Social protection

Project description

Title: Support to Social Protection/Social Health Protection
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Pakistan
Lead executing agencies: Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economics Affairs, Statistics and Privatization
Overall term: 2016 to 2020



The majority of people in Pakistan still have to make a living without any protection against lifecycle risks such as sickness, inability to work, poverty in old age and the loss of property. Without coverage by a social protection system, people working in the informal sector in particular face a higher risk of falling into poverty if they incur unforeseeable expenses or suffer sudden loss of income. More than 70 per cent of the population are employed in the informal sector and overall less than 15 per cent are covered by the social protection system.


Informally employed people and their families, especially those affected or threatened by poverty, benefit from improved access to social protection programmes, including social health protection.

Pakistan. People queue in front of a bank to receive a basic social security payment. © GIZ


The project supports the federal government and the governments of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces and of the Gilgit-Baltistan region in implementing social health protection models, coordinating existing programmes for basic social protection, and establishing a safe, efficient blood transfusion service. It operates in three areas:

  • Improving the functionality of existing social health protection programmes.
    The project enhances the technical, administrative and institutional capacities of the stakeholders involved in introducing the health insurance models in the provinces and at national level. The measures include training courses on developing and managing health insurance schemes. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the project cooperates closely with the model of social health insurance promoted by the KfW Development Bank.
  • Capacity-building at the provincial and district administration levels in the fields of design, coordination and communication of social protection programmes.
    The project advises provincial and district administrations on developing needs-driven strategies and programmes for social protection, in particular for basic social protection programmes. In selected districts the project supports the establishment of coordination bodies and the creation of Single Window Service Centres (citizens’ service centres).
  • Strengthening the capacities of the provincial governments in implementing programmes for supplying safe blood.
    Training workshops/seminars are held for the specialists working in blood banks, blood centres and regulatory authorities; these seminars are integrated into the structures of national training institutes. The project also supports the development of a Safe Blood Transfusion toolbox with essential instruments for realising the National Blood Policy and Strategic Framework (2014-2020) for Blood Transfusion Services, and advises the partners on introducing legal and regulatory framework for its implementation.


Building on the success of the predecessor programme Health Sector Support, the project has achieved results in social health protection and in general social protection.

In both the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and the Gilgit-Baltistan region, around one million poor families have received a health insurance card giving them access to hospital treatment. In cooperation with the Prime Minister National Health Program, the Punjab Health Initiative Management Company and the Social Health Protection Initiative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the project has elaborated and implemented business processes, participant registration, standard hospital contracts and compliance management.

Working in conjunction with the International Labour Organization, the project has prepared a work plan for implementing the Social Protection Strategy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Coordination bodies for social protection have been set up in two districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The introduction of integrated social advice and service points (single window services centres) is being piloted in three districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.