Egypt’s Cabinet has ratified a USD 500 mn (EGP 8 bn) extension to a World Bank (WB) facility, as part of a program to improve access to low-income housing and bolster the state’s Social Housing and Mortgage Finance Fund (SHMFF), Invest-Gate reports.

The loan, which the bank had signed off on earlier this year, will be extended by the WB’s lending arm, or the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced during a Cabinet meeting on July 22.

During the meeting, the Cabinet also nodded a draft bill for the redistribution of some state land in Giza Governorate in favor of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), according to the recent official statement.

The move is aimed at the establishment of additional social housing projects, on top of further expanding into the newly-introduced cities to build new towns and urban settlements in west Cairo’s Sheikh Zayed, 6th of October City, and New Sphinx, the statement added.

In early July, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El Gazzar said a total of 1 mn homes are underway, at combined costs exceeding EGP 200 bn, in the efforts to present decent housing for slum dwellers as well as lower- and middle-income people, according to an earlier ministerial noted.