The World Bank has approved $8.97 million (over Rwf6 billion) additional financing credit for the Second Emergency Demobilisation and Reintegration Project (SEDRP).
The new financing, approved by the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, will assist the government to demobilise members of armed groups of Rwandan origin and the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF).
It also provides socio-economic reintegration support to such members after demobilisation, with particular focus on women, children, and disabled ex-combatants.
According to the WB, the credit builds on the achievements of the original International Development Association (IDA) grant of $8 million (about Rwf5.4bn) approved in August 2009, to support ex-combatants’ demobilisation and reintegration.
Implemented by the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC), SEDRP aims to contribute to consolidation of peace in the Great Lakes Region, particularly in eastern DR Congo and to foster national unity within Rwanda.
Francis Musoni, the SEDRP coordinator, said since 2001 to date, the RDRC has demobilised and reintegrated over 79,000 former combatants.
“With the previous support, a lot has been achieved including having several former combatants given medical care, financial support as well as houses built for them,” Musoni said.
He said the approval will be followed by the signing of the financing agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the WB before the funds are released.
“We might actually get the money in July after the agreement is signed and ratified by Parliament,” Musoni said.
Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Manager, said the Government of Rwanda “efficiently provided a powerful incentive” for Rwandan combatants fighting in eastern DR Congo to lay down arms and reintegrate peacefully in their communities.
“Additional funds will continue to support efforts toward regional peace stabilisation,” she said in a statement.
The additional financing credit will provide the same benefits as the original project in addition to social orientation for dependents of ex-combatants, mental health screening, counselling, treatment and support to disabled ex-combatants through Integrated Rehabilitation and Production Workshops.
“Supporting vulnerable groups will contribute to social cohesion,” said Natacha Lemasle, WB task team leader for the SEDRP.
Access to services by ex-combatants through central and local government service provision mechanisms will also rise.
The original project also included a $2 million (over Rwf1.3bn) government contribution and two multi-donor trust fund grants worth $9.1 million (over Rwf6billion).
The initial additional financing for $2.3 million (Rwf1.5 billion) also from the multi-donor trust fund was signed in December 2013.