Iran applies for $50mn loan from World Bank to fight against COVID-19 pandemic
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Tehran --- Iran has applied for a loan of $50 million from the World Bank to fund the country's fight against the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Monday.

"The groundwork has been prepared and the loan request is being processed in coordination with relevant bodies, such as (Iran's) central bank," Xinhua news agency quoted Kamel Taqavinejad, the deputy health minister, as saying.

This is the first time since 2005 that Iran has applied for such a loan from the World Bank, Taqavinejad said.

According to the official, Iran has also requested a $141 million loan from the Islamic Development Bank for buying medical equipment.

On March 12, the Central Bank of Iran announced that it had asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $5 billion loan to combat the pandemic in the country.

However, reports said later that the US had blocked Iran's request for the emergency loan.

Iran, which was once the hardest hit Middle Eastern country, has reported 82,211 coronavirus cases, with 5,118 deaths.

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