ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Baitul Maal has completed the enrolment phase of the Child Support Programme (CSP) under which 20,000 poor families will get a monthly stipend for their children’s education.
Children between the ages of five and 16 were registered for the stipend in an enrolment campaign conducted from May 11 to May 15 in eight districts, including Rawalpindi and Multan in Punjab, and Muzaffarabad and Ghanche from Islamabad Capital Territory. The annual allocation for the programme, which is based on conditional cash transfers is Rs120 million.
Conditional Cash Transfer programmes provide cash payments to poor households that meet certain behavioural requirements, generally related to children’s healthcare and education, according to the World Bank website. Cash incentives of Rs350 per month are provided if the family has one child and Rs600 per month if the family has more than one child admitted to school and regularly attending at least 80 per cent classes.
As a pilot project, the programme was initially started in three districts, including Tharparkar, Bhakar and Kohistan, which supported 12,000 families, with 36,000 children. The programme is being extended as the World Bank has provided technical assistance in designing and implementing systems in line with wellexecuted conditional cash transfers across the world, a Baitul Maal official said. Implementation of the programme will be carried out in close coordination with the education department, district government, NADRA and payment agencies like Pakistan Post, he added, explaining that payments will be made every three months through selected branches of Pakistan Post.
If a family fails to admit their children to a school or to ensure 80 per cent class attendance, then, as a penalty, the amount for that specific quarter is not paid.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 19th, 2010.