ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the Policy Committee overseeing the Prime Minister’s COVID Relief Fund review fund utilization details.
The fund was established in March 2020 to raise the amount for the COVID-19 affectees. PM Office Media Wing in a press release said, “The fund received generous donations from within Pakistan and overseas. Rs 4.8 billion accumulated in the fund of which Rs 1.08 billion was donated by international donors and Rs 3.8 billion contributed domestically,”
Earlier this year, the premiere had publicly announced two policies with respect to the fund, committing that it would be disbursed through the Ehsaas Emergency Cash to assist the 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 them received Rs 12,000 as Ehsaas Emergency cash through this funding stream (out of the total of 15 million, who received Ehsaas Emergency cash),” the press release said.
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.
The press release quoted the prime minister as saying, “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,”.
To ensure sturdy governance and oversight of the fund, the PM established a Policy Committee to oversee the 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.–APP