Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation termed Pakistan’s poverty eradication initiative Ehsaas as “a state of art program”.
Gates arrived in Islamabad Thursday on a one day visit and met with President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chairperson Ehsas Programme Sania Nishtar. He also attended special meeting of National Task Force for Polio Eradication.
While welcoming Mr. Gates on his first ever visit to Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation for continued support and partnership with the Government of Pakistan in polio eradication.
He underlined that the government was fully committed and determined towards polio eradication.
Expressing Pakistan’s commitment to eradicate polio, he said that Afghanistan, being the primary source of polio incidence, required urgent international support to avert humanitarian crisis including health emergency.
He said that Pakistan was providing full support for the sake of 40 million Afghan people in need of basic amenities.
The Prime Minister directed deputy commissioners of the districts adjoining Afghanistan borders particularly Southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to remain vigilant and proactive against contamination of polio virus.
Bill Gates thanked the Prime Minister for inviting him and extending warm hospitality on his first ever visit to Pakistan.
He highly appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani leadership, health workers and parents for working tirelessly to ensure that polio never paralyzes a child again.
Gates said that despite Covid-19 restrictions, Pakistan has performed amazingly and has continued with polio vaccinations.
Meanwhile, Bill Gates held a meeting with the Special Assistant to the PM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Dr Sania Nishtar.
Dr. Sania briefed him about Ehsaas Programme and the focus on data, digitization and transparency as key drivers of all Ehsaas programmes.
Ehsaas programmes and initiatives are end-to-end digitized, reducing human discretion and exploitation, she said.
Bill Gates was also briefed on governance reforms under Ehsaas and the Building and Rebuilding Institutions Initiative (BRI) of Ehsaas where changes have focused on a three-pronged approach around institutionalizing efficiency through digitization, embedding good governance, and minimizing financial and statutory risks.
This initiative is aimed at introducing robust governance mechanisms that increase transparency, accountability, and efficiency as well as depoliticizing institutions involved in the delivery of Ehsaas.
While in Pakistan, Bill Gates also visited the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) and was briefed on the success and the challenges of the Covid-19.