The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and KfW, a German Development Bank, have joined hands to enhance their efforts in alleviating poverty and supporting flood victims in Pakistan through signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Euro 27 million. Secretary Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Amer Ali Ahmed, and Country Director of KfW, Sebastian Jacobi, signed the MoU at a ceremony held here on Friday. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety (PA&SS) and Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Ms. Shazia Marri, Secretary PA&SS division and other officials of Benazir Income Support Programme. The MoU entails a generous contribution of 27 million euros from the German Bank to support the rehabilitation and cash assistance of flood victims in Pakistan. One of the key provisions of the agreement is the allocation of an additional cash assistance amounting to Rs 30 million to the flood victims, aiming to provide immediate relief and address their urgent needs. Furthermore, the MoU also includes an investment of two million euros for the initiation of a pilot project under the Benazir Nashonuma Programme, which focuses on improving the nutritional status of vulnerable communities particularly the girls in the areas that were worst hit during the flood last year. During the signing ceremony, Ms. Shazia Marri briefed the KfW team about the various initiatives undertaken by the Benazir Income Support Programme, emphasizing the dire need to invest in the nutritional needs of the impoverished population. Recognizing the importance of early intervention, Marri said that Benazir Income Support Programme had been actively addressing the nutritional needs of the beneficiaries. The minister said that first thousand days of a child’s life were crucial in preventing stunting and ensuring proper growth and development. To prevent stunning among the children, special nutritional food and immunization are provided to children aged between 6-23 months. Additionally, awareness sessions on hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition are also conducted for young girls. This MoU will further increase our ability and outreach to address more population, Shazia Marri added. The minister briefed the KfW delegation that to date, Benazir Income Support Programme had registered over 6,43000 thousand pregnant women, and lactating mothers under Benazir Nashunama. As part of its ongoing development program, the organization has disbursed Rs 24 billion, effectively supporting vulnerable communities across the country. This agreement with KfW is expected to further enhance the programme’s impact and its outreach, she stated. Speaking at the event, Ms. Shazia Marri announced plans to increase the budget of the Benazir Nashonuma from 21.8 billion rupees to 32 billion rupees. This increase in funding demonstrates the government’s commitment to prioritizing poverty alleviation and social welfare in Pakistan. Director General (CCT), Naveed Akbar provided an overview of the MoU at the start of the ceremony, highlighting the significance of the collaboration and its potential to bring about positive change in the lives BISP beneficiaries. While highlighting the importance of the MoU, Secretary BISP, Amer Ali Ahmed said that the signing of this MoU between the Benazir Income Support Programme and KfW reinforced the commitment of both organizations to work together for the betterment of the Pakistani people. By pooling their expertise and resources, they aimed to tackle poverty, provide support to flood victims, and improve the nutritional well-being of vulnerable communities in Pakistan, the secretary added. Sebastian Jacobi, commended the efforts being taken by the Benazir Income Support Programme in pulling people out of poverty especially in alleviating malnutrition and stunted growth. The minister also presented gift of traditional Sindhi Ajrak to the German Bank team.