The World Bank has approved a 200-million-dollar additional financing for Ghana under the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project Second Additional Financing. According to Mr. Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, the Bank is working hard to ensure that the country obtains the vaccines to help accelerate economic and social recovery.
“The World Bank is happy to support this second additional financing, given the importance of preventing deaths and reducing transmission of COVID-19 among the population.
“We are also aware of the continuing difficulties in having access to COVID-19 vaccines and logistics due to the global vaccine market challenges. [We] will continue to work to address the inequity in vaccine supplies that is impacting Ghana and other developing countries”.
Meanwhile, the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project Second Additional Financing will enable the country to explore the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines from a range of sources. Also, this project is expected to support an equitable and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in line with Ghana’s National Vaccine Deployment Plan.
Additional funds to complement national efforts
On his part, Gaston Sorgho, Manager of Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice for West Africa Region stated that the additional support will complement initial efforts aimed at fighting the virus. According to him, the additional funding will help in case management, increasing public acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine deployment in Ghana.
“The project will build on efforts of the existing Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project by scaling up and strengthening surveillance of the pandemic. It will help to strengthen cold chain equipment, vaccine safety monitoring and medical waste management”.
Generally, this forms part of a collaboration with the COVAX Facility COVID-19 vaccine acquisition program. This program intends to provide financing to support the government of Ghana to procure and deploy COVID-19 vaccines for 13 million people.
Also, the program aims at strengthening the resilience of Ghana’s health systems to better prepare for the future pandemic. Moreover, it will enable the country to secure the continuation of essential health and nutrition services, including routine childhood immunization.
About 1.2% of Ghana’s population fully vaccinated
Meanwhile, available data shows that Ghana has administered a little over 1.2 million doses of vaccines with 376, 000 people fully vaccinated. This means that only 1.2% of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated.
In May 2021, the World Bank and the United Nations (UN) pledged additional aid to push forward Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and economic recovery. According to Agata Pawlowska, the bank’s operations manager for the West African country, the bank has so far supported Ghana with a total of $235.8 million in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Moreover, Charles Abani, UN resident coordinator for Ghana also hinted that despite a slowdown of infection rate, the UN remains committed to supporting Ghana via COVAX to get the vaccines necessary for herd immunity.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic. According to the Bank, this is the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect lives and livelihoods and also ensure a green recovery.
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