Frank Pierre Laporte, the World Bank’s country director in Ghana, has communicated that the COVID-19 funding provided by the bank during the outbreak of the disease were not misappropriated by the Ghanaian government.
According to Laporte, the World Bank provided a total of US$430 million to Ghana’s efforts to combat the pandemic, adding that “the bank had been transparent about its donations and had experienced no obstacles.”
Laporte further disclosed that World Bank was working on a future financing strategy to help prepare for potential future hazards, and that all funds had been spent in accordance with procurement regulations and had been audited.
Although there were some procedural difficulties, Laporte was pleased with how the monies were spent.
The resources, according to the country director, were administered by a project management unit established jointly by the bank and the government.
He pointed out that the funds were not part of the Ministry of Finance’s budget and were paid to contractors and suppliers from a designated account.
“We have always been clear that the resources we’ve given are managed by Ghana’s project management unit that is put in place by the bank and government jointly. All funds are paid to contractors, suppliers from the designated account.
“Our project fund up, not gone to the budget of the Ministry of Finance and because of this we’ve future mechanisms in place that ensure we know each and every dollar that is spent and accounted and we’ve done audit. Of course, there are always a few things here and the procedure wise, maybe some documentation that needs to be followed.”Frank Pierre Laporte
Frank Pierre Laporte said “but largely speaking, we are very satisfied that all of our resources were spent in line with the procurement requirements that existed. You know, COVID-19 was implemented under emergency procurement measures by the bank.”
Ghana Likely To Receive Funds From World Bank By Septemeber
More so, Pierre Frank Laporte, said Ghana is likely to receive the first tranche of $300 million from the World Bank if the two are able to finally reach an agreement on the conditionality.
According to him, the government needs to present a strong reform package before the World Bank will release the $300 million facility which is expected to serve as budget support.
The $300 million is the first tranche of a $1.1 billion facility the World Bank has extended to Ghana over a four-year to support the country’s budget while it’s under the IMF programme.
Pierre Laporte noted that should government and the World Bank reach an agreement; the first tranche of the money will hit the country’s accounts by September of this year.
“Our plan, our hope is we can bring this to the board by September. But it will all depend on how fast we reach agreement with government on the pro-actions. It may be September, it may be October, but we’re hoping we need to do it this year because IMF has factored it into its financing gap.”Frank Pierre Laporte
He explained that, “this $300 million I want to be very clear is not acquired, is not given, is not taken that World Bank will come and give. We need to have a strong reform package from government that accompanies as prior actions for the release of this $300 million and these have to be in areas where us and government agree these areas that have caused problems for the budget or for the sector.”