The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) and Serena Hotels Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday to foster a strategic collaboration on improving living standards, infrastructure and service quality across all the five Panahgahs in Islamabad. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation, Senator Dr Sania Nishtar, and CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia Aziz Boolani witnessed the signing of MoU. The MoU followed a briefing with the prime minister on the new strategic plan for Panahgahs. The highlight of the MoU was to mark the partnership between Ehsaas and Serena, extending to all the five Ehsaas Panahgahs situated at G-9/4, Tarlai, Bhara Kahu, Mandi More and Tarnol areas of Islamabad. Speaking about the collaboration, Dr Sania said, “Prime Minister has instructed to offer best lodging and quality food to our Panahgahs guests in a clean and dignified environment. To achieve this in an objective and sustainable manner, PASSD and Serena have agreed to collaborate under the MoU.” In addition, work has been initiated, she said, under Ehsaas for introducing digital monitoring of Panahgahs. Under the framework of MoU, Serena Hotels Pakistan will collaborate around conducting trainings of Panahgah’s staff and occupants on hospitality, food safety and hygiene, health safety and environment, and housekeeping, exercising regular monitoring of all Panahgahs in the federal capital, and establishing a model-kitchen in Panahgah of Islamabad. Captain (retd) Saeed Ahmad Nawaz, Additional Secretary PASSD and Dr Moin Uddin, Corporate Director HR and OD, Serena Hotels Pakistan signed the MoU. On the occasion, Managing Director, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar was also present. “Under the stewardship of Ehsaas, this collaboration shall be governed by relevant policies of the Federal Government regarding the standards in the arrangements and services of Panahgahs,” said Additional Secretary of the Division. PASSD shall be responsible for the establishment of Panahgahs and soup kitchens, ensuring of infrastructure required for provision of living and serving of cooked food for the residents and guests of Panagahs; utilities, fixtures and fittings in a given Panagah; human Resources; and safety and security of premises and beneficiaries. Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels South and Central Asia stated that they believe in improving the lives of the underserved segments of its surrounding areas as part of its extensive CSR programme. He said that he was hopeful of a fruitful partnership between the two entities to carry forward the vision of the Prime Minister and to provide a decent and hygienic environment and upgrade the local Panagahs utilizing the industry experience and technical know-how of Serena Hotels. Senior officials and representatives from PASSD, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal and Islamabad Serna also joined the event. The initial duration of the MoU is one year but may be extended further.