Prime Minister Imran Khan has congratulated his Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar and her team over the World Bank’s listing of Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC) programme amongst top four social protection interventions globally. In a tweet on Sunday, the prime minister said that this is a milestone and well-deserved international recognition. “Congratulations to Sania and the Ehsaas team for achieving this milestone and well-deserved int(ernational) recognition,” tweeted the prime minister. Under Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme, cash stipends of Rs12,000 were delivered to 15 million households last year. This represented the largest and most extensive social protection intervention ever in the history of the country. Earlier on Saturday, the World Bank ranked Pakistan’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC) programme among the top four global social protection measures, based on the percentage of population covered, amid the third wave of the Covid-19 outbreak across the country. In its report, the World Bank commended the South Asian nation’s initiative to provide a one-time cash grant of Rs12,000 to nearly 100 million low-income households. “In Pakistan, where social insurance coverage is very low, the filters included having a public sector worker in the household, vehicle and property ownership and the amount spent on telephone bills,” the World Bank report said. “This approach was most useful when the social registry covered a large part of the population and the information on households was up to date,” it added. In a Twitter post on Saturday, Senator Sania Nishtar said: “Pakistan is 3rd globally in terms of percentage of population covered.” A relief package worth Rs 1.2 trillion was announced by the government in March last year, “which has been almost fully implemented,” according to the report. The package included an accelerated procurement of wheat, financial support to utility stores, a reduction in regulated fuel prices, support for health and food supplies and relief in electricity bill payments.