Focal person on corona philanthropy Khurshid Alam says around Rs. 3.5 billion have been donated to the fund thus far
Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to collect Rs. 20 billion for the Corona Relief Fund ‘at the initial stage’ to best help people who have lost their livelihoods because of the lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, the P.M.’s focal person on corona philanthropy drive Khurshid Alam said on Wednesday.
Participating in a program on Radio Pakistan in Islamabad, Alam said thus far a little over Rs. 3.5 billion had been donated to the Relief Fund, adding that people from all walks of life; government departments; private organizations; and philanthropists had generously contributed to it.
The focal person said the government was hoping to target non-registered laborers with this relief, adding that anyone who had been earning Rs. 35,000/month or less prior to the coronavirus outbreak would be eligible to avail relief under the Fund. He said a database patterned after the Ehsaas program would be prepared to identify the deserving people.
Alam said the prime minister would soon announce disbursement of the Fund to the needy, but did not clarify when exactly this would occur.
Summarizing how people can donate to the Fund, the focal person said anyone with a registered Pakistani SIM could send a blank SMS to 6677, which would automatically donate Rs. 20 to the Fund from their mobile phone account. Mobile phone companies would double that amount, he said, adding that the government would also contribute by quadrupling any amount donated to the Fund.
To a question, Alam said no government funds had been spent on publicizing the Prime Minister’s Corona Relief Fund, adding that various organizations had been requested to add a message about donating to the Relief Fund part of their advertisements.
Prime Minister Imran Khan launched his Corona Fund Relief Fund on March 30, urging Pakistanis—especially overseas Pakistanis—to donate generously to it and help the government provide relief to those worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, he announced all the donations collected by the Fund would be utilized to help people who had been laid off due to the lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.