HEALTH - The Ministry of Health on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ten development partners aimed at identifying priority areas for funding in the health sector.
The Sector Wide Approach (SWAP) streamlines the roles and targets of government and the donors as collective partners.
Unlike the previous arrangement where development partners would choose which area they wished to fund, SWAP provides for a consensus between both sides.
Germany and Belgium were the first development partners to express interest in working with the government in this sector budget support programme.
Both countries will contribute a combined amount of Euros16 million (approximately Frw12bn) towards SWAP.
Health Minister Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo said that the move is a common understanding that would lead to bigger fruits because all the sides will mutually agree on priority areas to fund.
He called on the other development partners in the country to embrace the sector budget support programme.
“This is a big step taken because it will lead to harmonisation where we shall jointly monitor and evaluate activities that we carry out,” he said during a joint health sector review meeting at Jali club in Kigali.
The Health ministry holds annual review meetings with its stakeholders in which previous and future arrangements reviewed and studied.
David MacRae, the head of the European Commission (EC) in Rwanda, was upbeat that the new initiative would reduce on transaction costs and lead to aid effectiveness.
MacRae said that the agreement, once implemented, would lead to the achievement of the health targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “All donors should sign this memorandum because once all the assistance comes into one budget, it becomes easy for government to manage effectively,” he said.
He added that it also leads to predictability of aid and transparency.
The partners that signed the MoU include Belgium, Germany, European Commission, Africa Development Bank (ADB) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which signed on behalf of the UN agencies in Rwanda.