The government has admitted that it is facing issues in procuring vaccines after previously denying claims about a shortage.
It is finding it difficult to procure fresh consignments of the vaccines due to “pressure to make immediate payments” to the international suppliers. Due to the limited supply, Pakistan’s vaccination program has slowed down, with Sindh alone lowering its inoculation target by almost 50 percent.
A meeting was convened between the Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, the Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, and the Minister for Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Omar Ayub, after which a statement was issued detailing that immediate measures are being taken to avail the credit lines with Pakistan’s development partners to ensure that the vendors are paid in a timely manner to supply vaccines to the country.
According to the statement,
The Finance Minister said that providing safety to our citizens through timely vaccine procurement is the foremost priority of the government. He directed EAD [minister] to start the process of availing the credit lines with our development partners for ensuring timely payments to the vendors as no compromise will be made on the health of the Pakistanis. The Finance Minister also directed Finance Division to ensure timely disbursement of funds as per supplies schedules.