The Parliament of Ghana has approved a loan amount of 200 million Dollars as an additional financing for the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.
This is to enable the rolling out of a mass vaccination programme in the country since a number of individuals who had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are yet to receive the second dose.
Presenting the Finance Committee report on the Financing agreement between the Government and the International Development Association on the Floor of Parliament on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, the Committee Chairman, Kwaku Kwarteng disclosed that part of the facility will be used to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.
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.
“This is within the context that the number of individuals who had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination in Ghana as of March 2021 is estimated at 475,000 out of the target 17.5 Million people,” he explained.
The Project Development Objective for the loan facility is to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in Ghana.
Though the Minority supported the approval of the loan facility, they have asked the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Health to come and account for funds which were approved by Parliament for the COVID-19 interventions by Government.
The Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, has served notice to file a motion to compel the Ministers to account to Parliament on the utilization of the said amounts, should they fail to do it.
The repayment period for the loan facility is 25 years with a grace period of 5 years. The interest charge is about 1.39 percent, with a grant element of 21.3 percent.
Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease, the Government of Ghana sourced a 100 million Dollar funding from the World Bank in April 2020 to support the implementation of the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP – I).
An additional financing of 130 Million Dollars was again sourced from the World Bank Group in November 2020 to roll-out the (EPRP – II) to strengthen and to scale up the gains from the (EPRP-I).