Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari (R) shake hands with World Bank Director for the Middle East Ferid Belhaj during a news conference in Baghdad July 12, 2015. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily
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Iraq and the World Bank signed a $350 million loan agreement Sunday to fund emergency reconstruction in towns recaptured from ISIS militants, a deal Baghdad said marked the first international help to rebuild areas devastated by war."This is the first direct tangible assistance for the reconstruction and stabilization efforts by the government to normalize life in the areas liberated from ISIS," Zebari said at a signing ceremony in Baghdad. He said Sunday's deal granted Iraq a 15-year loan at around 1 percent interest, with a five-year grace period.Iraqi forces recaptured Tikrit, hometown of former leader Saddam Hussein, three months ago, in the biggest gain by government forces since ISIS fighters swept through northern Iraq in June 2014 .
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