The World Bank grants Iran a loan of $90 million to help it fight COVID-19
Iran– The World Bank has agreed to grant Iran a loan of $90 million to help it curb the COVID-19 pandemic, a spokeswoman announced on Friday. ‘The World Bank’s board of directors approved additional (special) COVID-19 financing of $90 million for Iran on December 21, 2021,’ the spokeswoman said, confirming press reports.
She explained that these funds will not be injected into the Iranian government’s budget, but will be used exclusively ‘to purchase essential and vital medical equipment with the aim of strengthening Iran’s response to the pandemic.’ She pointed out that ‘the distribution and installation of equipment will take place in health facilities approved by the World Bank and will be subject to independent monitoring and verification.’
The spokeswoman added that the disbursement of funds will also be managed by the World Health Organization ‘which reports to the World Bank on all the details related to the implementation’ of these operations. The World Bank mentioned that an extraordinary initial assistance of $50 million was approved in May 2020 to address the health crisis.
The authorities’ fear of a new wave of severe infections is mounting following the discovery of the mutant Omicron in the country recently. More than 6.2 million people in Iran have been infected with the virus, which has led to more than 131,800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data, which also showed 55,174 infections and 1,278 deaths from the virus in 28 days.
‘The World Bank’s support for Iran’s response to COVID-19 will contribute to alleviating the current humanitarian crisis in the country as well as limiting the spread of the disease’ the spokeswoman stressed.