Pakistan disburses over $100M in flood relief via biometric ID
Pakistan has so far disbursed 24.5 billion Pakistani rupees (US$103 million) to families affected by floods across the country via the country’s biometric ID system, according to release carried by Urdu Point. The budget has been increased to as much as Rs 70 billion ($295 million).
Flood Relief Cash Assistance is being disbursed via the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), which focuses on women and which relies on the national biometric ID card, the CNIC, for user verification, according to further coverage by Urdu Point.
Families receive a cash payment of Rs 25,000 ($106). Almost a million families have received the payment already across Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Paktunkhwa and Punjab.
Families can send their CNIC number to an SMS number for the Flood Release Cash Assistance program. They receive a message by reply and can then visit their nearest assistant camp, of which there are more than 400, to collect the payment.
“I got a message from BISP to come and collect flood relief money from their center. I borrowed some money for commute and reach BISP Center where they checked my CNIC and got my biometric,” Azra Bibi from Qambary, Swabi, tells Urdu Point.
“After all the clearance, they gave me the flood relief money of Rs. 25,000. With this money, we will fulfill our basic needs as we don’t have the groceries at home. I thank Benazir programme with all my heart.”
Authorities are working with the World Food Programme to ensure coverage for pregnant women as well as flood-affected mothers and children, through the Benazir Nashonuma program, with a further billion rupees.
The World Food Programme has praised BISP as a role model for other countries, according to The Nation. WFP Special Advisor on Mother and Child Nutrition and Jordanian Princess Sarah Zeid visited the BISP headquarters and praised multiple elements of Pakistan’s welfare network.
NADRA, the agency which runs Pakistan’s biometric identity service has recently partnered with 1Link to expand the countries digital payments network for paying utility bills, fees for identity documents, and to disburse government welfare.
Pakistan will feature in the upcoming launch of the next series of ID4Africa Livecast on 28 September.