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Minority Gives Government 24 Hours to Clear Global Fund Consignment

Over 118 containers of life-saving medical supplies are still stuck at the port in Ghana over the government's inability to exempt them from taxes.

The Minority in Parliament has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the government to clear all Global Fund shipments from the port. 

Over 118 containers of life-saving medical supplies are still stuck at the port in Ghana over the government’s inability to exempt them from taxes.

Despite clearing 14 containers this year, the government has been unable to release the remaining containers due to outstanding demurrage fees.

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During a press engagement in Parliament on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, Ranking Member on the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said Ghana currently owes $33 million in counterpart funding.

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The counterpart funding we are supposed to pay – and this counterpart funding 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,” he said.

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The MP chided the government and called on the government to come clear on the use of the ¢80 million allocated via the NHIS formula to clear a portion of the debt within 24 hours.

“In the 2023 National Health Insurance formula, an allocation of not less than ¢80 million was made to that effect. Why can’t we waive taxes and duties on medication to save the lives of people? Therefore, Mr president, at least the right to health care is enshrined in the 1992 constitution and you should not continue to disgrace Ghana like you continue to do. So, we expect that within the next 24 hours, we must hear something positive with regard to the clearing of containers with the drugs at the port,” he stated.

This follows after the Global Fund issued a final ultimatum to Ghana to clear delayed tuberculosis (TB) and malaria medications, which were donated to the country over two years ago.

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