ISLAMABAD: A social protection model presently being implemented through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) across Pakistan is meant to effectively support and empower women, children and poorest segments of the society.BISP Chairperson Marvi Memon anounced this while welcoming the foreign study tour participants from Senegal.A Senegalese delegation on the invitation of BISP, on behalf of the government of Pakistan, called on Member of National Assembly Marvi Memon, on the opening day of their study visit in Islamabad on Monday.The 14 member Senegalese delegation was led by National Cash Transfer Programme Director Gningue Pape Malick, accompanied by Special Advisor to Prime Minister Ndiaye Adjaratou Diakhou, Advisor to Secretary Diallo Abdoulaye Djibril and other social protection specialists from the World Bank, based in Senegal. The opening session was attended by the BISP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan, along with director generals from other sections.MNA Memon shed light on specific programmes including National Socio Economic Registry recently introduced graduation model and other modes of conditional/unconditional cash transfer.“I’m confident that the visit of senior social protection experts from Senegal government will prove beneficial for both countries. This visit will definitely result in joint-learning process, which would be beneficial for either side,” she added.Omar Hamid Khan apprised the delegation that this was the first ever comprehensive and transparent social safety net programme initiated by the government of Pakistan.“We at BISP, are partnering with the leading global academic institutions including MIT, Harvard and LSE to tailor our social research models, in-line with the latest sociological research methods,” the secretary added. He stated that to make transactions more transparent, timely and efficient, BISP has launched Biometric Verification System. He further highlighted BISP’s latest initiatives regarding a new programme on nutrition Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) to prevent malnutrition amongst children of BISP beneficiary households. Moreover, a programme is also being designed on immunisation CCT, keeping in view the low awareness on immunisation by the beneficiary households.Expressing felicitation, Gningue Pape Malick thanked the BISP secretary for such a warm hospitality and extending the invitation for such a worth-learning study tour. He broadly presented the Senegalese Model of Social Protection in coordination with other experts from Senegal and hoped to learn from the BISP management and expressed desire to share their practical working model.Published in Daily Times, April 17th 2018.