Iran announced that it has requested financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country today, March 12.
The last time Iran borrowed from the IMF was in 1962.
“Our central bank asked for access” to the IMF’s fast-funding instrument, and urged the board of the fund to respond to the request “responsibly,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.
IMF/IMF Board should adhere to Fund’s mandate, stand on right side of history & act responsibly.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 12, 2020
Meanwhile, Head of the Iranian Central Bank Abdel Nasser Hamati stated on his Instagram account that he, in a letter addressed to the President of the International Monetary Fund, “requested five billion US dollars from an emergency fund” to help Iran reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Iran is the biggest COVID-19 hot spot in the Middle East, with 9,000 confirmed cases and 429 deaths, according to the latest figures.
According to the UN, the number of coronavirus infections outside China has doubled in the past two weeks, and the number of countries hit by the epidemic has tripled.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the global COVID-19 outbreak can now be described as a global pandemic, infecting more than 125,000 people around the world since December 2019.
The global epidemic, however, can be still controlled, assured WHO.