Members of parliament on Monday December 6, raised their concerns over the rising rate of unemployment in the country. This was followed by a report on the status of the economy and the budget presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana. The report showed that unemployment rose to 23 per cent in May 2021 from 13.1 per cent in February 2020. MP Leonard Ndagijimana said that the staggering rise of unemployment is really worrying and asked if there are strategies put in place by the government to deal with the issue. “For instance, through the economic recovery fund, the government should find a way to help not only those who lost their jobs but also find a way to create new ones with the funds given,” he added. MP Frank Habineza said that unemployment in the country affects mostly women and young people and inquired how the rate stands in this year, especially after so many businesses have been hit by the pandemic. MP Benoit Senani said that although the economy is projected to grow, yet the unemployment rate might slow down the target, the government should put more projects that generate jobs while boosting the economy at the same time. However, Minister Ndagijimana assured the Parliamentarians that the country is on the right track to solve the problems, adding that by August 2021 unemployment rate was at 19.4 per cent which is lower than the 23 per cent registered in May, which proves that the problem can be solved. “We are aware that the pandemic made the situation worse because many people lost their jobs, however as businesses gradually open, and new jobs are being created then the rate will slowly go down” he added. He added that through government investments in sectors that are doing well like agriculture, manufacturing and construction sectors and together with the participation of the private sector, and international investments then more jobs will be created and solve the issue. Other issues raised by the deputies were; inaccessibility of the fund by micro businesses, investments to be made by the government and the accumulated debts of the government. MP Leonard Ndagijimana said that some of the fund should cover even the smallest businesses like motorcyclists, and small fruit vendors, who were also hit by the pandemic because and spent a long time without working. Addressing the issues the Minister of Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana said that any business that fits the criteria will have no problem accessing the fund, for instance if the business had been paying taxes and performing well before the pandemic then they will be able to access the fund. “The recovery fund is not for public institutions, it is meant for private business owners, manufactures and other private businesses, and we give this through banks so we want to assure you that the money given is well planned for and analysed by bankers,” he added.