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Germany’s KfW Development Bank has agreed to provide funding for the construction of four new hospitals in Iraq, which is preparing to tackle increasing Covid-19 cases.

The number of cases in Iraq is said to be rapidly rising. It is expected that the pandemic will reach its peak in the coming months which could overburden the country’s health care facilities.

According to estimates, nearly 50,000 hospital beds, including 12,000 intensive care beds, will be needed for Covid-19 patients alone. Currently, a total of under 50,000 beds, including about 700 intensive care beds, are available in Iraq.

To be prepared for the peak, the government is planning to build at least four new hospitals.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW will finance the construction with an initial amount of 15m.

It is being explored if additional hospitals can be financed as part of a further phase.

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By GlobalData

KfW portfolio manager Moritz Remé said: “This is a quick and lean response to the pandemic in Iraq, but we have to win the race against time and build the hospitals before case numbers continue to escalate.”

The four hospitals are planned to be built in Baghdad, Basra, Niniveh and Süleymaniye cities. Initially, they will be temporary facilities in modular prefabricated construction, but can serve as regular hospitals in the long term.

Each hospital will house 100 beds, including 40 intensive care beds. In the short term, more than 7,000 patients are expected to benefit directly.