The Parliament of Ghana has approved a loan agreement facility of US$200million from the World Bank as additional financing for the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.
The facility is expected to enable the rolling out of a mass vaccination programme in the country, as several individuals who received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are yet to receive the second dose.
Presenting the Finance Committee’s report on the financing agreement between the government and the International Development Association on the floor of Parliament earlier this week, the Committee’s Chairman, Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng, disclosed that the facility will be used to purchase COVID-19 vaccines to help save Ghanaian citizens’ lives.
According to him, the pressing need to activate a robust COVID-19 vaccination programme as well as strengthen the health system in the country has necessitated the need for this additional financing.
“Mass vaccination is needed to ensure that the gains we have made in addressing the pandemic are protected and our population is protected. This facility is within the context that the number of individuals who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination in Ghana as of March 2021 is estimated at 475,000 out of the target 17.5 million people,” he explained.
According to the report, this facility is aside from the US$100million and US$130million loans taken from the World Bank for COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Plans 1 and 2, last year.
Out of the US$200million, the report noted that US$137.15millon will be channelled into the procurement of vaccines which are needed to vaccinate about a 7.6million people.
Among other interventions and commitments, the report also stated that part of the money will be spent on case detection, contact tracing, recording and reporting; and containment of cases, isolation and treatment.