Natural disasters, health crises such as Ebola, and pandemics such as COVID-19 can happen anywhere at any time. Emergencies like the 2020 coronavirus pandemic can have a devastating impact on millions of people's lives and livelihoods, particularly the most vulnerable, and on the global economy. Authorities must make appropriate use of available public resources to mitigate, contain, and quickly recover from such emergencies' adverse effects.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of supply chains, with the rapid spread of the disease and a massive demand for essential supplies for prevention, treatment, and emergency response. The increased demand for these items and restrictions on normal operations present the Governments with severe challenges and numerous predatory practices. Emergencies provide opportunities for fraud and corruption by manipulating procurement processes, specifications, estimated quantities, price gouging, and unscrupulous suppliers.
Procuring under extreme urgency is not a new concept for public authorities. In most countries, the legal framework provides for procurement procedures during emergencies. However, very few countries have sound operating procedures/guidelines to cope up with the situation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is public outcry in many countries. People are losing trust in governments to handle emergency procurement.
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