Government releases funds to clear Global Fund commodities at port

Story: News Desk 

The Ministry of Health says it has received funds from the Finance Ministry to clear about 64 Global Fund outstanding containers at the Tema Port.

In a press release, the ministry stated that the amount of GH₵7,429,694.39 received would enable the Health Ministry to handle the payment of demurrage and third-party charges.

“The Ministry of Health, has now received an amount of GH₵7,429,694.39 from the Ministry of Finance for the payment of demurrage for the clearance of all Global Fund outstanding containers at the Tema Port. This amount is expected to complement the payment of third-party charges as outlined above,” the June 13 release read.

The Ministry said the remaining containers include one TB medication container and the rest contain mosquito nets.

The release also urged the public to continue to “exercise patience as we work to ensure the clearance and delivery of these essential commodities for the good of public health.”

The update follows Ghana Medical Association (GMA)’s revelation that the country is  likely to face a significant shortage of some essential drugs by the end of June.

According to the GMA some facilities were already relying on others for important medications.

This follows a final warning by Global Fund demanding immediate clearance of tuberculosis (TB) and malaria medications that arrived in the country last October.

Also, the Minority in Parliament issued a 24-hour ultimatum to government to clear all Global Fund consignments from the port.

“Even when the Global Fund was shipping these commodities to Ghana, they added something for clearing, and per my calculation, they added not less than $2 million and Ghana government gets back to them and he tells them that look, we have increased our port charges and therefore, the money you have given us is not enough to clear these commodities from the ports. Who does this?

“Even the counterpart funding we are supposed to pay – and this counterpart funding it is not money that must be paid to Global Fund is ‘show me evidence of procurement, whatever you need, 15% of the money I’m giving you. So the 15% of the 248 go and buy whatever you need as a country and come and show me the evidence and I’ll continue to give you whatever you need. And even with that counterpart funding is a tug of war. As I speak to you now, we are owing in excess of US$33 million,” the MP said.

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