Parliament has approved 35 million dollars Financing Agreement between the Government and the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Project.
The facility forms part of the 100 million dollars Government is seeking from the World Bank to finance the Ghana COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
Moreover, government is expected to source for the remaining 65 million dollars from the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) of the World Bank meant for the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project.
To ensure that the GARID project is not truncated, the 65 million dollars would be refunded from Ghana’s IDA COVID-19 allocations effective July, 2020.
Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, moved the motion for the Agreement, and seconded by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu.
The loan facility has a maturity period 30 years, 25 years repayment period, five years’ grace period and a maximum commitment charge of 0.5 per cent per annum.
The loan also has a service charge of 0.75 per cent and interest charge of 1.25 per cent per annum with 33.3 per cent grant element.
The objective of the project is to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health in Ghana.
The Emergency Preparedness and Response Project Plan (EPRP) for COVID-19 aims to strengthen coordination of overall preparedness activities, strengthen the capacity of regions, health facilities and point of entry to prevent and rapidly detect, investigate and control the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.
It would also support the national capacity for laboratory surveillance and diagnosis, case management, contact tracing and infection prevention and control.
The EPRP also intends ensuring minimum health logistics are in place in prioritized regions, health facilities and points of entry for preparedness and laboratory capacity sustained for timely and quality testing of COVID-19 samples, and increasing public awareness on COVID-19 risk mitigation and response measures.
Ghana has recorded 195 confirmed Coronavirus cases with five deaths.