FATA, K-P poverty survey starts in March

BISP will launch a poverty assessment survey in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas.

Express January 30, 2011

PESHAWAR: Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) will launch a poverty assessment survey in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) in March.

BISP Provincial Chief Dr Ikram Ghani said on Friday that they were finalising a survey mechanism for the insurgency-hit region. The survey will be completed by June, on schedule with other parts of the country.

“Earlier we planned to give the region’s survey to a single organisation, but now every agency will be given to a different organisation,” Ghani said.

He added that Fata Secretariat was also on board and had offered its full cooperation.

This drive is part of a nationwide poverty assessment survey currently being undertaken. At least five million families comprising around 30 million people will be assessed across the country. In Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, a minimum of 450,000 families will be assessed for financial aid, Ghani said.

Aid will be given to handicapped persons, widows and those with a monthly income of less than Rs6,000. Ghani added that further requirements for a person to be eligible for the aid is that he/she does not possess a machine-readable passport or have an account in a foreign bank. The survey will be comprehensive and carried out in both poor and posh neighbourhoods.

Ghani said that the survey was asset-based, as income-based surveys are harder to verify and people “usually” do not tell the truth.

“Survey teams will go to each house and to ensure they visit every house instead of filling forms at their homes, they have been given GPS systems to record the coordinates of each house surveyed on the form; otherwise, the forms will not be accepted,” he said.

He added that the if any house was left unattended during this survey then the residents of that house should immediately contact the division office for their assessment.

He added that if multiple families were using the same house they should not record themselves as separate families. Such a step will reduce their chances of getting aid as the survey did not take into account the number of families living in a single house.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th,  2011.

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