Rwanda, WB sign Rwf19bn deal to fight malnutrition

Dr Ndagijimana speaks during a past event. File

The Minister for Finance,  and Economic Planning, Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana and the World Bank Vice President for the African Region Makhtar Diop, on Wednesday, signed a $23 million (approx. Frw19bn) additional financing agreement to help reduce stunting rates among children under age 5 in 13 districts with most cases.

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the ongoing World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC.

Through the Nutrition Sensitive Direct Support (NSDS), this financing for the Rwanda Strengthening Social Protection Project will provide cash transfers to vulnerable families to incentivise the use of health and nutrition services, strengthen their knowledge on better parenting and child care, and support Rwanda’s Civil registration and vital statistics in the development of a clear roadmap for effective implementation.

“Given its long-term negative effects on human capital development and poverty eradication, stunting is high on the Government of Rwanda’s political and development agenda. We are very grateful to all of you who are contributing to this effort,” said Ndagijimana.

The Government of Rwanda, in partnership with the World Bank, The Power of Nutrition, and the Global Financing Facility (GFF), has developed an integrated program to combat chronic malnutrition, with a focus on high-stunting districts, vulnerable populations and the critical 1,000 days beyond which stunting becomes largely irreversible.

“I would like to congratulate the Government of Rwanda on setting these ambitious targets and its commitment to fight chronic malnutrition and investing in human capital. The World Bank Group will continue to work with Rwanda to scale up the programme,” said Diop.

The Power of Nutrition is investing $35 million into the overall programme, of which $15 million is part of the additional financing signed yesterday, while the remaining $8 million is from the Global Financing Facility, which contributes $18 million toward the overall programme.

The Strengthening Social Protection Project was approved in December 2017 to help the Government of Rwanda improve effectiveness of social protection systems, notably the flagship Vision 2020 Umurenge Program (VUP), for targeted vulnerable groups.

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