Islamabad, September 27, 2023: MoU for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF), assistance through Karandaaz will be signed on the sidelines of the World Bank meetings in Morocco in October 2023.
The Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar met the Country Lead (Pak), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Syed Ali Mahmood, and CEO, Karandaaz, Mr Waqas ul Hasan.
The meeting was aimed at reviewing the implementation status of Raast – Pakistan Instant Payment System support provided by the BMGF, the integrated social safety net program, and BMGF’s offer for assistance on the Digital Pakistan Stack. Other potential areas of collaboration including climate finance and upscaling conditional cash transfers to integrated social payments also came under discussion.
The Finance Minister highlighted the government’s commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth, attracting investments, and addressing socio-economic challenges in the country.
She emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in achieving sustainable development goals and inclusive growth and welcomed the contributions of the BMGF and Karandaaz in this regard.
Mr. Waqas ul Hasan, CEO of Karandaaz briefed the Minister on Raast-Pakistan Instant Payment System support provided by the BMGF through Karandaaz and outlined the key features of the Digital Pakistan Stack i.e. next generation of Raast-supported Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) which Pakistan can introduce with Foundation’s help.
An amount of over PKR 4 trillion has already been transacted through Raast which has over 33 million unique IDs now, he added The design of an integrated social safety net program for improved immunization, nutrition, women’s economic empowerment, and financial inclusion by the BMGF’s was also discussed.
The Minister thanked the BMGF for its assistance on Raast and the integrated social safety net program and welcomed the idea of signing a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the future support of Digital Pakistan Stack.
It was agreed that the MoU for BMGF’s assistance through Karandaaz will be signed on the sidelines of the World Bank meetings in Morocco in October 2023. The National Financial Inclusion Council, chaired by the Federal Minister for Finance, will oversee the implementation of the Digital Pakistan Stack.