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WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Bank approved two loans to Argentina totaling $950 million Thursday, aiming to help the South American country cope with financial difficulties and support citizens most at risk.

The bank said in a press release that the first loan of $500 million will go toward budget needs and a second loan of $450 million will seek to protect 250,000 children by 2020.

"This support to Argentina, especially focused on the most vulnerable sectors, comes at a crucial moment for our country and is a clear sign of confidence," said Nicolas Dujovne, Argentina's Minister of Finance.

The announcement comes a week after the International Monetary Fund increased a loan it had granted to Argentina in June to $56.3 billion.

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Argentines have been hit by a sharp depreciation of the peso amid double-digit inflation, with the currency losing more than half of its value this year.

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