Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Ayesha Khan
The Ehsaas Program in Pakistan is an ambitious social protection initiative that seeks to tackle poverty holistically by addressing key areas like education, health, agriculture, financial inclusion, and gender disparities. Through innovative programs targeting the most vulnerable segments of society, it strives to create an inclusive and prosperous future for all citizens. By promoting socio-economic empowerment and improving access to critical services, the Ehsaas Program is transforming lives across Pakistan and building a more equitable society for generations to come.
The Ehsaas Program Launched in 2019 by the government of Pakistan, has become one of the largest and most ambitious anti-poverty programs in the country’s history. With its multifaceted approach, the Ehsaas Program strives to create a more equitable society where every individual has access to basic necessities and opportunities for socio-economic development.
1. Financial Inclusion:
Under the Ehsaas Program, efforts are made to promote financial inclusion and empower individuals through innovative initiatives such as interest-free loans through the “Ehsaas Interest-Free Loan” program. This scheme helps low-income individuals start or expand their own businesses, enabling them to become self-sufficient and break free from the cycle of poverty.
2. Education and Skill Development:
Recognizing education as a key driver for social progress, the Ehsaas Program introduced several educational initiatives targeting marginalized communities. The “Ehsaas Scholarship Program” provides financial support to bright students from low-income backgrounds, enabling them to pursue higher education at reputable institutions across Pakistan. Additionally, vocational training programs have been established to equip individuals with the essential skills necessary for employment and income generation.
2. Health Support:
To ensure affordable healthcare for all citizens, the Ehsaas Program launched “Ehsaas Health Cards.” These cards enable eligible families to receive free medical treatment up to a certain limit at designated public and private hospitals across Pakistan. This initiative aims to reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare services and provide financial relief for those who cannot afford quality medical assistance.
3. Social Safety Nets:
The Ehsaas Emergency Cash Assistance program gained significant importance during challenging times like natural disasters or national crises. This initiative provides immediate financial relief to vulnerable households during emergencies, ensuring their basic needs are met. Through a transparent and efficient cash disbursement system, the program aims to protect those most affected by adverse situations.
4. Enhancing the Agriculture Sector:
The Ehsaas Program also focuses on supporting small-scale farmers through initiatives like “Kafaalat for Agriculture” and the “Agriculture Graduation Program.” These programs provide training, resources, and essential inputs to improve agricultural practices, productivity, and the income levels of farmers. By empowering rural communities, the program contributes to poverty reduction and food security in the country.
Targeting Gender Disparities:
Recognizing the importance of gender equality in socio-economic development, the Ehsaas Program places a strong emphasis on empowering women. The “Ehsaas Nashonuma Program” addresses malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age, providing them with nutritious meals and healthcare services. Additionally, initiatives like asset transfer programs aim to economically empower women-headed households.
The programs and initiatives under the Ehsaas Program include:
A cash transfer program for eligible women from low-income households. Under this program, selected beneficiaries receive a monthly stipend.
A nutrition program that aims to address stunting and malnutrition in children under two years of age and pregnant/lactating mothers.
Ehsaas Emergency Cash
Introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, this program provided emergency financial assistance to those who lost their livelihoods due to lockdown measures.
Ehsaas Langar & Panagahs
Community food kitchens (Langar) and shelters (Panagahs) are established to provide free meals and temporary accommodation to those in need.
Ehsaas Interest-Free Loans
The government provides interest-free loans to small-scale entrepreneurs, farmers, artisans, and craftsmen to promote self-employment and income generation.
This initiative focuses on ensuring safety nets for marginalized segments through enhanced social protection programs such as health insurance, disability benefits, and legal aid services.
Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Scholarships are provided to students from low-income backgrounds, enabling them to pursue higher education at prominent universities across Pakistan.
Ehsaas One Woman, One Account
Encouraging financial inclusion among women, this initiative promotes opening bank accounts exclusively for women in
This initiative fosters economic empowerment by providing vocational training opportunities, skill development programs, and access to job markets for unemployed individuals.
Poverty Graduation Initiative
Implemented in partnership with international development organizations, this program aims to uplift ultra-poor households by providing them with a sustainable pathway out of poverty.
It is important to note that the Ehsaas Program continues to evolve and introduce new initiatives as part of ongoing efforts to alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and improve social protection in Pakistan.