The Ministry of Finance will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) assistance through Karandaaz to formalize the future support on Digital Pakistan Stack next month.
The development came during a meeting between Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, BMGF Country Lead (Pakistan) Syed Ali Mahmood, and Karandaaz CEO Waqas ul Hassan.
The meeting reviewed the implementation status of Raast, the 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 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.
The Karandaaz CEO 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 the Foundation’s help. An amount of over Rs. 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 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 on 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 next month. The National Financial Inclusion Council, chaired by the minister will oversee the implementation of the Digital Pakistan Stack.