Country Director of the World Bank, Pierre Frank Laporte, has entreated the Government of Ghana to “take right” decisions on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines to avoid issues of overpricing.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra, Mr Laporte stressed that the “World Bank will not approve the procurement of any overpriced vaccine and the Government of Ghana will be made to refund the procurement of any overpriced vaccine.”
The caution came after the World Bank on June 10, 2021, approved second additional funding of 200 million dollars to the Government of Ghana to be used for the procurement and distribution of vaccines for 13 million Ghanaians.
Mr Laporte said the World Bank was currently financing vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) such as Pfizer, Modena, AstraZeneca, Sinofar, and Johnson and Johnson, expected to be acquired on availability and based on a government’s assessment of a vaccine.
The World Bank has since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, approved a total of 435 million dollars as a loan to the Government of Ghana to be repaid within 40 years.
The Country Director said the Bank would consistently put in place measures to ensure the proper use of the funds provided under Ghana’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project.
Mr Laporte said the Bank was working closely with the COVAX facility and other platforms to ensure that Ghana connected directly with the vaccine manufacturers for vaccine purchase.
The Bank of Ghana at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic approved 100 million dollars to the Government of Ghana to be used in separate projects and subsequently 4.05 million dollars for smaller projects to deal with the emergency of the pandemic.
Funds provided earlier were said to have been used to acquire equipment, medicine, and sensitisation campaigns.