The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved an additional credit of $130 million from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.
A statement issued by the World Bank and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the additional financing would support Ghana to scale up its efforts to mitigate the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic and to safely reopen its economy.
“This additional funding is timely and critical to save lives and build resilient systems by further increasing the capacity of surveillance, diagnosis, treatment with the increased availability of intensive care unit beds and adopt new COVID-19 medications,” said Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“These are integral efforts towards the broader objective of achieving Universal Health Coverage, which Ghana has committed as a priority.”
The statement said the project would strengthen the Government of Ghana’s efforts to prevent and contain the virus and to safely revive socio-economic activities in the country.
It said the project would also support preparations for future COVID-19 vaccine deployment.
“The project complements both the World Bank Group and other development partners’ investments in disease control and surveillance, and citizen engagement.
We will continue to work closely with other partners to support the scale-up of Ghana’s COVID-19 response and secure essential health and nutrition service delivery,” said Anthony Seddoh, Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank Group.
The statement noted that the project would also expand communications and awareness campaigns nationwide to reduce risks of infection and to increase understanding of the COVID-19 vaccines.
It said it would also increase support to persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups such as survivors from gender-based violence, disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
The statement indicated that with the additional financing, the World Bank had delivered a total of $1.005 billion in IDA resources to Ghana during 2020, which was complemented by $86.6 million in Bank-managed Trust Fund resources.
It said that was the highest level of support provided by the World Bank to Ghana in a single year since the country joined the institution and covered a range of sectors namely Health, Education, Jobs and Skills, Water and Sanitation, Transport, Digital Transformation, Development Finance, and Statistics.
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response.
It is supporting public health interventions, working to ensure the flow of critical supplies and equipment, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs.
The World Bank Group is making available up to $160 billion over 15 months ending June 2021 to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery.
This includes $50 billion of new IDA resources through grants and highly concessional loans and $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.