Islamabad: Turkey has offered its support to Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in starting pilot project of Conditional Cash Transfer for Education for the children of its beneficiary families. The proposal came from Ms. Fatima Shaheen, Turkish Minister for Family and Social Policy during her meeting with Federal Minister and Chairperson BISP, Madame Farzana Raja.
Turkish Minister, on the occasion, promised to take up the issue in the Turkish Cabinet meeting and said that the Turkish assistance in this regard will be channelized through TIKA. Both sides emphasized on enhanced mutual cooperation in social sector projects and it was agreed that a technical team from Pakistan will visit Turkey to explore opportunities in technical cooperation in BISP programmes.
Turkish Minister emphasized on decreasing infant mortality rate in Pakistan and also offered help as policies adopted by Turkey in this regard meet European standards. Madame Farzana Raja expressed her gratitude for Turkish Government and its people for feeling the pain of Pakistani people especially during the natural disasters such as 2010 and 2011 floods and 2005 earthquake.
Madame Farzana Raja briefed the Turkish Minister for Family and Social Policy about the BISP’s nationwide poverty survey and transparency in BISP initiatives as well as the inherent qualities of BISP for women empowerment and poverty alleviation which has turned the programme into a comprehensive social safety net.
Earlier, Madame Farzana Raja had a meeting with Mr. Mehmet Murat, Vıce President of Housing Development Administration (TOKI). On the proposal of Madame Farzana Raja, Mr. Murat showed willingness to consider allocating 4620 houses being built by TOKI for last years’ flood victims ın Pakistan to BISP’s flood affected beneficiaries.
Madame Farzana Raja also suggested that TOKI may hire BISP trained labour for their building projects in Pakistan and abroad. Vice President of TOKI appreciated the proposal and suggested that with orders from Turkish Prime Minister, his organization can assist BISP beneficiaries. Proposal for collaboration between TOKI Islamabad office and BISP also came under discussion while Madame Farzana Raja invited the President TOKI to visit BISP office in Pakistan.
Chairperson BISP also met Mr. Fatih Acar, President Social Security Institution of Turkey (SGK). She took great interest in the working of SGK especially its Health Insurance programme under which 100 % population is covered while President admired the nation-wide poverty survey conducted by BISP.
Mutual collaboration was principally agreed, especially regarding Health Insurance and Vocational Training Programme of BISP.
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