PM reviews use of Covid Relief Fund

By: INP      Published: 08:14 PM, 16 Nov, 2020
PM reviews use of Covid Relief Fund
–File photo

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday chaired a meeting of the Policy Committee overseeing the Prime Minister’s COVID Relief Fund to review the fund use. The fund was established in March 2020 to raise funds for people affected by the Covid-19. 

The fund received generous donations from within Pakistan and overseas. People donated Rs4.8 billion to the fund -- Rs1.08 billion was donated by international donors and Rs3.8 billion by domestic donors.

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 those who lost jobs due to COVID-19. Secondly, a “matching funds policy” stipulated that the government would donate Rs4 for every rupee donated into the fund. To fulfill this promise, Rs19.55 billion were given by the government and the amount increased to Rs24.43 billion. This amount supported two million families, each of which received Rs12,000 as Ehsaas Emergency Cash. A total of 15 million people received Ehsaas Emergency Cash. 

There has been little transparency and tractability in the use of donor funds in the past. However, the PM COVID Relief Fund 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 a robust governance and oversight of the fund, the prime minister established a Policy Committee to oversee the use of the proceeds, including means of identification of the beneficiaries and the parameters of their selection. The policy committee was also meant to decide the means of disbursement and take appropriate decisions for collection of donations, maintenance and administration of the fund and related matters.