TOP STORY: Rwf11.5 billion for poverty reduction

Implementation of VUP started in March 2008 in the poorest Umurenge reaching approximately 21 percent of households Government and the British Department for International Development (DFID) have signed an agreement worth £20 million (Rwf11.5 billion) to reduce poverty and inequality. The money to be spread over a period of four years from 2009 to 2013 will facilitate financial aid and technical cooperation to the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP).

Implementation of VUP started in March 2008 in the poorest Umurenge reaching approximately 21 percent of households

Government and the British Department for International Development (DFID) have signed an agreement worth £20 million (Rwf11.5 billion) to reduce poverty and inequality.

The money to be spread over a period of four years from 2009 to 2013 will facilitate financial aid and technical cooperation to the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP).

VUP is one of the flagships of Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS). It is one of Rwanda’s main mechanisms for protecting the poor from shocks. Its purpose is to reduce the number of Rwandans living in extreme poverty.

A memorandum signed between the UK and government in Kigali will ensure that the DFID funds help in the implementation of VUP in a number of ways.

It was signed between the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, James Musoni and Martin Leach, the Head of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Rwanda.

According to the agreement, DFID funds towards VUP will be implemented in three ways such as, funding public works that provide employment to members of poor households with no land but can work, and through direct cash transfers to poor households that have no land but cannot work. Leach also added that the deal will develop people’s access to financial services.

“This will increase the number of people who have money in the bank account, who save and who can access small loans,” he said.

He also explained that the whole programme will be underpinned by sensitisation and training to help the people lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Following the signing, DFID will immediately disburse the first tranche of Rwf2.8 billion to VUP, representing an increase of almost 10 percent to the DFID-Rwanda’s bilateral assistance this year.

This brings the total to Rwf28.8 billion between 2008 and 2009.

During the signing, Minster Musoni emphasised the strong position of reducing extreme poverty, on the National Development Agenda, which he underscored to be well spelled out in the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme.

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