The Ministry of Public Health still owes $29 million from the purchase of health equipment despite major funding by international donors to help the country fight the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the figures released by the Afghan Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health spokesman said they need $150 million to continue its anti-COVID-19 efforts.
Data from the Ministry of Public Health shows that so far $36.7 million has been spent for the coronavirus response out of a total of $155.7 million allocated by the government for this purpose.
The international community has so far pledged $700 million to Afghanistan as part of their financial assistance for the country in its efforts against curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Ministry of Health is obliged to pay the money for the contract it has signed, the Ministry of Health has to pay $29 million for the purchase of medical equipment,” said Akmal Samsoor, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
The Afghan government has so far allocated only $15 million from the national budget to the health ministry to fight COVID-19.
“We are working on how to provide another $10 million for the Ministry of Health,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
The data shows that $38 million has been spent by foreign organizations for a coronavirus response in the country.
The majority of this amount has been used for the purchase of health equipment and the construction and upkeep of hospitals, according to the ministry.
The ministry also rejected the recent Pajhwok news report about the smuggling of ventilators to Pakistan, and said that it has 225 active ventilators in government hospitals. The ministry said that at least 600 ventilators have been purchased in Germany and will be brought to the country in the near future.
According to the health Ministry, over the past four months, 37 ventilators were provided to Afghanistan by the donors and today the total number of ventilators in the country is 255.