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The Division of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety is unique since it was purpose-established to implement the umbrella initiative, Ehsaas.
Launched on March 27, 2019, the objective of Ehsaas is to reduce inequality, invest in people, and lift lagging districts.
Ehsaas is about the creation of a ‘welfare state’ by countering elite capture and leveraging 21st century tools—such as using data and technology to create precision safety nets; promoting financial inclusion and access to digital services; supporting the economic empowerment of women; focusing on the central role of human capital formation for poverty eradication, economic growth and sustainable development; and overcoming financial barriers to accessing health and post-secondary education.
The programme’s principles and approaches also center on tapping whole-of-government multi-sectoral collaboration for solutions; ensuring joint federal-provincial leadership; and mainstreaming the role of the private sector through an approach which will provide a level playing field on the one hand and foster locally-relevant innovation on the other, to create jobs and promote livelihood in quick-win areas. The programme’s premise is grounded in the importance of strengthening institutions, transparency and good governance.
The programme is for the extreme poor, orphans, widows, the homeless, the disabled, those who risk medical impoverishment, for the jobless, for poor farmers, for laborers, for the sick and undernourished; for students from low-income backgrounds and for poor women and elderly citizens. This plan is also about lifting lagging areas where poverty is higher.
Ehsaas’ poverty reduction strategy is articulated in four pillars and it currently embodies 134 policy actions, which may be expanded as the process of consultations on the program, further widens. The four pillars include: addressing elite capture and making the government system work to create equality; safety nets for disadvantaged segments of the population; and jobs and livelihoods.