IslamNews – The World Bank has threatened to suspend financing for coronavirus vaccines in Lebanon over what it said were violations by legislators who were vaccinated inside Parliament.
The comments by the international lender on Tuesday came as frustration grew among some residents and doctors that the national plan that requires people to get vaccinated at predetermined centres could be riddled with violations and favouritism.
Parliament’s Secretary-General Adnan Daher was quoted as saying by local media that 16 deputies as well as four parliamentary staff, all aged above 75, had received a COVID-19 jab inside the legislature. He insisted they were all registered for the vaccine with the health ministry, and had not broken any rules.
But the World Bank said it broke the terms of the agreement with the government.
“We would record it [as a] breach of terms and conditions agreed with us for fair and equitable vaccination,” Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank regional director, said on Twitter. “Everyone has to register and wait for their turn,” he added.
“Upon confirmation of [a] violation, [the] World Bank may suspend financing for vaccines and support for Covid-19 response across Lebanon,” Jha said.
The reports raised anger in a country where many have lost faith in the corrupt political class blamed for many of its woes.
Lebanon received its first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – 28,000 doses – this month with financial aid from the World Bank, which said it would monitor to ensure the shot went to those most in need. In its first operation funding the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, the lender reallocated $34m to help Lebanon inoculate more than two million people.