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Zimbabwe has asked for financial support from the West for the first time in a decade at a meeting of Western diplomats and international lenders. Western nations, who accuse President Robert Mugabe's government of election rigging and human rights abuses, have restricted funding to charities since 2002. "As we go forward and as we successfully build trust among ourselves, we can in future channel development assistance through the vote of credit (budget) so that we are able to plan more effectively and more efficiently," Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the gathering which included diplomats from the United States and the European Union. Donors, who fund health, agriculture and governance projects through U.N. agencies, have pledged $468 million to Zimbabwe this year, down from $737 million in 2014.
The World Bank approved a $500 million loan to help Egypt finance the construction of one million housing units for low-income residents over five years, the country's housing minister said on Wednesday. It will be directed towards building some units ... and providing subsidies," Mostafa Madbouly said in a statement. Egypt, with a burgeoning population of nearly 90 million and poverty levels hovering around 40 percent, is pursuing a number of projects aimed at easing a shortage of affordable housing that has been a grievance of young Egyptians for decades. Last month, Dubai builder Arabtec said it was in talks with several local and international banks to finance the first phase of its project to build another one million housing units in Egypt.