation has featured a story on “Two Doctors Overcoming Obstacles to Accessing Healthcare”, focusing on the work of our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar. Click here to read article.
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM 2012, DAVOS
February 02, 2012: WEF’s Annual Meeting in Davos was focused on “The great transformations: shaping new models”. Our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar was one of the panelists at a session on Innovative Development Models. Other panelists included: Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development of the United kingdom; Seth F. Berkley, Chief Executive Officer, GAVI Alliance, Switzerland; Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman, President and CFO, Merck & Co., USA; Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Geneva; Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary General, UN Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva. The panel was moderated by John McArthur of the United Nations Foundation, USA.
DAVID AND LUCILE PACKARD FOUNDATION’S PARTNERS MEETING
February 14, 2012: Dr. Saba Amjad and Yasir Abbas Mirza represented Heartfile at the recent Packard Foundation’s partners meeting, which was held at JW Marriott in Dubai on January 27-28. The meeting focused on compliance training and program overview. Our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar talked on challenges and opportunities of health and population in the changing context in the post 18th-Amendment scenario.
DAVID AND LUCILE PACKARD FOUNDATION’S PARTNERS MEETING
ARTICLES ON HEALTH DEVOLUTION IN PAKISTAN
January 17, 2012: Due to popular demand, we have compiled an archive of Heartfile’s articles on the devolution of the health portfolio and the abolition of the health ministry in Pakistan as a result of the 18th Constitutional Amendment. These can be accessed here.
December 26: 2011: Abu Dhabi recently hosted the World Health Care Congress Middle East where a plenary session on Innovative Financing Models for Global Health Care Challenges was featured as part of the Congress’ emerging trends theme. The panel included Robert Filipp, (Founder, Innovative Finance, Geneva); Dr. Paolo de Santis, (Partner, McKinsey & Co., Rome); Wassim Mourtada, (CEO Envision ALR, Abu Dhabi); Helmut M. Schüehsler, (Managing Partner, TVM Capital, Munich) and Heartfile Founder and President, Dr. Sania Nishtar.
GLOBAL AGENDA COUNCIL 2010, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
December 24, 2011: The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council, with its focus on global risks and the means of their mitigation, was held in Dubai, from November 30–December 1, 2010. This year, the Chronic Disease Council had a strategic role to play in convening members to deliberate on strategies to address the chronic disease challenge in view of the upcoming UN General Assembly special session on chronic non-communicable diseases in September, 2011. Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the meeting as a member of the Council on Chronic Diseases.
NCD RESEARCH AGENDA SETTING
December 19, 2011: As a follow up to the UN high level summit on NCDs, a WHO EMRO consultative meeting was recently held on “Building Regional NCD Research Agenda and Enhancing Implementation of NCD Action Plan.” The meeting, which was held in Dubai, from 11 to 13 December 2011 concluded with a set of research priorities and was well attended by researchers and policy makers from all over the WHO EMRO region. Heartfile president, Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the meeting as the invited expert from Pakistan.
2ND ANNUAL PUBLIC HEALTH CONFERENCE ON HEALTH SYSTEMS
December 14, 2011: Heartfile Health Financing was featured as a key theme in discussions at the 2nd Annual Public Health Conference on Health Systems held at the Health Services Academy in Islamabad. The focus was on “Public health in the wake of recent reforms in Pakistan.” Dr. Sania Nishtar was invited to speak at the opening plenary and Dr. Faraz Khalid gave a program overview in one of the concurrent sessions.
ASIA’S HEALTH REFORM CONFERENCE
December 12, 2011: University of Hong Kong in collaboration with Elsevier, hosted the Health System Reform in Asia Conference 2011 on Dec 9-12 in Hong Kong. Dr. Sania Nishtar’s plenary talk at the conference, relayed via a video link can now be accessed here.
PARTNERSHIP PLENARY IN ISTANBUL
December 09, 2011: One of the plenary sessions at the recent meeting of the Global Chapters of Partners for a New Beginning, in Turkey on December 2, focused on Partnerships. Our President, Sania Nishtar was on the panel and shared with the panel and the audience Heartfile’s approach to partnership building.
PARTNERSHIP PLENARY IN ISTANBUL
PAKISTAN: INNOVATIVE FINANCING FOR HEALTH
November 21, 2011: Huffington Post UK launched a new Impact section on issues, charities and making a difference on Friday November 18, 2011, the same day as the BBC’s Children In Need campaign. Our comment on Innovative Financing for health in Pakistan was displayed on the front page of the Impact section available to more than four million Huffington Post readers in the UK with around 35m for the site worldwide. Read here…
WHO BULLETIN PUBLISHES A REVIEW OF CHOKED PIPES
November 07, 2011: The review published in the November issue of the WHO Bulletin states that the “book provides a timely spotlight on the investment needed to develop effective, transparent and pro-poor health systems” and that it has “something to offer for both the local and global audience” Click here to access the article in PDF format
WHO BULLETIN PUBLISHES A REVIEW OF CHOKED PIPES
PAKISTAN AND POLIO
November 5, 2011: Follow our recent comment on the Polio situation in Pakistan in the Huffington Post
HEARTFILE’S ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR FLOOD AFFLICTED
November 05, 2011: Heartfile has made assistance available for victims of the recent flood through the Heartfile Health Financing program. The program currently provides assistance to patients who are prone to catastrophic expenditures on healthcare. View details
INTERVIEW IN ASIAN SCIENTIST MAGAZINE
November 01, 2011: This month’s issue of Asian Scientist magazine carries an interview of Dr. Sania Nishtar about the new Sania Nishtar Health Fund and what inspired her to start Heartfile Health Financing. To read the interview please click here.
LAUNCH OF THE SANIA NISHTAR HEALTH FUND
October 27, 2011: The Sania Nishtar Health Fund was launched at an event hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation in New York on September 20, 2011. The fund has been set up to support the work of Heartfile Health Financing and has been created with the Global Innovation Award that Dr. Nishtar received in July from the Rockefeller Foundation. Keynote remarks at the launch were made by Sir George Alleyne, Syed Babar Ali, and Dr. Mehmood Khan. Participating agencies included Partners for a New Beginning at the Aspen Institute, the American Pakistan Foundation, the World Economic Forum and the World Heart Federation. Further details about the Fund can be viewed here.
WORLD CONFERENCE ON THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
October 26, 2011: The World Health Organization, at its recent World Conference in Rio de Janeiro, organized a ministerial panel on “Ensuing Equitable Universal Coverage” and convened policymakers and experts to discuss on-ground examples relevant to universal coverage health reform. Panelists included Simon Burns, Minister of State for Health, United Kingdom; Alexandre Padilha, Minister of Health Brazil; Dr Jeanette Vega, Ex Minister of Health, Chile, Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO and our President, Sania Nishtar. The webcast of the session will shortly be available through this portal.
WORLD CONFERENCE ON THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
GLOBAL AGENDA COUNCIL, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
October, 18, 2011: At the recent captioned meeting in Abu Dhabi, the Global Agenda Council on Health and Well-being 2011, which is one of the World Economic Forum’s 79 Councils, focused on making a case for positioning health and wellness, as the potential fourth bottom line of businesses. The understanding is that performance, social responsibility and commitment to environmental protection are the existing three. Our President, Sania Nishtar, is a member of the council and attended the meeting.
GLOBAL AGENDA COUNCIL, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
HEARTFILE’S PAPER AT THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
October 14, 2011: Our recent paper, “Heartfile Health Financing: Striving to achieve Health Equity in Pakistan,” has just been published on a World Health Organization hosted website for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health. The conference commences on October 19, 2011. The paper is part of a series of case studies that present successful examples of policy action aiming to reduce health inequities. The paper can be downloaded here and background details can be accessed here.
A GLOBAL COORDINATING PLATFORM FOR NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
October 05, 2011: a recent paper co-authored by Eva Jane Lopez of the World Economic Forum and Sania Nishtar from Heartfile outlines the imperative for creating an apex global coordinating mechanism for non-communicable diseases. This is the first publication after the release of the high level political declaration on NCDs, which reinforces one of the declaration’s key recommendations centered on furthering international collaboration on NCD. The paper can be accessed here
COMMUNICATING THE NONCOMMUNICABLE
September 22, 2011: A special issue of ‘The Journal of Health Communication’ was launched at a side event to the UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases in New York on September 19. Both guest editors, Peter Anderson and Dr. Sania Nishtar, are members of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Chronic Disease and Wellness where at a meeting of this body in 2010 in Dubai, the idea for this special supplement was conceived. The authors of this 205-page journal have engaged in research and dialogue throughout the globe. The issue can be downloaded here and the authors’ introduction to the series can be viewed here.
WORLD AGEING AND GENERATIONS CONGRESS 2011
September 08, 2011: Seventh in the series, the captioned Congress, which was held in St Gallen in the last week of August, 2011 explored Demography’s intersections with other sectors. Our president Sania Nishtar was a plenary speaker in the session titled “Demography meets Health”.
HEARTFILE INDEPENDENCE DAY COMMEMORATIVE VIEWPOINT
August 24, 2011: Democracy, politics, governance and accountability – historically misunderstood in theory and practice, these attributes of state governance need to be properly addressed in order to improve every aspect of the body politic, especially health systems performance. Our recent Independence Day Commemorative Viewpoint, which focuses on this can be downloaded here.
August 19, 2011: In preparation for the UN High Level Meeting on September 19-20, 2011, the NCD Alliance has just released its Human Rights Brief. This has been prepared by its Human Rights Working Group, of which Dr. Sania Nishtar is a member. Ten key recommendations are outlined in the brief including inter alia, implementation for prevention of NCDs, the right to essential medicines and technologies and vulnerable populations,. Click here to view the four page summary and the in-depth paper can be downloaded here
PROMOTING PEACE WITH HEALTH AS AN ENTRY POINT
August 12, 2011: the recently held debut meeting of the Aman ki Asha Health Committee in Delhi concluded with a declaration and an action plan for the way forward. The meeting was chaired by our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar and Dr. Naresh Trehan from India. The outputs of the meeting now serve as the framing context for pursuing mutual learning, sharing of experiences and exploring avenues for collaboration.
IAS PRE-MEETING ON HIV AND NCDs, ROME
August 09, 2011: Hosted by Wafaa El-Sadr, Rifat Atun and Jean Paul Moatti, the above meeting included an afternoon Panel, which was chaired and moderated by our president, Dr. Sania Nishtar. Panelists included Ambassador Eric Goosby (United States Global AIDS Coordinator), Bart Janssen (Medicines Sans Frontiers), Gottfried Hirnschal (WHO) and Chewe Luo (UNICEF).
ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATIONS AWARD INNOVATION AWARD
August 03, 2011: As part of its first annual Innovation Awards ceremony in New York held on July 7, 2011, the Rockefeller Foundation honored four Global Innovators, amongst them our president Dr. Sania Nishtar, who received the innovation award for her unique contributions to the field of global health. Other award recipients include President Bill Clinton, Jane Weru, executive director of the Akiba Mashinani Trust in Kenya and representatives from the microfinance organization Kiva in the Classroom. The press release from the event and video footages can be viewed.
ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATIONS AWARD INNOVATION
VIEWPOINT ON HEALTH DEVOLUTION: PART1
August 01, 2011: Our most recent viewpoint on the rapidly evolving situation regarding the abolition of the Ministry of Health and health devolution in Pakistan was published last Saturday. This viewpoint is in two parts with the first raising questions and the second is expected to offer options for the way forward. The author is soliciting your views, which we prefer receiving through our Facebook page. Alternatively, she can be emailed directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
LEVERAGING HIV FOR NCDS CARE
July 18, 2011: Many lessons can be drawn from the scale-up of HIV services in low-income countries for institutionalizing care for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Such insights are useful as the international community and domestic policy planners converge during the upcoming UN High Level NCDs Summit this September to draw strategies to address the burgeoning challenge of NCDs. Dr. Sania Nishtar has recently co-authored an article with Miriam Rabkin of Columbia University to draw attention to the potential of such experience sharing. The paper has been published in a special supplement of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which was released at an event preceding the International AIDS conference in Rome, on July 15, 2011. The article can be downloaded here.
BUILDING PAKISTAN’S HUMAN CAPITAL: A FOCUS ON HEALTH AND EDUCATION
July 08, 2011: The US Institute of Peace in collaboration with another Washington based think tank, the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding, held a panel discussion on the captioned subject in Washington on June 14, 2010. Panelists included Dr. Sania Nishtar, Dr. Attiya Khan, Naveed Hassan Naqvi and Mr. McCloud (USAID). The session was moderated by Moeed Yusuf (USIP).
BUILDING PAKISTAN’S HUMAN CAPITAL: A FOCUS ON HEALTH AND EDUCATION
TDR REPORT PREVIEW
July 6, 2011: Dr. Sania Nishtar chaired the preview of TDR’s IDEAS (Infectious Diseases, Evidence for Action) Report on June 14 at the Global Health Council meeting in Washington. The global report on research priorities for infectious diseases of poverty “offers new ways of improving public health in poor countries, with research as the compelling foundation and driver for policies.”
TDR REPORT PREVIEW
DO WE NEED MINISTRIES OF HEALTH: HOW FAR CAN DECENTRALIZATION GO
June 29, 2011: The World Bank south Asian HNP multi-sectoral Decentralization Study Group hosted a lunch presentation at the World Bank in Washington on June 15, 2011. Our President Dr. Sania Nishtar presented our recent analysis related to the captioned subject with Pakistan as a setting. Julie Mclaughlin chaired the session and Pablo Gotrett was the discussant. The announcement featuring the background can be viewed and the analytical report can also be downloaded.
DO WE NEED MINISTRIES OF HEALTH
DRUG REGULATION AND BEYOND
June 27, 2011: The establishment of a Drug Regulatory Authority is once again on Pakistan’s policy agenda. In principle a step in the right direction, Heartfile examines its implications and suggests some practical recommendations in its recent analysis.
June 22, 2011: The Lancet NCD Action Group’s recent paper “UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases” answers four key questions, which need to be addressed if the UN High-Level meeting on NCDs in September, an opportunity to incite a coordinated global effort against NCDs, is to live up to its potential. Led by Robert Beaglehole and Ruth Bonita, the paper is authored by 11 other experts from around the world including our President, Dr. Sania Nishtar. The paper and its accompanying summary can be downloaded.
UN CIVIL SOCIETY HEARING ON NCDS: VIEW FOOTAGE
June 21, 2011: During the recent UN General Assembly Civil society hearing on NCDs, which was held in the run up to the September NCDs summit, Dr. Sania Nishtar led one of the three roundtables and spoke about the need to enhance global cooperation, outlining the stakeholders, mechanisms and modalities. The video of the hearing was split up into two separate parts. You can fast forward to the relevant section of the video at 1 hour, 36 minutes to view her comments.
UN CIVIL SOCIETY HEARING ON NCDS
PAKISTAN 2020: A VISION FOR BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE
June 9, 2011: The captioned report by the Asia Society Pakistan 2020 Study Group, whose members include a mix of individuals, all of whom are leaders in their own separate fields, is now available for download. The report, written by project director, Hassan Abbas, has insights and intellectual contributions from the group including Dr. Sania Nishtar from Heartfile.
Poorest of the poor
June 06, 2011: Through Heartfile Health Financing, we make assistance available to the poor who cannot afford to pay for healthcare and run the risk of spending catastrophically. Most of the patients we support are the poorest of the poor and we are often confronted with situations where patients need ongoing help beyond healthcare. The case of two patients just supported through our program is illustrative and our summer intern has narrated an account of these cases, which can be viewed here. We are looking for organizations that can help support these patients beyond healthcare and would be grateful if anyone has any ideas in this regard.
Solutions from within
May 31, 2011: The captioned comment raises the point about broader issues of governance in Pakistan, which are impeding progress in general as well as towards health systems goals. The comment gives a message of hope in relation to societal strengths in Pakistan and also raises the point about the need for capacity and will at the State level to harness the strength of the society.
May 5, 2011: Read our recent viewpoint about the challenges and lack of clarity vis-à-vis regulatory prerogatives subsequent to the pronouncement of the 18th constitutional amendment in Pakistan. This ambiguity has implications for health with respect to regulation of human resources, drugs, service delivery and medical education. Click here to read more.
May 2, 2011: Heartfile president, Dr. Sania Nishtar attended the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-Communicable Disease Control as a member of the International Steering Committee of the conference. She also synthesized outcomes of sessions both during the closing plenary of the ministerial meeting on the 29th as well as the WHO Global Forum on the 27th. The aim of the conference was to “support member states in developing and strengthening policies and programmes on healthy lifestyles and NCD prevention.”
MOSCOW MINISTERIAL MEETING ON NCDS
Importance of a national role in health
April 19, 2011: Dr. Sania Nishtar’s interview in The NEWS International about how the 18th Amendment still enables the federal government to retain a national role in health despite provincial devolution can be read here.
Comment on Heartfile’s paper on the 18th Amendment
April 13, 2011: Bill Savedoff, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development, Washington, has commented on Heartfile’s recent paper on Health and the 18th Amendment. Read here
MEDICAL MISSION HALL OF FAME
April 8, 2011: Sania Nishtar was inducted into University of Toledo’s Medical Mission Hall of Fame.
Health and the 18th Amendment: Pakistan
April 05, 2011: The 18th amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan has devolved several subjects including health from the federal to the provincial level. This has far reaching implications for health, changing the entire health systems matrix in Pakistan. Heartfile’s recent paper, Health & the 18th Amendment underscores the importance of a national role for health. The paper is in the public domain and can be downloaded now. Comments if any should be sent to email@example.com. In addition to this news posting, we have also placed a comment in the newspaper to solicit inputs from a wider audience.
The aftermath of the 2010 Pakistan flood
April 01, 2011: Through the Health Lens: The Aftermath of the 2010 Pakistan Flood, a Heartfile report done in collaboration with the Institute of Social Policy & Understanding, Washington, can now be downloaded from our website. The 2010 floods were one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the country’s history and the report provides in-depth analysis of the health ramifications and practical recommendations for the future.
March 29, 2011: Revolutionary fervor from the Middle Eastern revolutions and Pakistan’s 2009 lawyer’s movement appears to be having a snowball effect. Young doctors in the largest province of the country have called a long drawn strike calling for better remuneration. An increasing number of young doctors, groups and associations are galvanizing support for the Young Doctors Association, the apex body which lent impetus to this movement. Their cause is becoming a rallying cry for drawing attention to a number of systemic constraints in relation to human resource issues as they impact young doctors. Our recent opinion explores the broader policy context.
Challenges of Scaling up
March 24, 2011: We are pleased to be sharing with you our recent piece in the Lancet on the “Challenges of Scaling-up”, which can now be downloaded.
13th Annual Scientific conference ICDDR,B
March 15, 2011: Sania Nishtar gave a presentation in the opening plenary on “Managing the public-private mix: remedied for the Mixed Health System Syndrome” during the 13th Annual Scientific Conference icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
13th Annual Scientific conference ICDDR
Heartfile at the NCDs CSM Parallel Event in New York
February 25, 2011: The global Non Communicable diseases Alliance, a formal alliance of four international federations recently held an event, parallel to the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. The session was focused on a neglected dimension of women’s health and development—non-communicable diseases, an important issue to be deliberated upon in the lead up to the UN Summit. Dr. Sania Nishtar was one of the four panelists at the event and talked about the health systems aspect of women and NCDs.
Heartfile at the NCDs CSM Parallel Event in New York
Consultation on the 18th Amendment
February 21, 2011: Saeed Allawala hosted a consultation on the impact of the 18th amendment on the pharmaceutical sector in Pakistan. Sania Nishtar was invited to keynote at the occasion. The meeting was also attended by Chairman Pharma Bureau and Chairman Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.
US-Pakistan Muslim Engagement initiative
February 19, 2011: Sania Nishtar attends the US-Pakistan Muslim Engagement Initiative on February 17-19, 2011. The event was hosted by the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
NCDs Evidence-Policy disconnect
February 12, 2011: The World Bank has just released its south Asia report on NCDs—Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases in South Asia. The report highlights the magnitude of disease burden in Pakistan and stresses on the need to step up action to address this challenge. The enclosed comment uses the evidence-policy disconnect in relation to NCDs as a peg to highlight the magnitude of neglect in this respect and draws attention to some needed actions in this space. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
January 29, 2011: Pakistan has launched an emergency plan to step-up efforts towards polio eradication after acknowledging that the country now runs the risk of becoming the last remaining reservoir of endemic poliovirus transmission in the world. This comment explores the nature of systemic constraints, which stand in the way of achieving that goal. Comments on the paper should be sent to email@example.com
January 27, 2011: Sania Nishtar attends the planning meeting of the First Global Ministerial Conference on Health Lifestyles and NCD Control, which is to be held in Moscow in April later this year, as a member of the International Steering Committee. The planning meeting was held in Geneva, Switzerland on January 26-27 at the WHO headquarter in Geneva.
WORLD HEALTH REPORT 2010
January 25, 2011: The Proof-of-Concept paper for Heartfile’s Health Financing project has been published as one of the background papers to WHO’s World Health Report 2010: “Health systems financing, the path to universal coverage”. The paper can be downloaded. Comments on the paper should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
THE EMERGING MARKETS SYMPOSIUM AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY
January 16, 2011: Sania Nishtar attends the Oxford University hosted Emerging Markets Symposium on Urbanization, health and human security as a expert panelist and speaker. The symposium focuses on challenges for the emerging market countries.
H1N1 OUTBREAK IN PAKISTAN—LESSONS LEARNT
January 14, 2011: Compared to many other countries in Asia, the outbreak of Pandemic Influenza H1N1 2009 appeared to be of minor concern to Pakistan. Sania Nishtar analyzes the extent to which that notion was justified, the health system’s response to the outbreak and the capacity of the country to comply with WHO’s International Health Regulations 2005. The paper has been published by the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies in Singapore, which coordinates the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security Studies in Asia (NTS-Asia). Heartfile has been actively involved in events organised by both the Centre as well as the Consortium. Comments on the paper should be sent to email@example.com. The paper can be downloaded
OVERCOMING INEQUITIES IN ASIA
December 22, 2010: The Rockefeller Foundation’s partners’ convening meeting, “Overcoming inequities in Asia”, held in Bangkok from December 14-15, 2010 was an opportunity to elicit and present issues, ideas and solutions relevant to the 21st century development challenges facing Asia. President Heartfile attended the meeting and shared the organization’s new approaches and thinking to address the current unprecedented levels of inequality and consequent social disruptions.
November 30, 2010: There are a number of competing priorities for allocating development assistance in Pakistan, today. Fiscal space has been crowded out in the aftermath of the recent floods, an energy crisis, ongoing war and relentless insurgency. The enclosed comment underscores the salience of some windows of opportunity at the margins of these challenges, using deliberations and pronouncements at the recently held Pakistan Development Forum as a peg.
LANCET AND W.H.O BULLETIN PUBLISH REVIEWS ON CHOKED PIPES
November 16, 2010: In a recent review of ‘Choked Pipes’ published in the Lancet, the reviewer uses corruption as a peg to outline the book’s attributes and alludes to the notion of ‘the mixed health systems syndrome’ described in the book as a persuasive idea. WHO Bulletin’s review published in its November issue states that the “book provides a timely spotlight on the investment needed to develop effective, transparent and pro-poor health systems” and that it has “something to offer for both the local and global audience”. Download the Lancet review | Read the Bulletin’s review
DENGUE: MISPLACED FEARS AND POLICY IMPERATIVES
November 10, 2010: The recent outbreak of Dengue, which is commanding widespread attention in Pakistan, is an important insight into several health and overarching governance issues. This comment discusses the policy imperatives and recalls some facts about Dengue to put things in perspective.
November 08, 2010: Lack of effective parliamentary and civil society engagement in the budget-making process is one of the fundamental process-related anomalies in Pakistan’s budgetary cycle. By drawing on insights from other countries, this comment advocates for change as the fiscal year commences, and flags a number of caveats
September 04, 2010: a viewpoint on the attributes of governance and their interplay in disasters has been published in the News International today. This comment flags five governance lessons, evidenced by the response to the recent catastrophic floods in Pakistan.
MEETING IN BELLAGIO, LAKE COMO
August 20, 2010: Dr Sania Nishtar participated in a leadership level meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy on August 17-20. The meeting was organized by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and focused on the interaction between health systemsparticipated2 and HIV.
MEETING IN BELLAGIO, LAKE COMO
FRIENDS, DIALOGUES, POVERTY AND PRAGMATISM
July 24, 2010: The United States has pledged support to alleviate poverty and improve development outcomes in Pakistan. The comment explores the extent to which such expectations are justified and the prerequisites for leveraging the potential within development assistance.
COMMENT TO MARK WORLD POPULATION DAY
July 10, 2010: The comment frames population as the denominator of development. It focuses on the potential within the forthcoming Population Policy 2010 to impact outcomes in view of institutional changes introduced by the 18th Constitutional Amendment and the Finance Commission Award.
BUDGET’S SOCIAL FOOTPRINT
July 3, 2010: The comment explores the potential within the macroeconomic strategies pursued through the Finance Bill 2010/11 – just passed by the parliament – to accrue benefits to the common man. Full text is accessible at Viewpoints
POVERTY AND PRAGMATISM
The Study Group on Health Governance at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy convened a workshop in Singapore to review papers on the contributions of Asia to Global Health Governance
June 29, 2010: The Study Group on Health Governance is part of the larger initiative on Global Governance by the school. Sania Nishtar, President Heartfile attended the meeting as a special invited guest on June 28-29, 2010.
The problem with BISP health insurance
June 19, 2010: The government is launching a new health insurance scheme for the poor under the rubric of the federal government’s safety net program. The comment argues that if the priority is to financially risk protect the poor for health in the most cost effective manner, then the government must rethink its current approach. Full text is accessible at Viewpoints
The Regional Conference on Achieving better health equity and efficiency in Middle East and North Africa
June 07, 2010: Sania Nishtar gives the keynote address at the ‘Regional Conference on Achieving better health equity and efficiency in Middle East and North Africa,’ organized by the MENA Health Policy Forum in Amman, Jordan.
The Regional Conference on Achieving better health equity and efficiency in Middle East and North Africa
Politics of health reform – Part III
June 7, 2010: The comment underscores a critical point—health reform has been forced on the Pakistani health system because of changes made outside of it. It outlines how existing opportunities can be capitalized and how the forthcoming budget can be used as an entry point to make fundamental changes as a starting point. Full text is accessible at View other Viewpoints
Viewpoint 78: Politics of health reform – Part I
Read the first part of the Op-ed on the Politics of health reform – Part I…Read More
Achieving universal health coverage: experiences of Pakistan
May 14, 2010: Sania Nishtar gives a talk on ‘Achieving universal health coverage: experiences of Pakistan’ at the Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. This is part of the Rockefeller Foundation global initiative on attaining universal coverage.
Pakistan: potential to achieve universal coverage for health
May 14, 2010: Sania Nishtar has authored a chapter on ‘Pakistan: potential to achieve universal coverage for health’ in a book edited by Eduardo Missoni of the Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. The book is titled ‘Attaining Universal Health Coverage – a research initiative to support evidence-based advocacy and policy-making’ and has been published by EGEA, Italy (2010). This is part of a Rockefeller Foundation-funded programme to increase universal coverage for health.
Expert Working Group on R&D and Financing
May 13, 2010: Sania Nishtar makes a presentation to the WHO Executive Board committee on the report of the Expert Working Group on R&D and Financing in Geneva, Switzerland.
Expert Working Group on R&D and Financing
Viewpoint 77: The penchant for provinces
May 08, 2010: A viewpoint titled ‘The penchant for provinces’ by Sania Nishtar has been published in The News International. Full text is accessible at Viewpoints
Context: The renaming of a province in Pakistan has lent impetus to calls for creation of other provinces by various ethnic groups. Smaller sub-national units can improve governance and service delivery including health. This article explores whether this is a viable option for Pakistan in the current situation when there are so many competing priorities in hand.
Rockefeller Foundation Support to Heartfile Financing
The Rockefellar foundation donates to Heartfile Health Financing, an mhealth enabled access to treatment initiative established by Heartfile. The donation will be used to treat poor patients at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Review of Choked Pipes by Shafqat Shahzad
May 6, 2010: Review of ‘Choked Pipes’ by Shafqat Shahzad entitled ‘Transforming healthcare’ was published in The Friday Times, April 30-May 6, 2010. The author focused the discussion on the recommendations for reform. Full text is available here.
Seminar on Choked Pipes in Karachi
May 5, 2010: Following the Karachi launch of ‘Choked Pipes,’ a technical seminar was held at the Ziauddin University, Karachi. The seminar was hosted by Professor Naeem Jaffery and was attended by a large number of academics. Sania Nishtar gave a talk on the book and interacted with the audience.
Choked Pipes launched in Karachi
May 4, 2010: ‘Choked Pipes’ was launched in Karachi at a ceremony co-hosted by Oxford University Press, Murshid Hospital, and Heartfile at Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. The event was marked by unprecedented attendance by intellectuals and received wide media coverage. Press clippings and videos of the event are accessible here.
Heartfile Health Financing goes live
May 02, 2010: The project has been launched in a pilot setting on March 29, 2010. The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences has been chosen as the first pilot site. Assistance will be made available to deserving patients in Cardiology and Orthopedic wards through our Health Equity Fund.