World Bank approves $200m Ghana covid-19 emergency preparedness

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The World Bank has approved a $200 million Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project Second Additional Financing. 

In collaboration with the COVAX Facility COVID-19 vaccine acquisition, the project will provide financing to support the government of Ghana to procure and deploy COVID-19 vaccines for 13 million people in Ghana. 

The project will also strengthen the resilience of Ghana’s health systems to better prepare for the future pandemic and to secure the continuation of essential health and nutrition services, including routine childhood immunization.

Ghana experienced a surge in infections and fatalities in January 2021, entering a second wave of rising infections of COVID-19.

The number of daily active cases in February 2021 was as high as the peak of the first wave in June 2020. Furthermore, Ghana was also confirmed to have recorded the COVID-19 variant, which first appeared in South Africa.

 “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 by providing access to COVID-19 vaccines towards accelerating economic and social recovery in Ghana”, said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana. 

“We are also aware of the continuing difficulties in having access to COVID-19 vaccines and logistics due to the global vaccine market challenges and will continue to work to address the inequity in vaccine supplies that is impacting Ghana and other developing countries”, he added.

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 to support Ghana’s target to vaccinate 17.5 million people in a way that ensures value-for-money. The project will also support an equitable and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in line with Ghana’s National Vaccine Deployment Plan.

“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; case management; increasing public acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine; and COVID-19 vaccine deployment. It will help to strengthen cold chain equipment, vaccine safety monitoring and medical waste management,” said Gaston Sorgho, Manager of Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice for West Africa Region.

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, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.