Prime Minister’s Covid Relief Fund Sets a Precedent: Transparent Expenditure Trail of Rs. 4.8 Billion Revealed
Islamabad, November 16, 2020 (PPI-OT): The Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the Policy Committee overseeing the Prime Minister’s COVID Relief Fund, today to review fund utilization details. The fund was established in March 2020 to raise funds for COVID 19 affectees. The fund received generous donations from within Pakistan and overseas. Rs. 4.8 Billion accumulated in the fund of which Rs. 1.08 bn was donated by international donors and Rs. 3.8 billion was contributed domestically. Earlier this year, the Prime Minister had publicly announced two policies with respect to this fund, committing that these funds would be disbursed through Ehsaas Emergency Cash to assist COVID 19 job loss affectees.
Secondly, a “matching funds policy” was announced which stipulated that for every rupee donated into the fund, Rs. 4 would be matched by the Government. To fulfill this promise, Rs. 19.55 Billion have been matched by the Government – in total Rs. 24.43 billion. This amount has supported 2 million families, each of which received Rs. 12,000 each as Ehsaas Emergency cash through this funding stream (out of the total of 15 million who received Ehsaas Emergency cash). There has been little transparency and trackability in the use of donor funds in the past. However, the PM COVID Relief Fund has set a new precedent, in terms of transparency and track-ability of donated funds.
“Pakistanis are the most giving nation. Their generosity is legendary. I want to give them the confidence that we are fully transparent with the use of all donor funds we receive”, said the Prime Minister. The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division is the administrator of the fund. To ensure robust governance and oversight of the fund, the Prime Minister established a Policy Committee to oversee appropriate usage of the proceeds including means of identification of the beneficiaries and the parameters of their selection. The policy committee was also meant to decide about the means of disbursement and to take any appropriate decisions for collection of donations, maintenance and administration of the fund and related matters.
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