Over Rs3bn generated under CEF being spent on isolation centres, PPE for health workers

Updated 15 Jul 2020

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The statement said a purchase committee was set up to ensure judicious and technically sound procurement of urgently required medical supplies. — Dawn/File
The statement said a purchase committee was set up to ensure judicious and technically sound procurement of urgently required medical supplies. — Dawn/File

KARACHI: The Sindh government has generated more than Rs3 billion under the Coronavirus Emergency Fund (CEF) that was helping the provincial authorities in setting up field isolation centres, acquiring personal protective equipment for health workers and building capacity of the health system in different districts, said a statement on Tuesday.

It said the contribution to CEF had been made from both public and private sectors, with the Sindh government contributing around Rs3.3bn mainly from salary deductions of government employees and autonomous bodies, as well as from the provincial government’s Social Relief Fund.

“The private donations, which are rapidly increasing, amount to Rs269.314 million, both from local and foreign donors. The quick increase in private donations shows commitment from the public, both domestic and foreign, to partner with the government of Sindh in the fight against the coronavirus,” said the statement, which was issued after a meeting held to review progress of the fund.

It was chaired by Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah.

‘Private donations are rapidly increasing’

“To ensure smooth facilitation as well as transparency for private donors, finance department has established a link (https://fd.sindh.gov.pk/covid-19) on its website whereby public interested in donations to the CEF are properly guided, as well as get access to complete transaction details of the CEF. The CEF Committee has been tasked with allocating resources and overseeing expenditure from the CEF to supplement Sindh Government’s efforts in combating coronavirus emergency.”

Accordingly, it said the CEF committee had been meeting regularly over the past few weeks and taking requisite actions to ensure effective and transparent utilisation of the CEF. Important decisions taken by the CEF Committee so far include the disbursement of Rs133.94m and Rs30m to the management of Field Isolation Centre of Expo and PAF, respectively, which has been established at the Expo Centre Karachi through joint efforts of the Sindh government and army/aviation authorities, it added.

It said a purchase committee was set up to ensure judicious and technically sound procurement of urgently required medical supplies to properly equip health facilities in Sindh to deal with coronavirus emergency.

“A reputable external auditor, M/s. Ernst & Young, has been engaged for transaction review to ensure transparency in management of CEF while engagement of reputable quality assurance firm SGS Pakistan has been in place for inspection of medical supplies received by the health department to ensure transparency,” it added.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2020