ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar at a workshop held here Wednesday discussed the plan for expansion of Ehsaas initiatives to all Tehsils of Gilgit-Baltistan. Dr. Sania was keynoting a high-level consultative workshop on “Youth Employability and Poverty Alleviation” for the members of the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Assembly. The two-day workshop was held by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP). Dr. Sania appreciated the proactive approach of the government of GB towards Ehsaas. “In addition to monthly stipends of Rs. 2,000 a month, families eligible in Ehsaas Kafaalat are also benefiting from Ehsaas School Stipends across all Tehsils of GB. The program gives stipends from primary to the higher secondary levels. Girls get a higher stipend across all age groups. Ehsaas Nashonuma, Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship and Ehsaas Interest-Free Loan programmes are also running in GB ”, said Dr. Sania. A strategic plan was also discussed with members of the GB Assembly to open Ehsaas Nashonuma and Ehsaas One Window Centers in all Tehsils of GB. Dr. Sania also encouraged members of GB Assembly to create awareness among the people of GB on a multitude of Ehsaas programmes particularly, the ongoing Ehsaas Rashan registration drive with Kiryana retailers and families. The inaugural session was graced by Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Khalid Khurshid Khan. In the workshop, an array of experts shared their insights about the emerging issues related to youth employment and shed light on contextual strategies for poverty alleviation in Gilgit-Baltistan. Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid said that in Gilgit-Baltistan there is a strong tradition of making decisions locally. His government intends to incorporate this local tradition in the local government model to pave the way for the representation of grassroots-level communities in the governance structure. The speakers in the workshop emphasized contextualizing the development plans so that they are more in sync with the issues of Gilgit-Baltistan. They lauded the local communities of Gilgit-Baltistan for introducing a successful model of community participation for other regions of Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam shared government initiatives in tackling climate change. He laid great emphasis on living in harmony with nature instead of fighting with nature. Amin Aslam said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan know better how to live amicably with nature. He said that since Gilgit-Baltistan is bearing the brunt of climate change, it is imperative to intervene at multiple fronts. Speaking about the future of work, the speakers emphasized on digitization of the economy and promoting entrepreneurship in Gilgit-Baltistan. The themes covered in the workshop ranged from community participation, poverty alleviation and prosperity, safety nets, climate change, digitalization, promoting entrepreneurship and responsible tourism to renewable energy. The speakers and participants agreed to gear insights of the workshop into their policies and planning for the development of Gilgit-Baltistan.